Still Chasing

Five years ago this month I had a big first.

I packed myself and my running shoes in the car, drove to Fargo, North Dakota, and encountered snow flurries on the way. In the middle of October.

I was worried I hadn’t even brought a hat, but my best friend didn’t let me freeze the next morning. She borrowed me a black Carhartt hat, she got me to the start, and she was at the finish cheering when I completed my first half marathon.

20141015-075644.jpg

20141015-075657.jpg

She ran the 5K while I ran the half, but I still maintain she’s faster than me any day. Her free time is also divided between riding horse and driving motorcycle, so I couldn’t fault her for not training for the half. 🙂

I had a lot of thoughts during that cold 13.1 miles, but I don’t think I ever doubted I would finish. I knew I wouldn’t be very fast and the end might not be pretty, but I would get there.

Fast is a strange concept when you’re a middle-of-the-pack girl like me. I know I wasn’t fast when I first started running longer distances. Now that I’ve taken almost 30 minutes (okay, 27 minutes) off my first half marathon time I still don’t think I’m fast. Faster maybe, but I guess fast is an illusive concept that will keep me training and chasing the next goal. I suppose unless you’re an aspiring Olympian we’re all just somewhere in the middle striving to feel healthy, alive, and just a little bit better than we were the day before.

Maybe I have this desire because I was never good at sports as a kid. I’ve always had knobby knees, pointy elbows, and been more thin than thick. I wasn’t built to muscle my way through high contact team sports, and I also lacked the coordination necessary for most of them. In reality, I think I also lacked the confidence. I should have been fast because of my skinny limbs, but I wasn’t that either.

My best friend is also the one who convinced me to try track in seventh grade. That was the push I needed to finally join a team. It wasn’t exactly a success story because I didn’t train or focus well enough to be very competitive, but I did see improvement. I ran hurdles because not too many girls wanted to, and one singular year I qualified for the section meet. I was ecstatic.

20141015-085855.jpg

I only stuck with track through tenth grade, but I don’t regret the other things (4-H, music, speech, FFA, drama, work, academics, and family & friends) I filled my time with. They shaped me into me and helped develop the skills I needed for college and beyond.

I would never have been a great runner, but for some reason running was waiting for me five years ago. It gave me a renewed chance. I also think it’s a blessing God helped me rediscover once the happy chaos of college was over. After four busy years, I was a newlywed living in a small town with few friends or connections beyond my husband and the farm. I love those things, but that kind of change is still tough.

I had the maturity at this point to train harder, and I found a community of support through other runners that encouraged me to go farther. My readers and this blog are part of that community too!

A year and a half after this October race I drove back to Fargo for my first marathon. Apparently I like flat when I’m tackling a new distance. My friend thought this was certainly more crazy, but she still helped me navigate to the start and was cheering at the finish.

I don’t know what the next five years will bring, but I suspect I will still be chasing.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Running, This and That and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Still Chasing

  1. I also was not “athletic” growing up and would never have imagined that I’d enjoy running as much as I do. I think it’s because running is such an individual thing but also a community to be a part of. Hoping to get back out there this week!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s