A long time ago I wrote something here about why I run. That, as a Mom with Guilt Issues (We need a support group, don’t we?) I’m very hard on myself. I never feel like I’m doing things right. Or even well enough. I feel crappy about that box of Oreos I ate last night (Donnie: Where are there Oreos? Me: IN MAH BELLY.) and about the stain on the playroom carpet where I spilled paint water. I wish my house was cleaner and my kids less likely to punch other children in the face. (Don’t ask.) I hate my eyebrows and I wish I cared enough to clean my windows once in awhile.
But when I run? I am just PROUD. With every mile I get under my shoes I think Damn, Kim. You are kicking ass. Every race…every milestone…every speed workout…every hill. I am just proud of myself. And this is what gets me out the door in the heat. This is what gets me putting miles in even when no schedule calls for it. This is what gets me putting on my running shoes when I’m tired and cranky. The feeling of pride…in myself. It’s such a rare thing that I find myself addicted to the one activity that gives it to me time and time again. Running.
I ran the Cotton Row 10K again today. For those of you who have been here awhile, you know that this was the race that started it all for me last year. After doing boot camp for 6+ months, I felt confident to try the 10K I had been scared of for years. The one with the dreaded hill. So steep it’s been graded for cars. And when I finished that thing last year, I about cried I was so amazed at my time. That pride pushed me to sign up for half-marathon training, which pushed me to signed up for a trail 25K with “Madness” in the title, and then that pushed me to my marathon last week. All of those things…at least 800 miles of running…brought me full circle yesterday.
I started the race feeling okay…thinking I might “race” it. (Once you get to a certain point in training you find that some races you just “run” for fun/miles and others you “race” for time.) After doing my first 2 miles at a solid 9:30-9:40 pace I thought, I can do this. I can beat an hour if I keep this up. So…I did. I ran most of the way up the dreaded hill and I held a sub-9:00 pace the last 2.5 miles. When I saw the clock said 57:XX as I came to the finish line? I almost cried.
And then later…several times…I did cry. I mean, I couldn’t help it! I was so proud of myself! Have you ever been that proud of yourself? So proud you cry? Before I started running I hadn’t ever done that before. And now I get to feel it regularly. Whether it’s a time I broke, or tough miles I finished. Hell…I’ve even been crying at boot camp! I did one-armed shoulder presses with 20lbs last week and DIDN’T DIE! I was SO proud!
I’ll admit…there’s a small little voice inside my head that says, It’s not that big of a deal. 820+ people finished ahead of you. Get over it. But you know what? I tell that voice to suck it; because I’ve come further in the last year-and-a-half than I ever dreamed possible. With every tear I shed out of pride I knock another barrier down. Proving that – in the end – anything really is possible.