For the longest time I have really needed a carrot to run.
Signing up for a race has always been a good incentive. The good thing about a race is I usually get a shirt and a medal (a finisher's medal) and maybe a medal.
Okay, I usually watch other people get the podium medal, but I would get a finisher's medal.
So to keep me on track for the past couple of years, I have signed up for a couple of RUN races to keep me running.
I have no problem getting my cycling miles in or even my swimming in.
But running and I have not exactly been best friends.
When I "became" a triathlete I was not a runner.
I also wasn't a swimmer, but let's not go into that right now.
I was barely a cyclist, but that's not the point.
I was not a runner.
To become a runner I have had to overcome some injuries, get some great special-made for me orthotics for my shoes and run.
Running makes you a runner.
A mile a day.
10 miles a week.
500 miles a year.
Whatever the goal.
Running makes a runner.
An organized run does not make one a runner.
I found that out today.
I was scheduled to race a triathlon at Wildflower this weekend - taking two of my athletes and my husband.
Long story short - one athlete ill; another athlete family stuff; husband with a blot clotting issues left me in a position where I was going to be driving a long way home by myself.
We all bailed.
I was feeling a little sorry for myself so I signed up for the Verdugo Mountain 10k run.
My son's friend's father started the race a few years ago and every year I mean to attend the event.
It seemed that finally this was the year I would go and run 3.1 miles up a hill and 3.1 miles down a hill.
And signing up for the 10k ensured that I would run.
Because why else would I run if I didn't have an event to run for.
Today I found out why I would run.
When the alarm clock went off at 4:15 a.m.
I hit the snooze and laid there and did what I do every morning.
"Thank you God for giving me another day to do the best I can and to enjoy life. Thank you for giving me a hard working man to love. Thank you for my house and my family. Thank you for giving me all the lessons I need to make me a better person.
And then the alarm went off again and I stood up and turned it off.
And I laid back in bed and I thought.
For once I did not HAVE to go to an event. I wasn't taking anyone and no one was depending on me to be there. My goal in going was to make sure I would run 6.2 miles.
I was going to drive a little more than one hour there and then another hour something home to make sure I was going to run 6.2 miles.
Dang, I thought, I can sleep in two more hours and then get up and slam out 6.2 miles.
And I rolled over and went back to sleep....
until 6:30 a.m. when I woke up and make coffee and played some Words with Friends and drank some coffee and enjoyed my quiet morning.
Then my guy got up and I asked him if he wanted to run with me. He said yes.
I knew he wasn't going to be able to run as fast or as far as I wanted to, but I thought it was great that he felt good enough to want to run.
So for 3 miles we ran together - I ran and then doubled back and ran again or walked with him and he ran and walked.
After 3 miles, I dropped him off at home, went to the bathroom and refilled my little bottles on my run belt and took off.
I still had 3.2 miles to put in.
I thought about doing the route we had just done backwards, but it was pretty flat and I wanted a challenge. I mean, I dumped a MOUNTAIN run, a tshirt and a finisher's medal for two hours sleep. Here was my chance to prove to myself that I was a RUNNER...not just a "log the miles I hate running" runner.
So I ran up every "UP" street in my neighborhood until I was at the top and then I ran down, down, down, one long street to the neighborhood park.
It was getting hot and I refilled my little bottles at the park and then I ran like a kid.
I felt like the picture above.
I didn't run on the path around the park. I ran on the grass and I zig-zagged between the trees.
Not once did I look at my Garmin or worry about how fast or how far I had gone. I just ran fast when I felt like it and I ran slower when I didn't want to run fast.
When I got home, I logged my Charity Miles and it showed I had traveled 9.1 miles.
I didn't care that I didn't have a race shirt or a medal.
I loved that I had ran MORE than the 6.2 I was planning on running total. I had just ran 3 miles with my guy and 6.1 miles by myself and the alone miles had just gone by in a blink and I still had lots of time left in my morning.
I rewarded myself by letting Robert talk me into riding the motorcycles to lunch and picking up some veggies at the Farmer's Market....
so I could make my Runner's recovery juice - but that story is for another blog.