I have been running with Black Girls Run for a full year now. When I started, I could comfortably run 3 miles. I never had a desire to push myself to do more. Hell, I was training for a triathlon and my distance in the race portion was 3 miles. Why run any further than that? Who actually LIKES running?
Well, since running with BGR, something has happened to me. I have allowed myself to make friends with actual runners. Cool right? Well, not really. See what happens is they start to push you. They encourage you to go further. You start to drink the Kool-Aid and lo and behold…I found myself going from running 3 miles to completing ten miles this past May in the Broad Street Run here in Philadelphia.
Today, one of our team members decided to host a 1/2 marathon in honor of her daughter who is leaving to attend college. Yes, both mother and daughter run. How fab is that? Well, I have had it in my mind that I want to run in the Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon coming up in Philly. I have been following a training schedule but have kept it quiet. See, I hate failure and I am uber competitive. I have been so scared of the distance. 13.1 miles. *sigh*
Well, I had a 10 mile run scheduled for today but
got dragged into doing decided to join in on the 1/2 marathon. Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I was up at 4am just laying there. I was sweaty and anxious. Even though it wasn’t a real race, I was concerned because my pace partners are REAL RUNNERS. I kept hoping I could keep up without falling behind. I laced up my sneakers, ate a peanut butter on wheat and headed out the door.
When I got there, everyone was so excited. The ladies warmed up with some stretches and calisthenics. As we broke off into groups, my stomach was doing flip flops. Everyone was geeked. Me? Not so much. I laced up. Took a few deep breaths and said a silent prayer. “I Can Do ALL THINGS through Christ, Who Strengthens Me.” It was time to go.
Not only did I manage to keep up, at certain points, I was the rabbit and helped set the pace for the group. At one point, they told me to slow down. LOL
Today, I did something I NEVER thought I could do. I completed my first half marathon distance. Not only did I run 13.1 miles…I finished at 13.47 miles.
I called one of my fellow tridivas and she made me smile. She reminded me that I couldn’t swim and I conquered that. I was not a runner and now, I can do a half marathon.
When I look back on how far I have come in such a short time, I am amazed at myself. However, I know I have succeeded because I worked hard, I stayed focused, I believed in myself and I had the support of my family and my fellow athletes. Who knows what new challenges lie in wait for me? I am excited to tackle them all.
I don’t do these things for any other reason than the fact that I wanted to reclaim my health and set an example for my children. There is no quick fix, it starts with baby steps. From drowning to swimming. From walking to running. Believe that you can because it’s true.
13.47 miles later and look at me…..I am ready for that next race because I too, am a REAL RUNNER.