Way back in the spring, my sister suggested we run a half-marathon this fall. We’d been having a lot of fun all through the fall and spring running 5Ks, and she thought it sounded like a good challenge.
Now I’ll mention two important things about myself: I am ridiculously competitive, and I don’t love running distances. Unfortunately, these two things collided.
I agreed; I didn’t want her to do something so unquestionably awesome without me (and my ego was all, “Hey, I’m the runner in this family!”) so I couldn’t say no. And “the fall” sounded so far away; she could have gotten me to agree to anything.
We started officially training last week, after a long summer of slogging through 3 and 4 milers in the ungodly Oklahoma heat.
And then I decided to quit.
Sometimes in life, I make decisions based on who I think I want to be instead of who I actually am. This was one of those times. I thought it sounded good to be the sort of person who runs half-marathons; it sounded important and disciplined and exciting. It sounded like who I think it might be better to be.
But it doesn’t sound like me.
I like running. I like running three, four, at the most five miles. I like how it makes my body feel and how it keeps my emotions steady. I loved watching myself get faster last fall as I trained for all those 5Ks. It’s something I do for fun and for my health, something I can do as often or as infrequently as I choose.
Training to run 13.1 miles? Not fun. Not relaxing or soothing to my spirit. It turned running from something I choose to do to something I had to do. And that made me hate it.
I don’t want to hate it; it’s too important to me.
So, I quit the half-marathon training. It didn’t matter that I’d already paid my registration fee or told people I was going to be doing it. What mattered is that I recognized that being who I am, the girl who likes to run 5Ks and not a step farther, is good enough.
Now I remember that. And it makes me want to run.