It’s not every day that you have to wipe sweat off of your glow stick crown.
Such is the life of a glow-runner I suppose. This past weekend I had my first race in quite a while. Last time I had seriously timed myself I was running a very snail-like 13 minute pace. Nothing to feel good about I assure you. I chalk it up to the fact that I’m an absolutely terrible runner. No really, it is just NOT my thing. But I do it for the challenge, not the ease. So I signed up for the Great Glow Run in New Bern, NC along with many of the Stroller Warrior Gals. None of whom I know besides Kari here who came with me from Japan. I wasn’t really sure of what I had gotten myself into until about an hour before the race started.
I’m somewhere back here behind about 700 people. With 1,000 registered racers, and 800+ that actually showed up, I was blown away by my first race in the United States. Sunset is glorious, runners all buzzing, and me, trying to stay motivated, telling myself I can keep up with my beautiful friends. You see it’s been hard lately. I can’t quite find the motivation this go around. As hard as it is to admit, I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life. Still average by health code standards, but not healthy enough by mine. I think a huge problem that women face isn’t the fact that they’re actually overweight, but that they know they can be better than what they are. I can be better. I can be healthier. I can do more. And yet I don’t. I get discouraged, I feel insecure. Then a race like this comes along and I feel that crossing the finish line feeling, the one only runners know.
That no matter what your final time is, you’ve accomplished something. And I did, I beat my goal time by about 6 minutes and quickened my mile pace by almost 2 minutes. Proof that the going is slow, quite literally, but that it’s improving. I seem to remember in Junior High and High School having to run 9 minute miles, it’s always in the back of my mind. I mean granted I was about 110lbs and had a metabolism that could perform by itself in the Olympics, but really… I think about it still. My metabolism is still doing pretty well, but I couldn’t run a 9 minute mile without passing out half-way through in the coffee puddle that would be my blood. So how do you stay motivated? When the only person you’re home with all day is a 3 year old that could care less how fast he is going, but that he just gets to ride in the stroller, you don’t get someone cheering you on the whole way like you do at races. Maybe I just need a track in my playlist of cheering for a half an hour. My neighbors already judge the weird blonde freak that runs circles in the neighborhood, I assume it would only get worse if I have my hands in the air shout-singing Eye of the Tiger.
I have to draw motivation from somewhere. Whether it’s the future, and having to run drills with what will be hopefully the most athletic son ever, or the women I look up to like Stroller Warriors, or my step-mom. I have to draw on every ounce I can find. Some days it’s harder than others, but the point is to be out regardless. I have to challenge myself, keep myself accountable, even when it seems impossible to do any better than average. That is what I’m struggling with at the moment, keeping myself accountable. So the Glow Run reminded me that it can be fun, and it is worth it. It’s worth the finishing feeling. The days I feel like being a starfish in bed, I need to be up having a slice of PB toast, amping myself up, and tearing up some asphalt with my stroller-loving son. Eye of the Tiger or not, I’m gonna cross those finish lines, and I’m going to do it with a smile. Well maybe not a smile, half wince, half smile, none of it photogenic. Thank God for the veil of darkness and funny glow sticks.
Here’s to the next race and feeling like Rocky.