The day I just ran.

**This post is dedicated to my sister Jess, who just kicked the crap out of the Newburyport Half Marathon and who inspires me and pushes me every day to find my running mojo again, and today, well, today I think I may have gotten it. Thank you sis, you are the best. And PS, love that the titles of our posts today are similar, without even meaning to be!). Maybe we’re related or something.**

Today, I just ran.

Today, I felt vindicated over my previous half marathon fail bad run.

Today, I pretty much snuck in my 13.1 do-over in (basically) super secret mode.

Today, I ran almost 10 miles of the 13.1 half marathon that my sister ran.

I didn’t register (because I knew it would freak me out.).

I didn’t start with the racers.

I didn’t train for it, I didn’t carb up for it, I didn’t even forgo wine last night as I probably should have.

Why?

Because all of these things freak the hell out of me. It’s completely mental. I know this. So why not outsmart myself?? And outsmart I did.

The race conditions were ideal. The course was (mostly) flat. I came to the half marathon to cheer on my sister and Scott, but did wear running gear and did bring my inhaler, because I told myself that we’d run 5-6 miles or so and be good with that. Just a little Sunday jaunt waiting for Jess and Scott, right? Right??

Wrong!

M and I set out about 10 mins after the start time. We let everyone go on, get rid of the crowd. I took a port-a-potty stop (no lines, score!). The temps were perfect. I was happy we were running, but also had in my mind that we’d just run till we felt like stopping.

First mile in, I told myself, ‘yeah, no, not going far, let’s do 3…’

But then I hit my stride. M was being chatty, keeping me going. He felt good. Made me feel good, confident.

And the funny thing about this race? No mile markers (for the most part!) and that was HUGE for me. I didn’t figure out that water stops were every other mile (happily didn’t put two and two together!) and the route was beautiful. We kept at it, we caught up with some of the other runners, and we got cheered on by bystanders (even though we didn’t have numbers on! We just blend in, I guess). We kept going.

Saw my mom around mile 4 (but thought it was only mile 3) and she told us she’d meet us at mile 5 and mile 8 (it was a loop, so the rationale was, run to mile 5 and then be done). Except she wasn’t at mile 5. There wasn’t even a marker for it (I don’t think?) and then suddenly, we were at mile 6. M grabbed a Gu and I had a little bit of it. Got a boost knowing we were at mile 6 (pleasantly surprised) and then looped around and kept going. Beautiful course. No word from my mom, so we kept on. Hit mile 8 and got some gatorade. Was, at this point, pumped that we had gone that far.

All told, we ran almost 10 miles. I’d estimate we ended around 9.5 when my mom met up with us.

9.5! And I felt GOOD the entire time. We walked a couple of times for water and such. But I felt good. I just ran. I didn’t have much trouble breathing. I didn’t get any side cramps. My hips were super tight and sore going into the run, but I didn’t really notice any tightness until we finally stopped at 9.5.

I JUST RAN.

And it felt like the cloud that’s been hanging over me every time I have a crappy run had lifted.

We were running. And we were enjoying it.

Who knew I could ‘just run’ and it would work??

Honestly, the only reason I didn’t keep going to the finish was to see my sister cross that finish line (knowing she passed 10 miles about 10 mins prior to getting picked up, I knew it would be close).

And we just missed her finish by about 5 minutes. Missed her finish. I felt like the worst sister in the world. I felt like I totally failed her. All I wanted was to see her smiling face at the finish line.

And I missed it.

But her reaction? Uttering her PR (drained, tired, but thrilled!) and when I told her how far we went, she was honestly almost more happy with that than with her own PR. She felt like we ran this together. And you know what? She’s right. We did. She kept me going…I pictured her running happily and speedily and knowing that she was going for it made me feel like I could too.

And maybe, just maybe, my mojo is back. Maybe this is all I need…no pressure, no times to shoot for, no ‘race mentality,’ just running.

Today, I just ran. And it felt awesome.

 

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41 thoughts on “The day I just ran.

  1. This post makes my heart SOAR with pride, sis. THIS is what running is about. It’s about finding your stride and LOVING it. Truly loving it. Just running to run. It is THE BEST feeling in the world and I am so frickin’ glad you finally had that feeling today. So very fitting, all things considered. And you know what? This *can* be how you “just run” a future race of any sort. Don’t think about the times. Don’t think about the people around you running (although, they can be entertaining and supportive, can’t they?). Don’t think. Just run. Who cares if it’s a race or a run. You’re just running, regardless of the “scenario.” Try to remember that sis, harness this feeling from today – bottle that sh*t up and never let it go. THIS is what running is about. So so so SO proud. (and I still am NOT sad that you missed my finish, like I said, we “ran” this together, and that’s what matters most). xoxo

    1. aww…I love this comment sis. I soared with pride when you told me your finish, even though you didn’t even have to tell me. I just knew it was phenomenal. Thank you for your support and encouragement and even those ‘tough love’ days…all of it much needed :) I will try to harness the crap out of today. I want it to be my turning point!

  2. Well, I am not going to repeat what Jess says, so I’ll just say this – I am proud of you my friend. I know you have it in you, just gotta trust yourself a little more. And it’s totally ok to not enjoy the racing. I don’t – kind of kicking myself for having a race next week now. But what this shows is that you are soooo capable. You are an athlete, you’re strong, you’re beautiful. Trust that.

    1. Thank you so much friend! I know confidence is an issue, but more than that, the damn mental game gets me every single time. But you are right, this shows I am capable of more than I think. Racing…yea, it isn’t my thing, but goal-making and distance-achieving is, so I’ll just focus on that, right? As for you…you are going to kill that race next weekend, I know it!!!

  3. Honestly those mile markers are the worst! Except here they’re every KM…so there’s even more of them. How annoying!!

    This goes to show just how mental running really is. Hopefully this will help you to overcome that and believe in yourself. :-)

    1. They are awful!! Every KM?! That would drive me CRAZY!!! Running is totally a mental game, it can be all consuming…but I’d much rather try and use it to my advantage and yeah, foil it sometimes by tricking it, like today :)

  4. this makes me so happy! What an incredible running day for you and Jess! So much love to both of you. Hope you’re having a nice, relaxing evening at home!

  5. While I admit to STILL not getting it (the running thing), I can also admit that even just reading this the pride you have (and that I felt FOR you) was still shining through. And that, I love and can relate to.

    Job well done!!

  6. I’m such a head case with racing – I psych myself out and don’t do what I know I’m capable of. But then during one of my training runs for a race I’ve signed up for, I’ll totally kill it!

    Something I continue to work on… :) SO happy for you and proud of you – you did it!!

  7. Such a great post! I’m struggling with the mental side of running as I prep for a half-marathon in January. It’s so much easier to just run, when we get out of our heads and out of our own way.

    Congrats!!

    1. Thanks for stopping in!! And the mental side is by far, the toughest part. I need to get out of my own way and my head more often. Good luck training and getting out of your own way too!! :) And thank you :)

  8. Is it stupid that this made me sorta tear up? All I can see through this whole post is PRIDE. Not just any pride…real, honest, surprising pride! The kind that gives you goose bumps, and when your sister shows almost more happiness about your success than her own, that’s love. That’s PRIDE. :) So happy for you, friend! <3

    1. is it stupid that this comment sorta made ME tear up? ;-) Seriously, thank you so much for caring as much as you do that it gives you goosebumps and tears. That means so much. XOXO!

  9. AWESOME!!!! (Sorry Im so behind on reading!)

    Did you use your inhaler or did you do it without? (You know I had to ask…)

    Will you guys adopt me? I need a sister as awesome as you two are.

    P.S. Love the new background, very pretty!

    1. Thank you! I DID use the inhaler. It was a chilly morning and it is actually still helping me I think. I am still experimenting with it though. And yes, we would love to adopt you :-) Thank you!! (and thanks re: background, I used it previously in another format and love it!)

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