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"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Running, back to it

When I lost Layla in September of '08 I was broken.  My body was broken and it had failed me in a way that I never thought possible.  I wanted to punish it, but I also wanted to make it "work".  I had started running earlier that year, only 5Ks with my sister and Julie, and while I was happily pregnant they trained for a 10K.  I sat it out being careful (or enjoying my excuse to lay around a bit).  That didn't pay off.  After they did the 10K and I sat on the couch and cried all day, they informed me that they were going to run a half marathon in February.  "I'm in", was my response.

Let me preface all of this with the fact that I am no athlete and I mean that in the most severe way.  I have NEVER played a team sport, you heard me, never ever!  I do not like to sweat and I'm actually not competitive unless it involves the mind, where I am super competitive.  ***My sister got into gifted and talented in elementary school, I had my mom get me tested TWICE because I believed I was also GT, apparently I was wrong.  However, I did make a higher ACT score and have never let her forget it!***

So, for me to announce that while they had  been training for a couple of months I would just jump on their bandwagon and run too was almost ludicrous!  Still, I did it.  I was way slower than them and way more out of shape, but in February of 2009 I ran my first half marathon.  That year I ran 4 total and the next year I ran two.   My time actually never got better, but I kept going anyway.

Today a sweet runner friend of mine messaged me about running and how her mind goes all kinds of places and how she wants to journal that.  I think she should, but obviously, I think she should blog.  She is adorable and tiny and fast!  Her husband is super fast and coaches her.  She has been extraordinarily encouraging to me since getting back to running and in discussing this today I remembered why I started running in the first place and why I'm back out there pounding the pavement.  Today I ran 10 miles.  I did it in a record time for myself, like almost 2 mins off my average mile time.  It was liberating.  I felt free.  I felt unburdened and I felt like I had accomplished something.

Running for me is an open space to let my mind wander, to let me challenge myself.  To tell myself "I CAN" when everything in me is screaming "YOU CAN'T".  I can.  I am.  And I continue to run.  When I start my head is always full and scrambling everywhere.  When I am finished there are not always solutions to issues, but everything feels lighter (except maybe my legs, which sometimes feel like lead).

I say all of this to say, if you think you can't run--you can.  If you think you have to be athletic or have experience, you don't.  If you want to run, just start!  I had a sweet friend in a bible study once say she did it like this, "one driveway at a time".  She'd run to one driveway then try to run to the next and driveways became blocks, blocks became meters, meters became miles.

My friend and I discussed today that we often tear up when running, we think of why we run, or something we've overcome and emotion just comes out.  When I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon I bawled, because I hurt, because I was slow, because I finished something that I never thought I could.  Last week I teared up because I hit 8 miles in less time than I had planned and then I finished 9 miles 1 minute and 14 seconds faster than my goal.  That's huge for me, for any runner.  One day last week I teared up because I was running with a stroller and I started running because my womb was broken and empty.

I love this quote... Don't ask me why I run, ask yourself why you don't.  I run to feel free, to feel in control, to know I am doing something good for myself, mind, body, and spirit. Run on!

This is not me, I wish!  Thank you google for the image!

9 comments:

  1. See...you hit my problem though.

    I just don't want to run, ha ha!

    Anywhere. Ever. For any reason.

    Really.

    (And yet...do you know that I run all.over.the place? In my school building, I'd run all the time and kids would say, "No running!" because though I HATE running, I LOVE getting to what I am doing quickly! No patience for slow.)

    You run some for me too! Then you can feel like you are doing something good for the world too!

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  2. this is wonderful. I also ran a half marathon between IVF cycles. I needed to focus on something that my body COULD do as my like was centering itself around all the things that it couldn't. I was not a runner before, even though I did work out. I felt great about it and strong and powerful, all the things that IF strips of me.
    I am so glad you have this outlet.
    be good to yourself my sweet friend, thank you as always for all of your support.

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  3. Love it. I love running and am grateful every single day that I do it!

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  4. Love this post, and good for you! I've never run 10 miles (or anything close to that) in my life! It's funny, because I am athletic. I played volleyball, basketball and softball all through school, yet I've always hated running. I'm trying to enjoy it though because of the health benefits, and because more calories are burned than walking, which is what I've been doing currently. Good for you Deni. :) And I laughed pretty hard that you asked to be tested twice for the gifted program. Love it. :)

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  5. i'm a runner as well. it's such a great release!

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  6. Im so glad you found this incredibly empowering thing as I can tell you cling to it with all your might....you are such a great fighter and I love that about you cause you make it contagious :) much love xxxooo

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