Monday, February 16, 2015

It takes courage to continue to do it

Over a year ago, I joined a running group of women. Most are moms of different kinds (step moms, puppy moms, cat moms, moms to adult children, moms to newborns, pregnant moms), but what we all have in common first and foremost is that we are women runners. It has been so encouraging and uplifting. Anytime you're on a run, it's always such a fun and motivating experience. People are high fiving and cheering for each other and just being so sweet. Whether you run an 8 minute mile or a 17 minute mile, we are all out there making things happen!

There are two annual runs that the group hosts nationally. The Winter one is the Frozen Booty Winter Virtual race and that was the one I decided to make Connor's official first run! He's been asking when he can race, after seeing me do all these races and fun runs! His run was maybe 100-200 yards and just a good way for him to learn how to participate in runs. Hopefully some day he'll be able to do 5k's and 10k's with me (although, I'm sure he'll smoke me!).
I actually never thought the twins would want to do it, when I signed Connor up. But the closer it got, the more I realized that they'd probably want to do it too. Thankfully, there were a few extra medals and so they got to participate too! I have the most hilarious video of it. Isabella basically ran half the course and then realized she could do a short cut, by just running straight across the diameter of the circle. I can just see her little brain going, why on earth are all these people taking the long way? I laughed so stinkin' hard. Aiden followed his big brother and ran "super fast because of [his] super fast shoes!" 
I did the 10k race and PR'd! My official time was 1:13:41. My last 10k was for the Summer Virtual in August and I did that in 1:19:32 (so that is 6 minutes faster in 6 months). I needed that because I've been feeling so down about running. My husband's work schedule has been crazy and with my brother and sister-in-law moving, I really haven't had any options for help on days when he has to work. It's been really hard and it has made it even more apparent how thankful I am for weeks and months when his schedule is easy (and it definitely makes me appreciative of all you military families and single parents who have no help!). 

It was a cold, cloudy, and drizzly Winter day and it makes me feel even more like a Super Mama. I still can't believe how far I've come on this running journey. I've said this before and I'll say it again - but running does not come easy to me. It is not something I am just gifted in. Every day is a struggle (some more than others) and there are months and weeks when I think I should just give up. I never ever thought I would run 10k's for fun. When people say to me, "Oh I could never run! I am not a runner!" I have to just chuckle. Because I get it. And it takes courage for me to continue to do something I know I'm not just naturally good at. It's sometimes hard when friends try running for the first time and increase their speed without trying. I have friends who say, "Oh my gosh. I'm so slow. I can't even break a 9 minute mile!" and I have to laugh again. Because that is so not slow. But then I remember the women who look to me as inspiration and I remember that they think I'm fast. They see how I'm able to do 9 miles, mostly, effortlessly and think they'll never get to that point. And that's when I feel really proud. I know what it took to get me here. I know how far I've come and how far I can go if I just keep trying. 
If you've been wanting to run and don't know where to start, my advice is just to start. If you think you can run for 30 seconds without stopping - start there. And then try running for 45 seconds. For me, I knew I could run for 1 minute. 

And now, I run 4:1 intervals and can pretty effortlessly bust out 6 and 7 miles (most days). I may not ever run a 9 minute mile. Heck I may never run a 10 minute mile. And I am totally okay with that. I run for my husband. I run for my marriage. I run for my kids. And I run for all the times I told myself I couldn't because I know, not only, that I can - but that I am


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