I never considered myself a runner. I didn't even really like running. I've ran three 5K's in the past two years, but I didn't really train and just "winged" it. Getting ready for this run though made me stay disciplined and actually get to the gym (or outside) at least a few times a week. The couple weeks that I didn't train, I paid for it by getting sick and not finishing at the lake on our "long run" that weekend. I probably needed that experience to prove to myself I had to train.
Somewhere along the way, I feel like I turned into a runner. I actually enjoy running now. A couple of miles doesn't kill me anymore; it feels like a good warm-up. If I go a few days without running now, I'm itching to go.
I learned a few things about myself, too. Sounds clique, but: I learned that I can push myself to go farther. That it won't kill me. A little pain isn't really too bad. I also was reminded what God has done when He made our bodies. I have a new respect for the blessing I have to be able to run and breathe. It's amazing that He made our bodies to be able to adapt and become "running-material" with a little training. Even for a 30-yr-old who never ran longer than 3 miles before.
I'm so glad I got to train with Josh on our long runs every couple of weeks. I was blessed with good friends and family who encouraged me during the training and indulgently read my running brag texts. And the friends and fam who watched my kids so Josh and I could even go on a long run. It was super that Josh stayed with me during the race. Even though I got real slow at the end due to the incredible cold and tired muscles. I was also amazed at the people who stood in the rain along the route and cheered us on. We knew some (thanks Mom and Dad for bringing the boys!), but most we didn't. It's amazing to see how those smiling faces and hear the encouraging words to finish the race.
I'm looking forward to training for our next big race. Not sure if I'll ever do a full marathon, but I definitely want to do a half-marathon again! Especially if there's no rain!