I've always been an avid gym-goer, but , despite multiple attempts, have never been a full out "runner." Nor did I really have any desire to be a long distance runner. In fact, the idea was horrifying to me. Placing one foot in front of the other for mile after mile, left with nothing but your own thoughts? No thank you. However, as time went on something started take root within me. To spend time outside, create new self-discipline, and work toward achieving something bigger than yourself started to look more and more attractive. While I always loved my reliable Zumba classes, I valued the idea of training toward a goal.
In January I signed up for the Cherry Blossom and the accompanying training program. It started out simply enough, with short running times and lots of walking breaks. In no time at all, I found myself finishing 3-4 mile runs. After that, I completed a distance that was my new personal record. And then I kept breaking it the record. And again. It felt great! Finally, I completed my last long run before the race - 8 miles. All of the hard work and time that I put into training had been for a purpose, and it was here. Having stuck to the training program, I had confidence I could complete the distance.
And complete it I did! I finished just under my goal time without taking a single walking break. The runner's high I experienced afterward was reward enough in itself.
But then there was the Cherry Blossom brunch. The whole point of running 10 miles at 7:30 am on a Sunday (well, not really, but a great perk!). Some of my very devoted friends woke up quite early for a weekend to meet me at the finish line, and we feasted on bloody marys, pizza, burgers, and beer at Gordon Biersch.
There were even magic tricks -
When I arrived home (for a bath and a nap, of course), there were these beautiful flowers waiting for me, courtesy of my amazing family.
When's the next race??