Sarah and I have both written about running here on Cap City Moms. It’s hard. For both of us. I don’t think it has ever been easy. I don’t ever expect it to be. In some ways, I never want it to be. I’m sure you all have heard me say: Running teaches and reminds me that I CAN do hard things. I still believe that. Maybe more than I ever.
I think that’s part of the reason why I wasn’t expecting all the feels after reading this article. This letter to back of the pack runners. Because running, to me, is so personal, I wasn’t expecting to have a front of the pack runner even acknowledge we exist. Not that anyone has ever been mean to me. (You know, besides that douchebag cyclist that yelled at us one time. That was weird.) I most certainly never thought a slow runner would be inspiring to anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of myself. I’m also so ridiculously proud of our #TeamCCM I can’t even see straight. But those hard-body runner types? I didn’t think they took any notice. I just thought we were so…different.
I have never, not once, started a race with the hopes that I would win an age category or (OMG) win the entire race. NOT. ONCE. Making it through one mile at a time is what we focus on, people. I mean, each and every time I start the race I am at least somewhat nervous.
At every starting line, I wonder what the hell I got myself into. But the amazing thing is that at each and EVERY finish line, I’m reminded why I started at all:
I do this for ME.
I’m so damn proud of ME.
(Okay…sometimes I do it for the “medal”.)
Reading that article, interestingly enough, reminded me of that. I sat there with tears on my face because for the past couple of months, we have been working so (SO!) hard to get used to running again. We have walked and we have intervaled and we have woken up at ungodly hours and we have struggled and we have failed and gotten back on the proverbial horse. We have been frustrated and angry at our resistant bodies. We have felt self-conscious. We have stepped WAY outside our comfort zones. But we have also been so proud at even the tiniest bit of progress and consistency. We have cheered when we’ve upped our mileage or shaved a few seconds off our time. We are grateful when our bodies don’t resist QUITE as much as the last run. We are so proud of ourselves that we are getting out there, hitting the streets and we are getting it done. We are recognizing how damn hard it is and then DOING IT ANYWAY.
THAT is why I don’t care if I ever win a race or an age group. That is why I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, even if it’s not as far as we once were. I’m proud of the WORK and the time we’ve committed to this. I’m proud of improvements, no matter how small. It’s why I can’t stop smiling when I talk about #TeamCCM and (hopefully) helping others believe in themselves enough to make their own goals and join us as we keep inching away at ours. No, it’s not easy. But damn, it really is worth it.