For those of you who are new to running, or maybe have been running a while, but it doesn't come easy or natural for you, you probably remember this.
Your first mile. The first mile you ran without stopping, without walking. Just you and your shoes racing to that imaginary line that is "1 Mile."
For some reason I was thinking about that today on my run. Sometimes when I get a little discouraged with myself: I'm not fast enough, I can't run long enough, or whatever it may be, I think about how far I've come. Instead of comparing myself to where I want to be, I compare myself to where I was. Don't get me wrong, I still have goals, I still look forward to the future, and where I hope to be, but I try not to beat myself up over the fact that I'm not there yet. After all, it is a process.
I have come a very long way. When I decided that I was going to run the Austin Half Marathon, I had never run long distance before, ever! Not only that, but I was not in any shape to be running any sort of distance. I was always very active as a kid. I was the girl running around with the boys playing hide and seek, Marco Polo, or kick ball. I played soccer and basketball for years. But once I got into high school, well, you know, things just change. Without getting into much detail, during my training for the half marathon, I lost close to 30 pounds (that doesn't include the 20 I lost boxing before I started running). So yeah, it was a challenge to say the least. My coach (my dad - a professional triathlete and coach) was excellent! I slowly started running more and more, feeling more confident.
Then, that day, the day I said to myself "I will run 1 mile." For those who know me know that once I set my mind to something (no matter how silly or insignificant it may seem to others) I will do it, no excuses. (I'm pretty sure that's the stubborn, feistienss in me, but it can be a good thing!) I ran on the treadmill that day so I can accurately calculate my mile... As silly as it seems (especially to those who running comes very naturally) seeing that 1.0 mile on the treadmill, knowing I ran the entire time, giving it all I had, but the biggest smile on my face.
Ever since then, I've loved the first mile! The first mile of a run is awesome. Let's me know I'm on my way (and sometimes -rarely- makes me ask myself why I'm running). The first mile of a race...whoa, what a rush! I love seeing that "MILE 1" on the side of the road. Always puts a smile on my face.
Now 1 mile is nothing, 3 miles is even a bit on the easy side. Eventually I'd like to run the entire half marathon - all 13.1 miles! Someday, I know I'll do it!! I just gotta keep setting my goals and moving forward. Reflecting on the past helps me look forward to the future in a positive light!
Well, happy running!