I love working out. But I'm more of a kickboxing/weight lifting gal. I never ever liked running. I used to joke that you'd never catch me running unless someone was chasing me. My husband is an avid runner. He ran his first half marathon (with great time) this past spring. I always have marveled at how gracefully he runs. In the past, when I tried to run, I'd start huffing and puffing pathetically before the first quarter-mile lap was up. But this past year, I decided to really try to learn how to run. A few times each week, I'd hop on the treadmill and give it a go. To my amazement, I learned to really love it. The first half mile is always a b**ch. But once I get past the hard part, I find that endorphins kick in, and I really love the feeling of just going and going.
Running has become an escape for me. These past few months I've had some pretty stressful times as a mom. My 5 year old is going through what I hope is a defiant stage. It seems like every minute of the afternoon and evening, when he gets home from school, I am walking on egg shells trying to avoid invoking a temper tantrum. Usually I am unsuccessful. I seem to remember 5 being a rough year for my oldest child too. It's such a year of change... school begins, scheduling becomes hectic trying to balance school, sports and play. It's no wonder that little ones are stressed and take it out on the one person they feel closest to. However, it stinks for us moms. I can't tell you how happy I am to hand over the kiddos on those rough days to my husband when he comes home so that I can enjoy an hour on my treadmill. Once I begin running, I envision myself running away from all of my problems. And when my run is over, I feel completely renewed.
But I never ever had thought that I'd EVER be in a race. Running has turned into something deeply personal for me. I don't like running around others. I like that time alone on my treadmill, not worrying about anyone else. However, when I heard about this 5-mile run in my hometown, I thought it sounded like a wonderful opportunity. I've been "training" for it, but I still have a long way to go.
The run is on Thanksgiving morning, which makes it even more special. I adore Thanksgiving — not because of the feasting, though I quite enjoy that part — but because it's a time to really thank God for my blessings. I don't do that enough. This run will be my time to spend contemplating those blessings early that morning and really concentrating on the importance of the day. In addition, funds raised by the run benefit the homeless in my hometown. My heart breaks for those who have no family, no home and no table at which to feast. I can't imagine a better way to spend Thanksgiving than to be able to help those who are struggling right now.
So, on Nov. 25 I shall slog (sloooooooow jog) 5 miles praying the entire way. I'll be praying for those who are in need. I'll be saying thanks for my many blessings. And I'll be praying that I can cross that finish line. :-)