Sunday, August 24, 2008

Exhausted, But Not Defeated

Today I did something I have never done before, or ever thought I would do. It may sound trivial when you read about it, but for me, it was not trivial.

Let me start by saying that I am not a runner and hate to run. I hate the pounding of the pavement, the boredom that sets in after the first half-mile, and I hate sweating like no one has sweat before. I think to myself, the whole time i am running, that there is a reason for the run, a purpose -- although I don't know if I have figured that out yet. Running is just another part of my workout regime -- part of mixing things up and staying fit. It is far from the only part, just one of the necessary evils. Truly.

So today was a run day, and today I ran further than I had ever run before. The run was up and down hills, sloping hills, and through a park, and along a busy street. It was hot and muggy, but the sun was behind clouds most of the time.

Back in March of this year I decided to run a 5K. I had never run a 5K before, but this one was Emma's Run in Anthem. It was a benefit run for something I felt strongly about. I wanted to show my support. So about a month before the run I started running. A mile every other day, sometimes a mile and a half. When I ran the 5K, I pushed through it, and finished in a time I was proud of. Since then I have not stopped running. I run a few miles during the week, and on weekends try to run a 5K. Every once in a while I run 4 miles during the week.

Today I ran almost a 10K. Just a little shy of the 10K. Thinking back, had I ran the rest of the way rather than stopping at 6 miles, it really would have been a 10K. But I was with a couple of friends, and we walked the last bit after we hit 6 miles.

It was a hard run. The first 4 miles were fairly easy. At 5 miles I was mentally finished. That made the last mile very difficult. Thank goodness for running partners that keep you honest and keep you moving. So at 6 miles I walked, and so did my running partners. At 6 miles I was exhausted and out of water, and hot and sweaty, and really just wanting to find a sprinkler to run through.

But at 6 miles, I was also proud of the accomplishment, and happy that I did it. I did it. I will sleep good tonight knowing the physical and psychological test I just passed, the physical and psychological discomfort I just endured.

My running partners asked me if I wanted to run the half-marathon with them. I instantly, without a pause, said no, I have no desire to run a half-marathon. I am not a runner, and I hate to run. but today I ran, and the accomplishment felt good. The challenge was good. And I think I am better for it. Will I do it again? Without a doubt. It is a necessary evil that I need to endure.

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