Monday, May 26, 2014
Happy Girls Run
First and foremost I am not a runner. I don't consider myself a "runner" by most people's standards. I run but I'm not a runner if that makes any sort of sense. When I was in high school I could barely run a mile in 12 minutes, always scoring horribly on the presidential fitness test. It was not one of my strengths. Nor was any type of physical fitness in general. Then I decided to join Army ROTC in college with a gigantic fear of what that would mean for me physically. I still couldn't run. And I would have to run. In fact I'd be expected to pass a relatively "easy" physical fitness test that would require running. Two miles in just under 20 minutes would be the difference between a pass or fail. I was terrified. And for good reason. I was put in the slowest running group. Those of us "unfit" gals ran just around 10 minute miles. We were being pushed to be better. Then I met the man of my dreams (all 220 pounds of muscly young man that I ended up marrying almost 4 years later) whom I begged to help me strengthen those weaknesses. So we trained together and his encouragement fueled my esteem. By the end of the year I wasn't breaking any records (or attaining the maximum Physical Fitness Test score) but I had improved beyond my own personal goals and was able to not only pass but gain a few added points with my improved running time.
It wasn't a "love" for running, it was a need. I had to do it so I did. But I didn't continue until years later when I was curious to see just how much I could improve. I would run on the treadmills at the gym but rarely ever outside. I did a 5k Shamrock Run with my dad in Portland in 2004 and his constant motivation was uplifting. I never really wanted to become much faster and I had no desire to go any long distances. A marathon is not and probably never will be on my running goals list. Then in the last few years I started enjoying it again and decided 13.1 miles would be attainable. A goal that would leave me feeling successful and fulfilled.
So I've been running. Whenever I can which, lately, isn't as often as I'd like. But it's something. And it got me out and into this fun 10k race. The adrenaline pumping, feet pounding, and "let's see what I've got to give" attitude kept me at an 8:36 pace for just over 6 miles which got me 4th place in my age group and 15th overall. So what if there were only 154 runners. A girl can feel good for how far she's come, right?