So, it's 2016 now, and I haven't blogged since last summer. I don't know why. But here I go again, and I hope to stick to it this time. I miss it.
So many things I've missed writing about, and it seems like an impossible task to catch up on it all. Maybe sometime, I'll try. But for now, I want to write about how 2015 was the year that I ran.
I was always one of those anti-running people. Why would anyone want to run on purpose? I didn't get it at all. It's boring, it's painful, it's hard on the body.
But then, last Spring, Daphne and Kev challenged me to be Daph's Girls on the Run running buddy in the fall. So, I put it on Facebook so I would be accountable, I got a Fitbit and some orange Nike running shoes, and off I went. Very very slowly.
I started on the treadmill at Ida Lee, doing 2 minute run/walk intervals at 2.5/3.5 mph. That is REALLY lame, but you have to start somewhere, and that was about the best I could do at the time. 3.1 miles without stopping seemed pretty much impossible.
I remember the first time I finished a whole mile on the treadmill without walking, and by then I was up to about 4.5 mph. This was HUGE. A big day for me.
Sometimes, I'd go running on the trail with Daphne or Kev, or both. We ran on vacation at the beach and the lake place. But I struggled. A mile was about all I could finish without stopping to walk. Back at home, getting from my street to the bridge was my first Big Goal, and it took me forever to reach it. It's a little over a mile, on a very slight but constant incline, but it might as well have been 10 miles straight up a mountain because that's what it felt like to me. Hills became my nemesis.
Kev encouraged me the whole time, which is not easy when the person you are trying to encourage keeps saying "I can't." But he stuck with me. And Daphne did, too. Seriously, that kid kept me going so many times when I just wanted to stop and fall into a heap right in the middle of the trail. "I know you can do it, Mom." So, I did it.
I got a lot of encouragement from friends and family and other runners. REAL runners. I got lots of advice, too. Words of wisdom. Running is 90% mental. The first mile is the hardest. It will get easier. And so on. I didn't really believe any of it it, but tried to take it to heart. Maybe they were right. I hoped that they were right.
A few weeks before the 5K, I made it to the bridge AND BACK. A little over 2 miles. And a week before the run, Kev, Daphne, and I did 3.1 on the trail. Our own Team Holt family practice 5K. And then the actual big day came. And Daphne was sick. She was miserable. But she ran that whole thing with me and wouldn't let me quit or walk, even when I know SHE wanted to fall into a heap this time. We crossed the finish line together.
This was truly one of the best days of my life. I never ever do hard things. I HATE doing hard things. Especially painful hard things. I mostly don't like doing hard things because I am not good at them. I only really like doing things that I'm good at. But this time, I did an impossibly hard thing and I felt like a badass for the first time in a long time (if ever).
And I discovered that I CAN do hard things.
And I discovered that running really IS is about 90% mental. And that the first mile really IS the hardest.
And I discovered - and this is the really weird thing - that I love running. Not the whole time it's happening. I love it part of the time and hate it part of the time. But when I'm done, I don't remember the part I was hating. I just feel good. And now, I have become one of those people I didn't understand before. I am one of those people who HAS to run. I never ever would have believed any of this a year ago, but I think I might be a REAL runner. Still slow. But a runner nonetheless. Because I run. (And I run a little tiny tiny bit faster every day.) (Except on hills). (Ugh.)
I started 2016 by doing a New Year's Day 5K with Kev and Daphne. It was hard. It was really super hilly and I wanted to stop and walk about a thousand times, but my little team kept me going. And all three of us crossed the finish line together. And it was awesome. A perfect way to start a new year.