Monday, October 14, 2013
Last month, I signed up for a road race. I hadn't participated in one since 2010. Heck, I hadn't really been running regularly since 2008. But after Maggie was born, I had the urge to get back in the habit of working out and I remembered how being registered for a road race motivated me like nothing else. I felt a sense of obligation to follow through and meet the goal of completing the race.
Today was race day. I left my house in plenty of time to get parked and pick up my race number and shirt. Since it was a holiday, Boston's parking rules weren't the usual and I didn't take the time to look them up before I headed downtown. Long story short, I parked in two different neighborhoods and rode the T into Boston twice before getting to the start line.
As I was driving around, looking for parking and getting discouraged I couldn't find a metered spot, I doubted if I should even do the 10K. Once I was downtown and had my race number, I looked up the parking rules using my phone and realized I needed to move my car to avoid a potential ticket.
Having my race shirt (aren't the race shirts half the reason to participate?) in hand and being back in the car on the search for a parking spot again, I was so close to just driving home. Even though I knew of a few people running, I had neglected to make plans to meet anyone. With 37,000 women registered I was doubtful I'd come across anyone I knew.
Despite the doubts creeping in, something pushed me on. Maybe it was that goal of training for a road race I'd set at the beginning of September or the $42 registration fee that made me find a second parking place and get back on the T to make my way to the start line.
I did it. Three months postpartum and I was chasing down the runner's high. My feet were pounding the streets of Boston. As if running in my favorite city wasn't enough, the weather was downright perfect and the trees were brilliant shades of gold, orange and red.
As I ran, I thought about how I was no longer running for me. I was doing it for Maggie. My stubborn ways paid off and I realized how compelled I am to take care of myself like never before, to be an example for my little girl.
Running can be a mental challenge, as much as a physical challenge for me. I'm so glad I stuck it out and finished the race. I may not have had a time comparable to my 10K in 2007, but I finished the race and met my goal. I just hope I remember that when I struggle to get out of bed in the morning from being sore (actually, I already am).