Friday, October 8, 2010

I am a runner. For real

I'm still flying high from my running today.  Three miles - 33:47 -- 5.39 pace and 11:19 mile. This makes me remarkably proud. Because up until now -- I never thought I'd be able to sustain that pace for more than a half a mile / maybe a mile.

It was not easy, I had to keep pushing myself past my comfort level. I had to not slow down when I wanted to, I had to keep finding my inner winner and have faith that my body would keep going. I had to keep believing in myself and make the cheerleaders in my head louder than the bitches.

So much of this is mental. So much of what we can or cannot do is about the stories we tell ourselves. I've been telling myself the, "I'm not very fast" story for a long time. As a result, up until now I've usually run around 4.5 - 5.0 on these runs... (and that's 5.0 on a good day.)

But I've proven I can go faster, it's just out of my comfort zone. I've learned that, outside of my comfort zone is where I grow - where I get better - where I take it to the next level.  And I guess that's my life lesson of the day. Progress doesn't happen when we are comfortable. Progress happens when we have the courage to face the uncomfortable and (sometimes literally) run through it, embracing the anxiety we might feel and keep going anyway.

Hey if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Anyway, I also had a defining moment in the middle of all this - perhaps it was the endorphins but I had a realization. I am a runner. A real runner. I think up until now, a small part of me thought this was "dress up." Or a novelty or the fat girl trying to get thin... but my running is none of that anymore, as I made sure my form was proper, was wiping away sweat, checking my pace - I looked into an imaginary mirror and realized that I'm a runner - no one in the gym or on a street would see me and think, "look how cute, this chubby girl is trying to run..." No. They would simply see a runner.  Perhaps, others have seen me like that for a while but today I realize that finally I do too.

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