Running on Saturday

Remembering Why I Run

Posted on March 2, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Today I did something I've never done, I ran just to run. I didn't have a watch tracking my miles or pace, I didn't have a partner beside me and I didn't really even have a clue where I was going or when I would get there. It was just me, the road, my music and a long line of orange cones guiding the way.


Since I started Race Day 5 years ago, my personal running has not been a top priority. Sure, I still run, but not consistently, not far and definitely, not fast. My running glory days are over, my times are slower and the competitiveness has left me. Now when I run, I do it just because I like to run.


We (my running buddies) still try to find one run a year that we can fit into our busy schedule, just so we can say we did something. So, when the Republic of Texas Half Marathon popped up in my Facebook feed, I got the gang on board and we decided to go for it. This race worked out great because it was a Saturday so we could have some fun Saturday night and we had a friend’s house to stay at, even better!!


With a move in October and the holidays, my running schedule has been really messed up! When January rolled around it had been over two months since I had laced up my running shoes!! Anita and I got back on track with our morning runs after the new year, but we quickly realized that we weren't going to have time for a long run before the half.


We didn't do anything like we were supposed to, we didn't train, we didn't increase our mileage, we didn't do strength workouts, we just signed up for a half marathon because we wanted to run (and, get a t-shirt, of course!)


As we ate our pre-race pasta dinner at Olive Garden on Friday night we started talking about our goals for the run. My goal was to finish between 3:30-4:00 hours. Yes, I thought it was going to be that bad!!


As we left the house Saturday morning, I was more than nervous. My legs were tight, I hadn't run over 3 miles in a year, and I just felt like I was in for a really bad day. I know, not the best attitude to start out with for 13.1 miles! But, after I got all the kinks worked out around mile 3, I felt pretty good. By mile 7 I was really feeling great. There weren't many people around me and I didn't know what pace I was running, but I felt good. I told myself, you are strong, you are running and you got this! Let's just see what we can do. I kicked it up a notch and off I went. At mile 8 and 9 I had to stop and put some Vaseline on the huge blister that was growing on my foot. At mile 11 I really had to start talking to myself to get me to the finish. But the most important thing, is that I remembered why I like running.


I have never run for a time, I've never run to beat anyone, I run because no matter how fast or how slow or how far I go... I did it. I did it for myself, I did it because I could and I did it because I am strong. There is no feeling like the feeling of crossing that finish line and saying I just ran 13.1 miles!!! This is the feeling that started the Race Day business and this is why we understand how runners feel when they cross that finish line. It doesn’t matter if it was fast or slow, long or short, good or bad, hot or cold, you just finished!


The best part, I proved to myself that I was better than I thought I could be that day. My goal of 3:30 was replaced with a time of 2:37:53 and I couldn't be more proud of that time. Nope, it's not fast, but it's mine and it's better than I expected.


This is my reason for running on Saturday!


PS. I have to give the hubby a huge shout-out!! He was an awesome cheerleader for all five of us. It was so uplifting to look ahead and see his smiling face, with camera in hand, along the course. He dropped us off at the start, cheered us on along the way, had goodies waiting for us at the finish line and made me happy by taking LOTS of pictures!!! Thank you, baby!



Categories: Race Day Adventures, February

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