29 September 2012

I Run...for Me

I started running in college. It was a great stress reliever and all I had to do(easier was put on my running shoes, leave my apartment, and start moving. It wasn't easy and yes, there were runs that were better than others but I kept going and it helped to have a couple of friends to run with.

Fast forward to 2012 and I found myself wanting to return to running and the next thing I knew, I had signed up for a half marathon. Yes, I paid money to run 13.1 miles. I found a training schedule and the running regimen began. The first couple of days I didn't run far or fast but I focused on the fact that I was running. During the weeks of training, I gradually found myself looking forward to the runs. It became a time to let go of worries, struggles, and concerns and focus on me. I learned to listen to my body and felt my body respond to the mental pep talks and my legs carried me mile after mile. I often ran in the early morning and watched the sun rise over the mountains and felt gratitude for life and my physical body. For the ability to move. To run. To feel pain and soreness. To make progress.

The day of the race came and I was surprisingly calm. I knew I had prepared and told myself it was just like any other long run(except for the fact that I now had hundreds of people running with me and there was a 6 hour time limit.) The race started and the first 7 miles went quickly and then the doubts came.

 "I could hide in a bush and call my parents to meet me somewhere."

                       "Ugh. My legs hurt and I can't keep going."

"I 'm sure I can walk the rest and still finish in under 6 hours..."

Each time a negative thought came, I forced it out and focused on something positive. Several friends sent me text messages and one sent a motivational video which definitely helped me as I ran miles 7-9. I focused on each step and did my best to enjoy the beautiful canyon and changing leaves as I pushed myself closer to the finish line. I thought of ancestors who once lived in that area and felt my pace quicken and my legs move with more determination. As I approached mile 12, I saw a couple of home owners turn on sprinkles and I smiled and thanked them for the kind gesture as I ran through the water and laughed while others also found a brief respite from the run.

Soon I heard people yelling and I saw the finish line and I looked around to find my parents and then I heard it- my dad's whistle. And the sound of the whistle and hearing my name as I crossed the finish line made it all worth it. Even more than that, I had set and accomplished a goal. A hard and difficult goal.

I ran for me...and won.


Lindsey said...

YAY! YAY! YAY! For you!!! I am so happy for you and proud of you! I could totally just copy and paste this post to my own blog and change it to a marathon instead of a half - that is totally how I feel about running! I'm excited to do my marathon for the challenge that it will be and for the sense of accomplishment it will give me! Thanks for being awesome!!!

Candice said...

Congrats! That is amazing.

Cute shoes.

Deanna said...

Yay Shelley! I'm proud of you for accomplishing your goal. It feels amazing to finish a race doesn't it? And props to you- I've only ever done a 5K. You rock!

Leah Marie said...

You Rock, Bob. I'm doing my first 10K next month, and my plan is to train for a half marathon after that if it goes well. If it doesn't go well, I still won't be giving up. I'll just do more 10Ks until it is comfortable. Anyway, the point is that I want to be you when I grow up. That is all.

Sylinda's Life said...

How incredibly awesome! love you Shel!

Lohra said...

Yeah, you did.

Kami said...

Shelley! You are amazing! Well done! And I love your purple running shoes!

Allison said...

WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Way to go!!! Love this post, your shoes, and you. xxxoooo