Running for Life

3eb7d9f5e710fc94cc921135ef9e0c28A week ago, I announced my new goal of running a 5K. When I did, I knew absolutely nothing about running, including the Boston Marathon. I simply wanted to prove to myself that I could run. Period.

Shortly before that post, I ran on the treadmill at a 0 incline for just under 30 minutes. It was boring but it wasn’t terribly difficult.  Then a few days later, on April 15, 2013, I showed up at the meeting place in the neighborhood for a group run. The Boston Marathon bombing took place just a few hours prior.

Game. Changer.

I decided not to bite off more than I could chew. This group’s route was 3.66 mi, and the weather was sunny, in the 70s. I told the leader and my 9 yo daughter who accompanied me on the run that I would run about 1 1/2 mi and then turn around and come back to home base. (This distance wasn’t random; I did 1.46 mi on the treadmill total a few days before).

Well, it turns out I did 1.46 mi BEFORE I turned around. I didn’t even realize it. I had my phone app recording my progress (I am using Map My Run) and happened to glance at it during a split.

Whoa! Time to turn around and go back up the hill.

My daughter was running up front with one of the leaders–she left me in the dust. I was the last runner. But she knew to look for me from time to time, and she was safe. We went back up the hill together.

Ironically, my total route was 3.36 mi–not much less than what the rest of the group did for the original route.

Once we got back to the car, we stretched, but as I got home and sat down, my legs started talking to me screaming at me.

No stairs until I went to bed.

For Those Who Didn’t Finish…

I rewarded myself for my effort by doing another group run the next day in a trendier area with lots of traffic, shopping and restaurants. This run drew over 100 people (mostly women since we’re a women’s running group) wearing Boston bibs. Many people in the group knew someone in the Boston marathon and ran in their honor because they didn’t get to finish the race. A Fox news team came and interviewed some of us.  A woman stuck in traffic saw us and was totally uplifted (she had a moving Facebook message that one of our group members posted).

I read her message and cried. I wasn’t thinking about inspiring anyone. I was just thinking about my fellow Bostonian runners and friends.

That was Day Two. My daughter and I each did a walk/run of 2.83 miles that day.

We took off a day to rest, then came Day Three. We ran in another new location in our neighborhood for over 3 miles. I surprised myself by running 8 minutes without stopping–my longest this week.

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I’ve gotten off to a good start: 9+ miles in one week (up from 0 in my lifetime). I don’t know if I will run for the rest of my life, but knowing that I accomplished something I never planned to do until a week ago is pretty awesome. I will continue to train and learn from my fellow seasoned runners. It’s such a supportive environment. I believe that my only competition is me.

I told my daughter that we will never run or do anything else with fear of what might happen, or what others think, say or do about it. We will continue take up goals and activities with love for them and for others that participate with us. That’s what we will do.

And we will continue to pray for Boston.

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