When my alarm went off this morning at 6:30am, it was 72 degrees and humid after a hard night's rain.
I absolutely did not want to go.
My body was worn out and I'm a shitty runner in the heat and humidity. My ideal run temperature is 40 degrees in a tank and shorts. I love feeling chilled when I start, so that as the sweat pours, I'm never really hot or drained.
Despite how I felt, I laced up my shoes and headed out. A mile and a half into the ordeal, I found myself running by the park watching a girl's highschool track team do pyramid hill sprints. They were phenomenal.
The fastest girls charged the hill like it was nothing but a thing making it look effortless and easy. The bulk of the girls wove up the hill consistently gaining speed and eventually claiming victory at the top.
But it was the lone girl in the back with the bright pink shorts and the ponytail that caught my attention. The gap was growing larger and larger between her and the pack and it was clear that she was struggling and probably thinking, "What's the point? They're so much faster. Why am I even doing this?"
And so, like the former cheerleader/middle-aged stay-at-home mama/runner/underdog rooter that I am, I started screaming, "GO GO GO GO GO!!!!" on Dodge street (which is a busy, main thoroughfare in my community) until she made it up. I quickly ran away realizing that it's probably embarrassing as shit to be a high school girl with some random crazy lady cheering you on in front of your classmates.
But for a brief bit, as I was running away, I felt good....and I hope that she did too. She didn't give up. She triumphed.
6.8 miles into my own run, I was dying...the clouds parted, the sun was beaming down upon my head, back and shoulders and I was running into a wall of humidity. Even with my music cranked, ice water on my back, and lots of mantras floating through my head, I slowed to a walk, which I never do on my long runs.
And then, all of a sudden, I just thought, "Not on my watch....not today...not because you're tired...not because you don't want to....not because of your excuses....You are doing this. You are running 10 miles. You can do this and you will."
And I did. Truth be told, I wish I had a crazy lady like me cheering me on...but I became my own cheerleader and made my through.
It is because of runs like today that I love running. It shows me who I am and what I'm willing to do when my will out-wills my fear. Sometimes, no matter how you feel or what the circumstance, you just have to keep on running.