When I was little I knew I had a competitive drive. Ever since field day in elementary school I loved winning. Especially that 40 meter dash. That's the first time I realized that I actually had some speed.
I ran. I waited for track season and I ran and jumped gathering medals left and right. I won most of the time or placed high, but not every time.
One day my high school track coach told me to try the 800. I pretty much told him he was the craziest silver headed person I'd known. He told me to try this a couple of practices before the Conference meet. I reluctantly headed to the starting line on that hot Saturday. What race is worth running if you can't start from blocks?
I won it.
This coach.... I couldn't stand him. He didn't care about us or how well we did. He just wanted to work us to the ground and didn't know what he was talking about. That's what my teenage mind thought. He made me go out for Cross Country and play softball at the same time. This guy was insane. I.WAS.NOT.A.DISTANCE.RUNNER! No way!
He made me run one of the hardest meets for my 1st ever cross meet and I quit the race in the middle. It was probably before the middle.
College came and the track coach says, "I'll give you more money if you train by running Cross Country." Another ignorant coach MAKING me do something I didn't want to do. "I'm not running in the summers." I'll go out, but I'm not running in the summer months. You can't expect me to run Cross Country, play softball, and run indoor and outdoor track. Jeez.
I went out, ran 5k after 5k, August mile repeats and two-a-days on gravel in Amish country with the sun beating down our backs. "I'm not running another one of these damn things." I was lazy in the summer and I paid for it during two-a-days. But, I seemed to peak at the right times. It makes me wonder how well I would have done if I would have put my heart into it. The day I ran my last cross country meet I thought I'd never pound out 3.1 miles in a little over 20 minutes again.
My teammates, they were crazy. Always running. Always training. Tracking miles and times and splits and PR's. I ran with Amanda from Runninghood. She's still beautifully crazy about running and quite the blogger if you like running/mommy blogs. I loved those girls though and what I didn't realize was how much all of it planted deep roots in my life. Those coaches, some of the best coaches you could ask for that didn't put up with whiny teenage/20 something hooches stomping their feet and trying to get their way. They taught me to push. To work hard and push through. They knew exactly what they were doing. One of them is a dear friend of ours and we still talk to this day. Dale actually just talked to him Monday night. He's been an invaluable mentor in our lives.
Fast forward 10 years. I was handed the opportunity to enter a race for free to benefit Amy Thompson's 25th anniversary run for brain injuries. I've blogged recently about dreaming. Stepping out and taking life for what it's worth. Reaching new heights. Letting go of fear. Doing more. Pushing myself to be better. Try new things.
I signed up.
You all know if you've been reading that I have been doing Insanity since mid January. Monday through Thursday I get up at the ass crack of dawn and sweat like no body's business. Yes, I toned up. I feel great, I have only missed one workout, but training for a 5k has not been something I have even considered in those months.
I signed up anyway.
My goal? I didn't want to walk and I wanted to come in under 30 minutes or I'd never run another damn 5k in my life.
I had doubts as the day drew nearer. I'm not ready for this. It's a holiday weekend. We have a lot going on. I told that little teenage hooch in my head to shut it. I'm doing this. I'm not going to die and I'm going to go out there and do the best I can. I'm going to run for those that can't no matter how well or crappy I do. I'm going to do this for a cause.
To be continued...