But this year, I slowly began picking it back up. A few miles here, a run at the gym there. I completed the Couch to 10K program, and then ran a 10K in March with some friends. Strangely enough, I began to find myself yearning for the pavement again. Joey and I ambitiously signed up for The Triple Peach, a series of races in Atlanta this summer and fall. We ran the Peachtree Road Race in July, a 10K, The Atlanta 10-miler in October, and today we capped off the trifecta with the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon.
These races have pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. Over the past few years, I've stopped telling people that I'm a runner. When talking about running or races, I'd say "I used to run." I came up with so many excuses and justifications for not running. I have too many kids. It's too hard to schedule runs. I don't have time. I've gained too much weight. I felt sad, because I felt like a small part of my identity was gone.
But as selfish as it may sound, running is one of the only things in my life that's mine and mine alone. It's my alone time; my quiet time. I love running because you get out what you put in. Today I smiled through half of my race because I was so ecstatic just be out there.
I ended up beating my best half marathon time by seven minutes! I crossed the finish line and almost burst into tears because I was so happy. I really and truley never thought I'd find the joy in running again. But after today, I'm already excited about my next race.
My heart is full of gratitude today. For the ability to run, for the time to run, and for my husband and mother-in-law for helping out with the kids so I could fit in my training runs. I hope that you all had a wonderful, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.