When I started this little Couch to 5K months ago, I never thought I'd stick with it.
My last two weeks of running were less than inspiring. Riddled with tendinitis or IT Band issues, every step had my mind racing to the pain I'd be in when I was done. I kept making excuses of why I couldn't run longer or harder or faster.
But then kept thinking that I have to do this. I need to do this.
And I did.
Yes, I walked at points. I swore (thanks for telling Dad, Keith!), I winced, I couldn't remember why I decided this would be a good idea.
My brother Keith and sister in law Brooke helped me every hill, every picnic table, every turn, every puddle, every garbage can. Every step.
I asked them at one point why they do this (both IronMan and I'm hyperventilating before mile 1) and they said, "When you're finished, you'll know."
My reply was either a swear (hope I didn't offend, Brooke) or "yeah, right".
We were making deals the whole way, if I ran to the dead pine, I could walk until the yellow post. As we were nearing the end, I thought we were turning right and making it right to the finish line, but no, turn right, then turn left. Ugh.
Another deal...okay, I walk from the blue garbage can to the corner and I promise, I'll run all the way to the end.
Then Keith asked if I wanted to walk a bit. Oh yes...I do.
"NO" says Brooke.
Brooke said no. And I'm glad she did.
I needed the tough love.
And I crossed the line.
Pretty late and flanked by the young kid and his grandpa and the stroller pushing family on the other.
But it doesn't matter. Because I ran in my neighborhood, alone, three times a week since April. I pushed myself. I made myself get off the couch and on the streets and for that, I am grateful and proud.
Who would have thought this chubby girl would even run to the refrigerator, let alone run 3 miles for fun?
So, why do I do this?
I certainly did it for my health. I did it to prove to myself that I could. But the one motivation I didn't know until the end, was inspiration.
I was inspired by my brother and sister and their encouragement and love.
I was inspired by my parents and husband and sons cheering me on (clearly bewildered that their mother was actually running).
I was inspired by all the other people running and the people volunteering and the cheering crowd.
But inspiration works both ways.
And now that I have crossed the finish line...
I run to inspire myself.