I always "trail" behind the group. I like hanging out in the back where I can just watch and learn. I watch where they land their feet, I listen to their stories, tips and I try to keep up.
The plan was 20 miles of trails starting at 9am. The bugs were out for blood and gnawing on the rest of the group. Being in the back has its advantages;
- They take all the webs and branches.
- If they trip, you see where NOT to.
- You hope the bugs get them first!
The last mile, one of the runners left me and Ken as he picked up the pace. Ken turns 60 this month but don't let his age fool you. He a tough cookie. Ken fell 2 times and was tuckering out.
"Anita, you can go ahead."
I laughed, "No, I'm good right here."
BUT then he said something else.
"Anita, remember You ALWAYS HAVE ONE MORE GEAR." He was sweating, tired, sore from falling I am sure and he still had enough energy to encourage me. "You always have another gear, You HAVE TO WANT IT."
That brings me to TODAY.
It was 12:30 and I was just getting home from the mall with my boys. I should have been DONE running not starting.
88' and 70% humidity.
Half naked, I headed out into the heat of the day for a 12-14 mile run. I have no shame when it is that hot.
I needed to feel uncomfortable, this run needed to hurt in order to get used to the heat. I needed to run through MISERY.
I ran the roads with no coverage. In the elements of the beating sun.
It wasn't long before the sweat saturated my body. My chest was tight and my mouth was dry.
I thought about walking, I entertained the idea of slowing down.
"One more Gear."
I knew I could maintain my pace, it was just going to hurt. I was running slower than I normally run but I wanted to quit running all together and walk.
At mile 6, I decided I would maintain my pace but cut my miles back and go for another run later in the day.
It was at that point I told myself it wasn't 4 more miles, it was ONE MILE at a time.
"Anita, you gotta want it...."
I picked up the pace until I could hardly breath. My legs were turning over but my heart was racing. I slowed down and gave myself a few seconds to walk and bring my heartrate back down. It is amazing how those few seconds bring you life again.
With everything I had, I was going to finish strong. My mind was my biggest challenge. "Anita, YOU ARE what you think YOU are."
With sweat burning my eyes I looked at my pace. I had to pick it up if I was going to finish with a sub 9min/m.
It is when you are beatin up and ready to quit you HAVE to find that next gear. Then like Ken said you HAVE to WANT IT.
I WANTED IT.
After my run, I finished planting my flowers and shrubs. Being dirty and sweaty I never changed my clothes. I know gross, right.
It was catching up with me fast. I was hungry, tired and dirty. I really wanted a shower but I really wanted to just sit down. I was way to dirty to sit inside so I sat on the deck in a lounge chair.
Lacey wanted to run.
Anita needed to run!
I had one hour to collect myself before I was lacing up my shoes again.
It wasn't long before Lacey was knocking at the door ready to roll. I was still in my original running clothes when she started laughing at me.
Only a good good friend gets away with making fun of what I look like in a non padded sports bra. I walked into the bathroom to see how pathetic I looked. I giggled at my childlike figure.
At 42 years old, I may not have a mature curvy figure, and I may have some dimples here and there and I am getting these crazy lightning bolt veins in my legs but my days of obsessing are much less than they were in my 20's and even 30's.
I loved that I could laugh with Lacey about my poor lil boobies. Never take yourself so serious that you cant laugh with others even if it is about yourself. Laughter is great. And great friendships are even greater.
Lacey and I had a nice jog through Sorenson park to add another 3 miles to my day. It was a slow go. The bugs were moving faster than we were and so was the storm coming in. But we got it in and did it together. It is great to have a friend who lives so close that you can pick up and run with when needed.
Learn to love yourself. Comparing yourself to others will never bring you peace.
"God grant me the Serenity to Accept the Things I CANNOT change, And the COURAGE to Change the things I CAN!"