No I am not calling my friends cows, a few girlfriends and I ran a 1/2 marathon this past weekend called Running with the Cows. It was out in the country, but we saw a lot more horses then cows.
After our miscarriage I decided I wanted to take advantage of the time I wasn't pregnant or breastfeeding and do something for myself. I have been a runner for a long time. But since living in KS for the last 4 years I have used pregnancy and cold weather as an excuse to not run consistently. I have been thankful that I have a few ladies who like to get up before the sun with me for bootcamp, so I have exercised since living her, just not run. I know myself well enough that for me to push myself, I need a goal. I needed a race on the calendar. This 1/2 marathon was good timing with training and chances of good weather, so I recruited a few girlfriends and we were off training.
Well, sort of training. Our self-made "program" only really consisted of long runs on the weekend. I did bootcamp in the week and some short runs. The long runs felt great though. Every Saturday after returning from a long run, I had energy and felt great. I really felt like I found a part of myself again. Running was something I always did with my dad, so I also enjoyed connecting with my dad about my runs as well (and running with him while in Florida). Side note here: my dad is stinkin fast for someone who is almost 60. He worked me over.
Running was therapeutic for me. I felt like I had accomplished so much. We only really trained for 7 weeks, but the 11 miler a few weeks ago felt great, so I figured I would be set for the race.
Well the race was much harder than I expected. I could have blamed it on many different variables, but I did tell myself during the run that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Pushing yourself isn't supposed to be easy.
I partly did this run out of gratitude for my health. 4 months ago I could have died, my body lost almost 40% of it's blood in 7 hours, and Saturday I ran a 13.1 miles. Steve prayed for me Friday night, thanking the Lord for my life and my health, I prayed that prayer many times especially between miles 10-13, when I was hurting badly. Yesterday, I saw a blog post from a family where the mother died giving birthday to baby #3, the dad is left with 2 little boys and a newborn baby girl. I was brought to tears, because that so easily could have been Steve's reality.
I am a competitor. This run was an out and back, I was able to see all the people in front of me. Part of me thought, "oh I should push myself harder in training and run races faster." The humbling part of running a race for me is that there are people of all shapes, sizes and ages who the human eye would not consider to "look" very athletic and they are kicking my tail in the run. Even looking at the race results in my age category, the competitor rises up.
Then I remind myself, that isn't me anymore. I don't need to prove something (not saying others are), I am not willing to sacrifice balance and family time to push myself to be a better runner. I am a middle-of-the-pack runner, that is ok. I finished in 2:08, under my goal of 2:10, so what if over 500 people finished in front of me, I finished. I set a goal and I finished. I can't compare to others, I know myself, what I wanted and I choose to focus on being proud of that.
I will keep running, and I want to run more races, and when I finish in the middle-of-the-pack (and look terrible finishing because I hurt so badly), that is ok. I will run and I will finish.
|There was no striding it out, or finishing with good form, this was feet away from the finish line and I was hunched over, praying for the finish line to come quickly|
|With all our families|
|Both the Payton's with the cow|