I have the sore muscles to prove it.
When I started running almost a year ago, I never thought I could run for 6.2 miles. (Actually, my GPS says we did 6.48 miles, and I think it is smarter than the race organizers. But I digress.)
In the beginning, I barely could jog for 90 seconds, much less more than a hour. When I ran my first 5K last autumn, I was so proud of myself. And a little shocked too.
Fast forward another nine months, and I doubled that distance. A real 10K on a challenging course in July (there’s a big hill and a very long, boring part in the middle where we had to weave in-between the walkers in a separate race). It was not an easy race. My friend’s husband asked us if we had fun after we finished. We agreed, “fun” would not be the word we would have chosen.
I’ll be honest, it was hard. I wanted it to end. Even after all the training, there were several places where I just wanted to stop. But I didn’t. I ran the whole way, every step.
After we finished, I was numb with shock. I couldn’t believe I had done it. It was surreal. I wasn’t triumphant or excited or relieved, which you think I would have been, considering.
Honestly, I found it was a little disturbing. Because I learned a huge lesson when I crossed the finish line. Which is I am capable of more than I think I am. And if I can run a 10K, something I never thought I could do in million years, what else can I do? How else have I been holding myself back?
I’m in a rut in my life — a middle-aged slump caused by a huge amount of pressure and stress from multiple areas of my life. It is not easy being a 41-year-old mother of two with a small business. There’s not much I can do about many of the circumstances of my life, and most of it I wouldn’t change if I could.
But after the race this morning, I thought about the other things I’ve told myself I can’t do my whole life. And I realized, maybe I was wrong about a lot of those things.
Because I ran a 10K today. And I am not making that up.