It was pretty simple actually.
I would complete a race for every month of 2014.
Didn’t matter the distance or the location.
The challenge would be in committing myself to step away from the solitude I most appreciated in running and learn to love the run in whatever form it came to me.
Here I am 11 months later-
1 sprained toe,
1 first place finish (for my age group mind you),
2 rounds of cortisone injections,
3 half marathons,
4 pairs of running shoes,
75.8 racing miles across 3 states.
I have improved my 4 miler time by a whopping 4 minutes and knocked off 3 minutes from my first half marathon in April to my last half marathon in October.
I have spent more time with my treadmill then my dog.
I have vomited, wiped my mouth and kept on running.
I have broken down in tears from the exhaustion, the emotion, the pain.
I share all of this because I am proud.
I have earned every last moment of this shameless brag.
I am stronger than I ever imagined.
If given the choice to run a 10 miler on my on or a crowded 5k, I would still choose the 10 miler. But, what I have learned, is how to quiet my head and calm my heart regardless of who is running beside me.
Just one more race to go, a holiday four miler.
In all honesty it feels a bit anti-climactic.
I know I will finish.
I know I will feel joy and accomplishment at the end.
The real victory is in the gift I have already been given.
That gift was unwrapped somewhere along mile 2 on a 8 degree race day in January of 2014.
The women who has never considered herself an athlete now understands what it feels like to be a warrior.
You are an inspiration to those around you – both in your athletic accomplishment and determination to move forward. Your girls have an exceptional role model. My love and respect, Janet