You know that sticker on facebook that says, "Running. If you ever see me running, you'd better run too...because something is chasing me,"? I've laughed at that one several times, but have come to really enjoy running. Today I realized that it's because someone is chasing me.
I was supposed to run a 5K this morning. It's something I've always wanted to do. It's something I had wanted to cross off of my bucket list. Although I've wanted to, I'd never really nailed down a day to do it. I decided to set a date and that date was today. My sister-in-law called about a month ago and said that she was going to try one on June 23 and wanted to know if I wanted to do it with her. The idea of picking a day to do this excited me and I began to try and train for it. I realize that a 5K is small potatoes in the running world, but it was going to mean something to me. I went running when I could, which wasn't often enough, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I was doing ok, but only getting to about a mile or so before having to stop for a breather. I was getting nervous as the day approached because I had never made it the full three miles and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to finish. Everyone kept telling me that I'd be fine because people are stationed all along the way cheering you on and giving you drinks of water. Motivation would be everywhere.
Well, my life has a way of catching up to me and my big dreams and several roller coaster moments with my son's health caused me to miss the deadline for payment of the race. And more importantly, didn't allow me to train as I had wanted. So, once again, I felt that I'd been cheated. I went to bed last night thinking about how nice it would have been to cross that finish line this morning. It took me hours to fall asleep, and when I finally did, my son coughed and whined a little and I went to check on him. It was 3:30 in the morning. I laid back down, but I tossed and turned for the next hour and a half. Finally I decided that enough was enough. I got up, put my running shoes on, grabbed my ipod, and hit the road at 5am. And I ran. I ran hard and I didn't look back. I pictured the face of my son, and the pain he endures on a daily basis. I ran through tears. I ran through side cramps. I ran for me.
I pushed myself further and further, and each time I felt the urge to quit, I kept going. So, I'd like to thank you, Epilepsy. Because it's your ugly face that kept me going in my weakest moments. It was the desire to kick your ass that made me push and push and push. When I got home, I got in my van and tracked my route. I kept my eyes away from the dash as it ticked away the miles. I was waiting for that last moment. The moment when I'd pull back into my driveway and see either triumph or defeat. I thought about how I'd feel if I hadn't quite made it as far as I'd wanted. I may not have had the people standing along the road cheering me on. And I may not have had the luxury of water breaks, but I certainly had motivation. I decided that either way, it would be a victory. I pulled into my driveway, looked down at the dash and saw it...3.1 miles. I'm pretty sure that a 5K is 3.2. Well, I'll tell you what, Epilepsy, you can have that last tenth of a mile. Because today is mine. I got up before the sun. I got up before you could knock me down. And today, I win.