I'd been thinking for quite a while about starting again, and our new pup was just the partner I needed to get me going. I started with one mile runs with her, and one day decided to double it and see what happened. I was pleasantly surprised. It was easy. I was hooked.
After another week or so of pondering, and trying to talk myself out of it, I decided to fess up to Snuggs.
"Baby, I need to tell you something. I've had it on my mind for a while...like, a year. You're going to think I'm certifiably insane.... (Insert his encouragement to just 'out with it already') I am going to run a half marathon."
And he said, "That's a really good goal." Which is Snuggs for "Ain't never gonna happen, but I don't wanna be a discourager."
And just in case I needed an extra bit of motivation, he hit me where it counts. Tell me I can't. Go ahead, I dare ya! Buttercup's tenacity is undoubtedly inherited directly from her momma.
I knew I could. I already had an incredible role model in Stacey. I knew it was possible, even enjoyable. I mean, she runs flipping MARATHONS. She's basically a celebrity!
Stacey led some of my training when I started teaching for Head Start. Our friendship happened in my favorite way: no effort required. Not to say we haven't put in effort to maintain it, but it was cake to start it! She's enough like me that I knew I'd really like her in the first five minutes of meeting her. She's just enough ahead of me in child rearing to be able to assure me that the toddler crazies will pass. She loves Jesus. Plus, her husband is a firefighter. And, while you can find plenty of stupid blue vs red line crap if you look for it, to me it just meant that she understood what it means to pray for your husband's safety with all of your being, and everything else that goes along with loving a man dedicated to service...including that stuff about listening to the scanner and eating ice cream alone on Valentine's Day ;)
Point being, I didn't even realize Stacey's running had been inspiring to me. She's not a bragger. It's her thing that she does for her, and that's hard as a mom, and so respectable. But she loves it, and it's good for her in more ways than one, and she always just keeps going. Mostly, I thought she was cool mixed with a strong dose of insane...and then I decided to join her type of insanity. So, she was naturally the first person to whom I turned.
Three weeks in, I was setting up my stuff on a Thursday night to prepare for Friday morning's run.
He said, "What's tomorrow look like?"
And I started with, "I'm getting up at 6:30 and running 6 miles, and then..."
And I stopped. That look on his face. That look that said, "You are perhaps the coolest person ever." And he said, "Baby, that's amazing. Good job."
And I felt like a million bucks!
And then, the next morning, when I got home from my run, he admitted that he was doubtful at first, but that he had been wrong. He said he believed I could do it. He said he was impressed and proud.
I'll tell you, I'm doing it for me, but having him on my team is an absolutely amazing feeling.
6 miles still hurts, but 3 miles feels like cake, and that's amazing to me. I have lots of work and many hours to log before I get my 13.1, but those hours are proving to be the cheapest form of therapy available.
When I run, I get to be alone, and that's a treat for a mom of small kids. Don't get me wrong, I love them to the moon and back, but it's amazing to remember that my body actually is just that, MINE! When I run, I get time with God. Time to pray, time to listen, time to depend fully on Him when I can't go on, but He pulls me through. I get to feel good about my body and my health. I get to be amazed at myself for doing what I thought I couldn't.
I LOVE when my body overcomes my mind. THAT is my favorite part of this kind of training versus Couch to 5k. It's not about avoiding pain by doing little by little. It's about knowing it's going to hurt and doing it anyway. It's about actually hurting, hearing your brain tell you to stop, thinking you can't move another step, and then proving yourself wrong. There's something so liberating for me in telling my mind to f-off, and I'm positive this new skill will serve me well in other areas...(I miiiiight be an over thinker who needs to just stop.)
It's about getting all whiny around mile 4, then remembering that I delivered a 9lb 4oz baby with no medication and that hurt WAY worse than running ever will, and finishing the 6 miles as planned. It's about knowing I can do hard things, and do them well. It's about not having the breath to talk, and somehow screaming out at the top of my lungs, hands raised high, "I lay me down. I'm not my own. I belong to You alone," and feeling that truth with every cell in my body.
And yes, part of it is about coming in the door red and drenched in sweat, and having the love of my life tell me that I'm amazing. That's sort of the icing on the cake! It's good to be loved!