I am a runner. I state that with trepidation. I have been running here and there, round and about for many years. First I was a walker. I made the trek around the local lake regularly with friends. I like food. My petite stature reflects round quickly. When my youngest child (now 22) went to kindergarten, I decided that I could get the same physical benefit in less time if I ran. I started running the same lake trail.
My running practices have had seasons. Living in Nigeria for six years I respected the no shorts environment and ran early morning laps around an international school track where my trousers were acceptable. Recently I have piled many miles on the dreadmil at the gym. No TV at home so I catch up on news and a bit of what is going on with Kelly or Ellen. The gym allows me a controlled environment where I cannot use temperature, light or humidity as an excuse. I can tick off a weight class completed. Chat with my friends in Zumba and set the elliptical for 60 minutes of interval training and call it successful.
I enter a few races every year. The local Human Race because I love the community. Bay to Breakers is an annual must. Once I threw in the San Francisco Half. The privilege of running on the deck of the Golden Gate was inspiring. This past January I registered for that half again. I was already running long runs of 10 miles weekly. A month later I realized the half goal was not going to push me and decided to, just do it. I changed my registration from 1/2 to whole. For days after, I regretted and was fearful. I asked my husband of 25 years what he thought and he encouraged me to go for it. In fear of actually having accountability I told a handful of people. What have I gotten myself into. I am not the least bit competitive. I am pretty disciplined but I have never called myself a runner.
I have been training arbitrarily now for some weeks. I read for inspiration; “Runners World”, “The Ultra-marathon Man”, “Born to Run”, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”. Last week I read a book that instructed and inspired me, “Train Like a Mother”. The authors entertainingly inform in a presentation this mother understands. I had never been on a track team in high school nor college cross country. With SBS and Dimity’s explanation I attempted some speed work. I have endurance but stamina?
Yesterday I almost excitedly stepped outside to see what I could do on a long run. My 16 year old son accompanied me on his bike with his backpack stocked with Gatorade, water, fruit snacks and #9 chocolate agave gel. At the end of my carefully mapped out run I stopped my iPod nano stopwatch (what is a Garmin?). I came to tears. Not streaking down my face, but lip quivering, wet eyed, emotion. The quick math in my head revealed my time was considerably less than I had expected. I am a runner