(from one of my first half marathons with my dad)
as i've said before, i haven't always been a runner. in fact, my high school bff and i almost failed the mile in pe because our mile time at the end of the semester was about 2 seconds away from being slower than our first attempt in august (this was the only criteria for passing the mile). that should be embarrassing for me to admit, but i still laugh about it to this day with my friend. i was on the track team for approximately two seconds freshman year of high school before i developed a foot injury that required surgery and provided me with a convenient excuse to quit because...well, i hated it and i wanted to be editor of the literary magazine instead. i was, and enjoyed every moment of that. do what you love, you know?
(now, i love dressing up like a polar bear)
now, though, i can genuinely say that i do love running. do i love every run that i go on? no. do i whine about "having to go for a run" sometimes? sure. are there moments where my couch wins in the lounging vs. pavement pounding battle? absolutely. but for the most part, i don't regret any of the runs that i go on and i always end up feeling better afterwards.
(nike women's half with allison - arguably the run i'm most proud of in my life)
something i don't like about my running is how as soon as i finish a run i judge it based on my time as opposed to how i felt or my level of effort. i want to work on changing my brain in this department. yeah, sure, i have goals in mind for the marathon i'm running in january. they are pretty realistic goals for the runner i am right now - but i need to remember that important fact: they are MY goals and they apply to me. after a brief review, i would say about 84% of the people i follow on instagram run faster than me. but they aren't running on my legs, they haven't eaten the same things i eat, they may weigh more or less than i do, the list goes on. unless i had an indentical twin with an identical lifestyle, comparing my own running to anyone else's is just plain dumb, not to mention a recipe for mental and emotional disaster.
this is where my random shoutout to athlinks comes into play. i get so caught up in being angsty about not hitting a certain pace that this gave me a serious slap of reality. my first half marathon time was over thirty-five minutes faster than my PR. that's a pace improvement of over two and a half minutes per mile. am i proud of both of those races and times? you're damn right! i remember how i felt crossing the finish line of my first half with jess and my dad and feeling like i was on top of the world. that's the feeling i can't forget - even if i look at that time now and know i wouldn't be satisfied with it, it's amazing to think just how far i've come in my running abilities since then.
(not that first race, but you get the idea - jess was there with me)
it's high time i got back to basics and remembered that i have come a LONG way as a runner (miles and miles, in fact) and no matter how much farther or faster i go, i've accomplished a lot, and that's enough for me. i plan on crossing the finish line in january. i plan on doing it in a time faster than my last marathon. but regardless, i am proud of myself for even taking the first step, because high school molly? well she would have laughed you out of the building for suggesting 26.2 was an option for anything besides the number of soft pretzels consumed in a month during fourth period.