Lessons From the Mid-Pack
I freely and openly admit it.
And I am pretty proud of it.
I am a mid-pack girl.
For as hard as I have trained I have never been the one that will be up front in any race. I will be the be the gal that is slow and steady, but gets to the finish line with her head held high. I have have had countless people ask me the question; “Why do I run, if I know I will never compete?” My answer is always almost the same, its not about the competition (though I like getting faster than my last time), but it has been about the things I have learned along the way have been well worth the training, the pain, the blood (yes, I say blood), sweat and tears.
1- The 256 pound me deserves a great life: I was a former 256 pounder who never thought running was for her. It was a fight to get me into my first race, and even then I swore I would never run another race because I was embarrassed about how slow I was. What I failed to realize at that point, was that it took a lot of strength to get out there and do it, and I could keep doing it. It was something that seeped into my day to day life. I started making bigger jumps.
2- Every problem can be handled one step at a time: One of the first things I was taught when I started running is when you feel like a distance is overwhelming and you do not think you can accomplish anymore, stop worrying about the finish line and work on making the step in front of you the best step you can, and keep building from there. This has not only helped me through races, but it has helped me face non-running problems head on.
3- Find the inspiration from the people around you: I have met some of the most amazing people who have become my closest friends in running. They inspire me when times get tough, we share our accomplishments, we share our struggles, we are there for each other no matter what. And when it comes down to it, running has gotten me out of my shell, revealing a social butterfly. I have also crossed paths with people at races who needed support to get through and I try to encourage them on, and I in turn have been encouraged and supported when things have gotten rough. One of my favorite stories comes from the last marathon in OKC in 2013. I met two ladies at mile 12 who kept playing leap frog with me. We ended up running together for the second half together and pushed each other through multiple injuries.
4- Competitive runners are AWESOME: There has been a lot of talk that competitive runners do not like how some run just to compete with themselves. I have never ever found that to be the case. I have not only been supported by some amazing fast, speedy competitive runners. But they are the nicest people.
5- Dreams come true: In the last year or so I made a list of running dreams. One of them was to be able to run the SF Marathon and put my two feet on the Golden Gate Bridge. I can’t wait to meet all of you in July to see a dream come true. If you are on the fence, join me!
And if you see me in the middle of the pack, make sure you say Hi and introduce yourself.