My favorite post-work route is just outside my office. I know exactly which turns to make to get the distance I want, whether it's one, two, or three miles. On Tuesday, I opted for a route that would definitely give me two miles but also the option of three if I decided I wanted to go a little further. The route weaves around the on-site ponds and along two busy streets, especially during the evening commute.
During my run, I went past a lot of motorists -- some moving and some stopped. A lot of them stared at me. Probably because I was in short sleeves in December. And that ... right there ... is a key change in my running journey. A running milestone that has nothing to do with distance or time.
"Do you see that face she's making? Gross."
"Do you see the way she jiggles? Gross"
"Who is that girl fooling? She's not a runner."
"She definitely doesn't look like a runner."
All of these thoughts made me delay signing up for a race. I was convinced people would point and laugh at me. When I confessed this to my friend, Jennie (the one who
I kept that in mind and finally signed up for a race. Sure enough, no one pointed and laughed. Other runners were caught up in their own heads. Race spectators were all there to support and encourage runners -- even those they didn't know. I eventually got over my feelings of insecurity and I haven't really looked back.
I only had one instance where this wasn't true. A few years ago, I was running here in my city. Some guy rolled down his car window and yelled out to me, "Keep running -- you're still fat!" Rude, right? At the time, it really stung. But now I just think that guy was a jerk and well, he was in a car, so he probably can't run. And that was once. Out of how many runs? Hundreds. Maybe even thousands.
So when people were staring at me the other night, and my first instinct was to assume it was about my short sleeves, that's progress. That's huge. It's a statement of how far I've come in my running journey. Maybe I'm not fast. Maybe I haven't done a full marathon. But I've found a place where running is enjoyable. Running is my stress relief after a bad day. Running is my escape from the computer and social media. Running is how I meet up with old friends and make new ones. Running is something I do for me. And I don't care what anyone thinks of me.
Last week's workoutsFriday: Off
Monday: Fit Fusion
Tuesday: 3-mile outdoor run
Wednesday: Core + Fit Fusion
Thursday: 1-mile walk
This was a pretty good week for workouts. I'm surprised at myself.
I'm looking forward to my final race of the year tomorrow!