Six months ago if you had tried to tell me that I would one day identify myself as a runner, I would have called you a dirty liar and maybe even would have been so rude as to laugh right in your face.
Me? A runner? Ha!
And that really is the funniest thing about life – so much can change in six months. Why not only have I become borderline addicted to running, I have also accomplished something I never in a million trillion years thought I would do – I completed my very first half-marathon this past Sunday!
I know, right? Sometimes I even have a hard time believing it really happened. But it did. And I am just so darn proud of myself I’m not even going to pretend to be humble in this here post.
Before I proceed to tell you about the race, I should tell you that the past couple of months I have been fighting a terrible, bloody war with the “not enoughs.” It is almost as if I have had a little doubt monster on my shoulder whispering the most dreadful of things in my ear. All day long it is whisperings of you’re not good enough, short enough, pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough, fast enough, not enough, not enough, not enough.
But something rather curious happened this past weekend just before my race – that little doubt monster up and vacated his home on my shoulder and for the first time in weeks I felt at peace. Rather than working myself up in to a frenzied panic the night before the race, I just kept telling myself that I was ready and that no matter what the next morning was going to come and that I was going to be at that starting line and that I was going to do my very best and that it was going to be enough.
I am enough.
And just as I predicted (sometimes my psychic abilities are uncanny) that very next morning I found myself right where I said I would be – in the midst of 7,000 runners about to embark on my life-changing journey. I reminded myself one last time that I was ready as I could be and that pacing was the word of the day. And then, we were off!
The next thing I knew, I was at mile three and feeling really good about life. You are doing this, you’re actually doing this I thought to myself. Shortly later I found myself face-to-face with the USC Colosseum, oh girl, you are the ultimate badass right now! keep on going! And so I kept on going. When things started to get a little rough around mile five or six, I whipped out my first energy gel and surged forward. See ya later Staples Center! You are dominating the eff out of this race! And then just like that, I was at the halfway point. HALFWAY?! I didn’t have long to process this crazy idea because at that moment I realized that there were runners running towards me. Wait, not towards me, towards the finish line. THE FINISH LINE. In one hour and ten minutes. I was floored. But it only lasted a minute because I realized that this was not discouraging but actually the most encouraging thing of all. Wow, that human body sure is amazing, my inner dialogue remarked, YOUR body is amazing. Look at what it is able to do! Oh body, I just love you so much and with that I stopped thinking about the people who were already done and continued running the mile I was in.
And that’s how I powered through, with overwhelming self-love and thoughts more positive (but slightly creepier) than any I had thought in recent memory. Thoughts from this same brain that had been the source of so much debilitating negativity and too much “not enough”, had become the ultimate source of encouragement and inspiration.
As I found myself running that final stretch towards the finish line I became crazy overwhelmed with emotion. Oh god, do not cry in front of all of these people. No, wait. Do what you want, you just ran thirteen point one effing miles! The crowd got louder as I approached the red carpet leading up to the finish line and within a millisecond of crossing it I called my mom in a verge-of-tears state of euphoria exclaiming I DID IT! I DID IT!
Holy shit. I did it.
And just like childbirth (or so I have heard), all thoughts of that sixth mile and the death hill that lead to nowhere and the rough patch where I thought my bladder might explode and even the pain in my knees were gradually replaced with thoughts of the people with the “You go Glen Coco!” sign and images of the beautiful view of the Hollywood Sign as I made my descent down that hill and most of all those many positive thoughts that carried me from beginning to end.
As we focused on the sheer awesomeness of what we had accomplished, we spent the rest of our weekend resting our sore bodies and happily discussing all of the future races we would eventually dominate in similar fashion.
Because whether six month ago me likes it or not, present day me is indeed a runner.