Saturday, April 18, 2015

18 weeks to go...

No, I haven't fallen off the planet. I've been running, and visiting friends, and trying to survive the last little bit of this semester, and interviewing for jobs, and and and...

It's been hectic. Even so, I've managed to get in 35.6 miles this week, which brings my yearly total up to 418.1 miles. The icing on the cake: two of my runs this week were trail runs (YES!!!!!!) and I've been hitting my under 10 minute mile averages when I'm running on the roads. Running (for now, because what a fickle bitch it can be) is going well for me.

I have 18 weeks left until this race. My life is presently in a state of happy upheaval. I have no idea if I will find the time to train enough, but I'm loving my running (OMG Trail!!!!), and I feel like maybe it is loving me back a little.

As I was out on my run today, I had two realizations that I thought to share. First, one of my friends mentioned recently that running had given her more courage than she had ever had, and also more willingness to express her fire and passion (not her words, but I was a witness to that transformation). I started to reflect on my own experience with running after this. I have always been active. I was a fairly successful (and talented) equestrian in my teenage years and early 20's. I love the sport, I love the animals, I loved feeling competent.

For whatever reason, this never translated into the rest of my life. I didn't see myself as particularly smart, pretty, interesting etc. I dated guys who I knew liked me more than I would ever like them (for the most part). This sport that I loved and had so much confidence surrounding gave me very little in terms of confidence outside of the barn (maybe it was because I knew I always smelled vaguely horsey, which if you are an equestrian, is the best thing ever. If you aren't... it's fairly off putting).

When I started running distances, I found that running pushed me not only physically, but mentally. I started viewing myself as more capable in all aspects of life. At some point I realized how smart, pretty, interesting, and generally likable I am. I gave myself the space to be worth my own while in places other than the barn.

In a lot of ways, running has come to replace the horses. It isn't quite the same, but it really is something that if I dig into and commit time and energy, I will improve. I like seeing the improvement. Running has also taught me that I really can do more than I ever thought possible. It's pretty freaking sweet.

The second realization was far less profound: if you run with a back pack, people think you are a serious runner. I'm still not a serious runner. I'm just a happy woman, with some serious running to accomplish this year.

Get outside, go do something that you think you can't, and just watch how much you can grow.

PS- I start my internship at the Department of Community Health May 18. Wish me luck. It's my first real job in 3 years.

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