I woke at 5:58am today. The sun peeked into my window and beckoned me to get up.
"But I'm tired," I said.
And then I remembered the magazine clipping that sits on my desk: "If you think you'll have enough time to run tomorrow, remember you said that yesterday."
So I got up and put on my running gear. Have I mentioned that I am training for my first 10k (and that it has been over 3 years since I entered my last race)?
Out the door I went. About three deer and seven minutes into the run I realized that my Nike+ Sportsband was not on. Seven whole minutes. That's like an eternity to a tracker like me.
Anyway, I fire up my sports band (it's not that serious really, I just pressed the button) and walked another .15 miles before I started to run. My training program had me scheduled for a 5 mile run today. Truth be told, part of me didn't want to get out of bed and it wasn't because I was tired. Although I am training for a 10K, the thought of running 5 or 6 or more miles frightens me.
I ran anyway. I ran down Woodland Avenue to to mouth of the Giralda Farms loop. I kept going down Woodland towards Treadwell Avenue. No sweat, I thought to myself (ok,maybe I was sweating, but the run wasn't so bad). As I approached Treadwell it dawned on me that in order to get close to my 5 miles that I would have to race the hill that I've only conquered once.
I ran anyway. The hill, really two hills on one road, tried to take me out. As I made my way up the first hill my mind and heart were belting out a chorus of "Please Jesus" that was so loud it drowned out Soul II Soul playing on my iPod. On the second hill I wanted to quit. I wanted to quit several times, but I ran anyway. And, thanks be to God, there was an angel at the top of that hill who encouraged me to keep on going.
As I reached the top, a salt-and-pepper haired—rather handsome—white gentleman was running towards me. The racism and classism in Madison makes the "runner's hello" unpredictable at times.** I smile and speak anyway.
"Good Morning," I said as I threw up my hand to wave.
"Good Morning, nice work up that hill!" he replied.
"Thank you," I gushed. (Which he couldn't see because he was dusting me at that point.)
Nice work up that hill! Yes, it was nice work, wasn't it. His encouragement was just what I needed to keep me going. So I kept running and running and running. Five—one, two, three, four, five—miles later I was at my front door and I had never stopped running!
I ran anyway...and I felt great! I felt strong! I feel like these thighs that I demonized for years are doing things I never imagined that could do. I feel like I will be able to run my 10k with ease. Heck, maybe I'll train for a half marathon after the 10K. Race or no race, I'm going to run anyway...
**I meant to post this days ago but I was so caught up with getting stuff done for school. On my Saturday run, I saw a sistah (code word: Black Woman) running on the loop. Approaching most white women and some white men is always awkward because not everyone is either happy to see me or socially inept enough to smile and say hello. Well, this sistah and I gave each other a virtual hug as we passed each other the first time. It was like a family reunion. I knew what I was thinking...a Black woman in Madison (rare in and of itself)...running (Praise God!). She was doing it, too! She made me proud and inspired me to push harder. On the second passing I lifted my earbuds from my ear and said, "You don't know how glad I am to see you out running!"
"Me, too girl. Me, too!" she replied as she chuckled. Black Girls Run, you know. We really do!
image 2 is from April 2007, my last race before starting Seminary
image 1 is a screenshot from the Nike+ website showing this morning's run