I can hardly believe it – but in five short days I’ll be running my first ever 10k race. And right on time, my pre-race jitters begun to set in.
As I posted back in January when my adventure began – “I am running this race for me, to say that “I did ” it…I will finish the race, I will acknowledge what participating in the race mans to me, and I will be proud that I have made the full circle of being back to being ME.”
In the last few months, the more I trained, the more this goal became lost to me. I slowly started to love running in a way I never thought I would. I got fitter, faster, healthier. My stamina improved and my form improved. And I began to think of running the race as more of an actual race and less of a personal life accomplishment. I began to worry more about time goals and race goals, and remember less about the real ‘why’ I was doing this.
In the last few weeks, I’ve had a few setbacks. I am experiencing runner’s growth (the term I’ve coined for when your body realizes that you aren’t quitting anytime soon and throws up resistance in the forms of aches and pains) in both my hips, and most recently, my knee. These little issues allowed my negative inner critic and my doubting self-image to creep in and gain some footholds. I started worrying that if I wasn’t going to meet or exceed my time goals, I shouldn’t bother.
Lucky for me, I have an incredible support system of people around me. That support system has been working overtime to encourage me and remind me, gently and often, of the reasons why I’m running. There is a song by Melissa Etheridge that I sometimes listen to when I run, called ‘I Run for Life’. And although I am so blessed that the premise of the song (surviving cancer) doesn’t apply to me, the very basest level of the words do:
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for life
It is a beautiful song and an incredible reminder that I have been on a journey for the last six months, which although it began with the goal of a race, it is not going to end after the race is run. Thank you to those who believe in me. I will run this race and I will make you all proud.