13 arduous miles and the crazy reason I run them
In exactly one month I wake up well before the crack of dawn and run my second ever half marathon at Disney. Yes, this did in fact sound like a great idea in September when I signed up. Now that the days are numbered, I’m starting to wonder why in the world I thought this was a good idea. I even managed to talk my friend Taylor into running with me. Bless her. The things is. I don’t consider myself as a serious runner. The thought of getting up at 5 am to log a few dark miles before work sounds terrible. On the list of things I value most my sleep is like #2. Some days #1. I don’t run to be skinny, although it is girl scout cookie season. I run because it’s a challenge for myself. A classic man versus self struggle. Some days I’m the protagonist and others the antagonist. I can run 1 mile and feel like I’m going to collapse and other days I can run 6 and it feel like a walk around the block. Running has nothing to do with my physical state, but everything to do with my mental state. On days when it’s a bad run I have no one to blame but myself. But then there are those days when I feel like I can take on the world because I ran 7 freaking miles and lived to tell about it. Sure, I may look like a runner to you because you don’t run at all but I see people like my friend Melissa, who puts my running to shame daily. I’ve learned one thing about running: Being dead last is way better than never having run at all.
Still wondering why this “kind of a runner” signed up for another half marathon?? Me too. Here’s what happened: Back in September, I had no current “projects” or things to look forward too. My summer travels were over and I was in mourning as I landed for the last time. Work was back in full swing and the daily grind had set in. I need something to look forward to and work for. I wanted to do something hard and feel good about myself when I finished. So when Disney posted the new Star Wars Darkside run I decided that would be my next challenge. I convinced one friend to run with me then she went and got herself knocked up all of 9 months before the race. Sure, that “wasn’t planned”. I signed up any way because I just do crazy things sometimes.
Despite my lack of better judgment when I registered, I remind myself why I repeatedly do this. I’ve learned two things about life in the past few years. One being that you can do hard things and the second being that you should do the hard things.
Is running a half marathon physically hard? Absolutely! While this is all relative to the individual running the race, I don’t know anyone who says 13.1 is an “easy jog around the block”. Personally It’s the mental challenge that gets me when I run. When I beat not only myself but the dumb enemy telling me I can’t between miles 7 and 8. I really hate those two damn miles.
As much as I love the finish line of a half marathon, the fun little community 5k with friends is just as much fun. Some people hesitate to run with me because they feel that they can’t keep up and it wouldn’t be any fun. I get that, but here’s the deal. I know good and well which one of my friends can run and which ones can’t. If I really want to run a race and you don’t run, I’m not going to ask you. But if it’s one of those silly color runs or whatever then I will invite you because I just like to have a good time.
My amazing work family has run multiple 5ks this year and we all run on our own and cheer each other on as we finish. Then we get a beer. We do it for the challenge of beating ourselves and the fun of doing something with friends. So even if just the 5k is enough of a challenge, I say do it! You will be so glad you did even if it hard. Even if you are slower than a turtle running through peanut butter, I encourage you to try it.
Now run along and go do something hard. You never know, there might be girl scout cookies at the end.