I'm pretty sure if you're reading this blog and know me then you know I'm a "runner" (I've blogged about it several times). I put runner in quotations because running and I have a long history of breaking up (because of stress fractures, pregnancy, baby, laziness) but we always seem to find each other again. My stepdaughter asked me recently how long I've been running and when I did the math I was amazed-I've now been running on and off for 14 years-surely I'm not that old yet!
"You have to wonder sometimes what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense ofachievement." -Steve Prefontaine
"GO MOMMY! BE CAREFUL!" -Cooper before my race this morning:-)
So today was another day...another run for me. But instead of another day on the treadmill listening to Fergie belt it out I decided to enter the Run to the Cross 5K at a local church. I thought it would be the perfect road race because it coincided with the churches Easter Spring Fling so my son Cooper would have something to do while I was running.
I signed up for this race about 3 weeks ago and of course the next day my ankle starts giving me major problems...as in after one run one night I thought I was going to have to call John to carry me out of the gym I was in so much pain. So I backed off running and trained with an elliptical which left me feeling very nervous about this race. I began doubting myself and my ability to run this race.
My dad of course played right into my doubting myself and bet me that there was no way I could run under 23 minutes-this course is very hilly and I primarily train on a treadmill so I'm sure he was thinking between that and my elliptical only training he had this one in the bag. So the two of us bet on our favorite drink in the world- a half case of diet coke...and boy do I love diet coke!
So today I set out for this race determined to win diet coke from my dad and basically not embarrass myself. I was however still doubting myself and was about to line up on the starting line towards the back until John yelled at me from the sidelines to get to the front. Even he has gotten competitive with my running!
I ended up being the first female winner and running somewhere around 22:10 (my complaint on road races is no one tells you your time!). To say I was excited to win is an understatement! I wondered to myself why this win and this race was so important to me?
It was important to me for many reasons...mainly because over the past 5 years since running my last cross country season I haven't won anything (except maybe the winner of having the cutest little boy ever haha). Even that last cross country season, while I was the fastest on the team and never lost to a teammate, I never won first place at any of the races. At Mississippi State I definitely never won a race and I think I was one of the slowest girls on the team (little fish, big pond syndrome). Even my senior year in high school I was set to get 1st in the half mile in state only to be dealt a surprise runner who went under the radar and ended up beating me giving me 2nd place at my last race in high school. So to win now feels gggooooooddddd!
So there I was on my winner's high when all of the sudden a miniature version of myself comes running at me yelling, "Mommy!", and jumps into my arms hugging me and telling me good job...a word I had just taught him this morning. And then I remembered why this really feels so good-because now I get to share it with my son. Granted he has no idea if I win or lose, but he doesn't care; he just loves going to Mommy's race and cheering for me (and seeing his Grandparents).
What is about children that just make life so much more worth it? And how did I ever think I was really living until I had Cooper, Jaylyn, and John to share it with? I think though that I am finally learning what my mom has already learned-the lesson that kids make life more fun (minus the teenager years!). After all, she wouldn't let my dad leave today until she saw me get my 1st place award.