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October 29, 2010 / thevegmeg

Runner

Twelve hours from now I will be recovering from my first ever race! I am nervous-excited out of my mind! Alex and I are running the Spinx Run Fest 5k together! Tonight we went and picked up our packets and drove the route — lots of long hills…

My bib number is 5354. Alex is 5355. Woo! Easy to remember..

They told us that the technical shirts ran large, but they ALSO told us that 5k runners would receive cotton blend tees, so I signed up for a Women’s Medium because shirts with women’s sizing usually run small. Surprise! We get tech shirts too…which means mine fits me like a men’s medium. I’m a little disappointed…Alex’s fits him perfectly. I’ve heard they might do shirt size exchange tomorrow, though, and I’m hopeful!

I decided to wear an Operation Beautiful note on my back for the race! I spent a good amount of time this morning making a a couple of them and decided to use this one when I tore the other one. Hah! Hopefully I’ll remember what it says through the race!

With that, I want to get serious for a minute. I have felt something weighing on me for about three weeks now and I’ve been meaning to blog about it, but keep getting bogged down with other things. If you follow me on twitter, you know that… I’m running a marathon before I turn 23. Tomorrow is my first ever race, and I’m not… a runner. I know I will be, by the time I cross the finish line tomorrow, but I never have even been able to finish a mile before, so this is pretty big for me.

So… if I’m “not a runner,” why am I signing myself up to train for and complete a marathon by October 2011? I spent the first three hours of my birthday this year watching people finish the Kona IronMan. IronMans absolutely blow my mind. I can’t even fully grasp what it’s like to run 26.2 miles at all, but doing that AFTER a ton of swimming and cycling? Good gosh. These people have to be muscle robots, right? Well, yeah, but they started out, at some point, as squishy non-athletes like me. I can do this.  Not an IronMan, let’s be realistic. I don’t have the kind of cash or time necessary for that. But a marathon? That’s a realistic, though ambitious, goal. I can do it. I can! I owe it to myself. For so long I’ve put off making any real sort of “fitness goal” because I don’t want to “push myself too hard” or “lock myself into something I can’t do,” and because “I could never be a runner. It’s time for all that to end. Through not pushing myself too hard, I’ve actually been not pushing myself. At all. And even a few weeks after I started running – 60 seconds at a time – I can tell my lungs and legs have come a long way. I’m finding out that the only real limit to what I can do is my mind, and I’ve made my mind up that I CAN.

So, tomorrow is the first step. I am going to finish a race. I will probably not run the entire time, and I will probably feel tired and sore as heck for a week after. But I’m going to cross the finish line, and on Monday I’m going to wear my race shirt to class. When we started doing the couch-to-5k program this summer, I never thought it would turn into me becoming an actual runner. But I am. I Am A Runner And I Am Training For A Marathon. I’m going to be whiny all the time over the next year, but I assume (or at least hope) I’ll eventually get used to the work..and the pain…and the pain. I will, right?

Happy birthday, next-year’s me!

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