Thursday, September 20, 2007

Running for it

I enjoy running, but it’s something that I didn’t discover until after I went to college. I grew up in the country and boy did I have an awesome childhood in rural Idaho, but the only times I ran were when it involved chasing a ball in some sport or running through the fields to get the pipe moved before the sun went down. But I didn’t just run for the heck of it.

Last year on Labor Day, when my baby Maggie was one year old, I ran the Payson Onion Days 5K and took 10th in my division with a time of 31 minutes 50.9 seconds. Now I know I wasn’t as fast as the roadrunner or anything but I wanted to do it. When my dad, the farmer/truck driver, heard about it he said, “Why in the world would you want to do that?” I had my reasons.
Because of complications with my pregnancy (Maggie #2), the only way I could go for a walk outside was when my amazing husband would push me in a wheelchair while I held our first little girl, Gracie, on my ever-diminishing lap.
So I wanted to run because I was so thankful that I could. My little sister and I ran together and we both caught the running bug.
I kept running through the year and shaving more seconds off my time. I kept running through blisters, sore hips, shin splints and I tried not to focus on unpleasant experiences like the one I had this morning when two little, yippy drop-kick dogs chased me and nipped at my ankles and bit my running pants.

I kept running because now I had a goal in mind. I was still thankful with each step that I was able to run, but I wanted to be faster. My sister and I have completed three 5K races this past summer and we’re gearing up for our fourth one.
I was excited to run the Payson 5K again earlier this month because I really like the route. It heads out through the rural area of Payson where we ran past greenhouses, fields, and pastures filled with horses that ran in wild circles and whinnied when hundreds of people ran by them.
It was a beautiful run and I trimmed almost 3 ½ minutes off my time and finished the race in 28 minutes and exactly 2 seconds! Now I still know there’s lots faster people out there, (obviously because with the event’s increased attendance this year I still placed 10th in my division even though I was faster), but I feel good about myself. I’m a mother of two and I can outrun drop-kick dogs! I did place 37th overall.
This morning I ran my own 5K route through the tiny town where I live. I ran along the frontage road where the noisy freeway roars past, and then I ran under a little overpass and for a moment there was a lull in traffic and I could hear my steps echoing off the cement walls. Over the music on my ipod, and the birds chirping in the trees, my steps could be heard in rhythm with everything around me. And I think that’s why I run, I like the feeling of chasing the wind and remembering how it felt to run through the fields of my youth, grasping at the rhythm of nature. I’m a dream-chaser and I’m running hard and enjoying every minute of it.

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