You Never Know…

The other day I was loading up all my running apps (read: being a data obsessed runner) and  waiting for my GPS to pick me up. I was just locking the front door when I saw my neighbor returning from her walk with her dog. I waved and said hello; she smiled and waved back.

img_0430As she got closer to my driveway, she called up to me “You always make me feel so guilty! You get out here and run almost every day and I’m down here freezing my face off just walking the dog a block!”

My first instinct was to laugh and tell her I don’t run every day. Or that I run really slow so it doesn’t really count… or to put myself down in someway. Instead, I laughed and told her you warm up a lot when you run, and to not discount walking her dog every day — that’s exercise, too!

She laughed. She tried to put herself down again by saying it’s more for her dog than for her, so I said “well, I decided to run a half marathon – I set a goal, and it’s what gets me out here. Maybe there’s a goal you can set, too!”

She thought about this for a moment and said thank you for motivating her. It felt really, really nice to be someone else’s motivation – especially when I’m not elite athlete. Not by any means. I’m just some gal who goes running because she likes it. I’m not fast, I’m not skilled, I’m not anything special. I’m just another runner…

But I inspired someone.

Moral of this story (aka TL;DR). You never know who you’re inspiring. Just keep at it. Someone out there is looking up to you and you may never even know.

I Shall Run No More, Forever

Today, after I complained about my crappy run, a friend said:

“Some days you own your run. Some days your run owns you.”

Today my run certainly owned me.

12511435_10100582170274750_1801978882_oSo you know how somedays you head out and you’re super excited for a run and nothing in the world can stop you?

Yea.

I thought that was today.

What today ended up being was the most humbling run I have been on in a long time.

My stomach was upset. I was over tired. I had to pee (used the woods like a champ), the air temp was -3F if not lower, my back still hurt from over use earlier in the week, it was incredibly icy, I couldn’t get my breathing to even out. My joints were angry with the four layers of compression I had them layered in, so my stride was awful… I was running, at my fastest, a 15:25 mile.

At one point, I cried. I honestly believed I should give up running forever today. I haven’t maxed out at a 15 minute mile in two years. All that negative energy just latched on to me and I felt terrible, cold, miserable… And I swore I’d never run again.

After about 4 miles, I slowed my roll and realized I was being just a tad over dramatic.

Thankfully, my two cohorts kept pep talking me and urging me on. Yes, today was not my best run, but I’d be happier knowing I did it. Yes, I was going slow, but I was outside! I was doing it! Yes, I was struggling… but I 12540330_10100582173772740_509548361_nwasn’t letting it best me.

So I put one foot in front of the other for 5.1 torturous miles, and I pressed on. If they hadn’t have been there, I’d probably have laid down in the fetal position and just called someone to come get me.

Today my run certainly owned me. But what I can take away from this far less than perfect run is a big serving of humble pie. Not every run will be great. Some are going to be awful. Some are going to be slow. Some are going to suck so hard you’ll wonder why you ever started running…

But that next run? I’M totally going to own it.