Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Am Runner

"Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage"
-George Patton

I've begun to do something that terrifies me. I run.

Dare I say it? I'm transforming myself into a runner.

I am a runner.

I don't feel like a runner quite yet. At least not all the time. But I suppose that if writers write and painters paint and builders build and runners run, then I am, indeed, a runner.

I've run about 22 miles since January, 13.4 of those since March 6.

I've come here to somehow mark this place in my journey and acknowledge what a miracle that is for me. I've never considered myself a distance runner. I see JDub, with his wiry body and mental ability to run for long distances, even when it's hard. I know I don't fit that mold.

I am a sprinter by nature. Very dangerous over short distances (or at least I used to be). *grin* I'm a soccer player. I'm happy to run for an hour and a half straight if I'm chasing a soccer ball. But, to just run for an hour and a half. Just to run??? That was never my thing.

And that's so true for me in so many ways. I'm so good at coming out of the starting blocks. I'm good at the short burst of speed, the sprint to the finish.

But real staying power? To stick with something when it gets hard or boring or just to keep my attention focused on one thing long enough to finish it is hard for me.

So, this running, this training for a long, crazy relay race, is terrifying for me. Every time I take the first step out my door for a run. Every time I pack my littles in the car and head for the gym. I'm scared. This is not easy for me.

And that's what makes it good.

Every mile (every footfall, really) feels like a triumph. Each tiny milestone has been so joyful -- being able to run for 15 minutes without stopping to rest, breaking below a 13 minute mile, running every other day for an entire week -- these may seem so small to an experienced runner. They are my daily celebrations.

A few days ago, I was on the treadmill at the gym and I found myself smiling. Smiling!! I was on the latter end of my second mile, listening to Owl City's "Fireflies" and just so happy to be alive, to be running, to be strong and healthy. In that moment I loved myself with everything I had, the world was just as it should be.

Today I left the gym with sweat beading on my forehead. My face was red. My skin was warm and tingly. My head was light and clear.

It was a beautiful thing.

I'm excited to find what this running thing has to teach me. I'm getting the feeling that it will be much like yoga, like childbirth -- the search for the calm in the storm, learning to sink into the moment, to breathe, to calm my mind and feel the earth beneath me and do nothing extra.

I think I'm going to enjoy being a runner.


Trishelle said...

I am so so so proud of you! You are going to love the Ragnar AND I'm hoping we get a few runs in together at the Roost.

You know how sometimes they put a carrot on a stick and a string and hold it over a horse to keep it trotting forward? Maybe you can do that with a soccer ball during the race.

Fireflies is on my running list too. :)

Love ya!!

Emnacnud said...

yeah heather, I never liked running either but I am finding that I really enjoy running.

JAMIE said...

YAY, we are a family of runners! The Ragnar, brings people together! :)