Unlike Jane, I didn’t cheat.

Number 1: Run a half marathon.

As I was walking out the door one day last week, my brother-in-law snidely remarked, “How much longer are you going to keep this up?”

“Um, forever!!” And I walked out the door for my every-other-nightly run. Of course, these days, with the cold weather, it takes me about 30 minutes longer to build up the desire to run. But I can’t stop. I’ve been doing this too long – I’m committed.

Although there have been times where I’ve wondered if I will keep it up. I began running in February when I was living in Rwanda, and there was no other form of exercise that was accessible to me. [I should note here that I briefly considered joining a gym, but I was certainly the only woman there, and I was too chicken]. I was stressed out. I was tired. I thought I was going to kill someone. I decided that it was time for me to do something. Running it was.

When I returned to the US a few months ago, I questioned if I would keep it up. But I decided that I had been running too long. I couldn’t stop – maybe in a few months, I would max out and move on, but as long as I was excited to run, I was going to run! Now, the nights are colder, and I’ve wondered if I should join a gym and use a treadmill. But I just can’t. There’s something about running outside. I would miss the people I see in my neighborhood. I would miss the random obstacles, like telephone poles and signposts. I would miss cars narrowly missing me as people excitedly drive home after long days at work. I would miss the crunch of leaves, the crisp air. I would miss the house that, for some strange reason, always smells of Bounce sheets. I would miss feeling like I was a part of something real.

I’m certainly not up to the half-marathon level yet – I’ve plateaued at about 8 miles-ish. And I wouldn’t call myself the best runner ever (do you ever watch your shadow when you’re running? My form is terrible!). But I am going to keep this up, and I’ll keep you guys posted on when I sign up for my half marathon.

And maybe, just maybe, if you look out your Starbucks window, you’ll see me wildly flailing my arms and slowly moving-faster-than-walking by you…

Watch out, world!

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