If you follow along on instagram (love_laurabeth) you already know this.
I finally FINISHED my first race. No fake sprained ankles. No being carried off the track. I did it.
and it felt nothing short of AWESOME.
I could write about how nervous I was (!!!!!!!!!). I could write an entire post about the freak out I had the day before. Or about how I made an intricate playlist timed to the minute to keep me motivated and ended up NOT using it and talking with my brother and husband the entire time. I could write about how flippin cold it was (14!!!!! with WIND!!!!!!). I could write about a lot of things today but all I want to focus on is the finish.
Months ago when observing friends train and run races I didn't get it. I questioned why anyone would want to pay to get up early and run a long distance with people they didn't know. I could think of 12 reasons why THEY were crazy . Traffic. Sweating. Tight clothing. Seemed like torture not a hobby.
The decision came for me to try to run a race on Thanksgiving out of pep talks from my brother. I wanted to do it for myself and I wanted to prove to myself that I'm stronger mentally and physically than I give myself credit for. The past six months have become AS MUCH of an internal transformation as a physical one. My struggles have always been one in the same.
My knees were hurting. The slow ache of doing something repetitively that I've grown accustomed to once realizing that I'm no young chicken anymore. I kept thinking about them and bouncing back and forth between thoughts of
"push through" and
"push through" and
"I hope this doesn't result in an actual injury"
Scott kept pushing me with words of affirmation that I was doing great and that he was incredibly proud of me. John was three strides ahead pushing my pace and distracting me with random completely falsified facts about running on Thanksgiving and working the pace group we were with by shouting "MASHED POTATOES!" and "PUMPKIN PIE!!"
I was enjoying this. I was loving every single second. My knees were hurting, my hands were cold, but I felt completely ALIVE. I had made a goal, and in this moment I was completing it. I am a sucker for a hopeful story and I was writing my own.
I turned onto the final straightaway leading into the chute and I heard cheering. Cheering from complete strangers not meant for me, but it didn't matter. Tears started flowing ( and promptly freezing) because of the pride and success I was feeling for myself.
Six months ago I was crying on back porch feeling empty, defeated, and alone.
Today, I was FINISHING a 4.6 mile run.
My brother and husband slowed down the last few strides of the race and let me pull ahead. My strides were long and my heart was racing. I had the largest smile on my face as I pushed through the finish line and let myself enjoy the fact that I had done it.
I now know why people do races.
So they can finish them.
because finishing? it's really fun.
I'd like to finish a lot more in the days and years ahead.
Because now? I know I can do it.