Why am I doing this?

I've been asking myself this question a lot here lately. As the week day runs get longer and the weekend long runs get much longer, each day I ask, "Why am I doing this?" The past several months have been tough for me. I feel ridiculous even complaining, as I know I am lucky and blessed and have more than so many people in the world. But I left a place that I love with so many of the people who have helped shape me into the person I am today. I miss them every day. North Carolina is where I found my power to run.

It started with my now ex husband - he told me about how after his previous relationship ended, he got out and he ran. He pushed himself and he ran a 5K. He talked about how proud it made him. Then I met Lista. Lista was recovering from breast cancer and asked me to join her 5K team. I started running laps around my neighborhood. That year, 2005, I ran what is still my best 5K time to date. Lista's breast cancer came back a few years later to take her life. She was in her early 30s. After my divorce, I gave up running for a bit. I took some time in "self-destruct" mode. I partied, I cried, I went to therapy.

Then there has always been Lauren. Lauren is one of those people who has almost always known that running is a constant in her life. It is where she can center herself and find peace. She asked for years for me to run with her. I never had the confidence to do so. Then one day I did. And it was wonderful. And Meredith suggested we all run a half marathon. So we did. We all trained together. Every Saturday we met and faced the demon. The long run. I made it through because they were there with me.

Now I face the trail on my own. The daily runs and the long runs. I traverse that path on my own. Slowly. 11 minutes or more a mile on most days. 10:30 per mile on an amazing day. I run to show myself I can do it. That I am capable of sticking with the plan and achieving the goal. That I can face hardship and not walk away. That I can force myself to do something I had no idea I could do. And now, in this place without my girls, my running partners, my support, I run alone to show that I will be able to make it through. That I have purpose. Maybe not to the larger world, but to me. To my husband. To be healthy. To be strong. To be dedicated.

It's hard. The running. The missing my friends and family. But I keep going, one step in front of the other. In snow, rain and sun. In wind, heat and humidity. I hate it and I love it. I run for me and I run for us.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I MISS MY RUNNING BUDDY!!! And while the long runs suck solo (believe me I know!) I feel like we're still running together. Miss you lots lady. Cannot WAIT for the C-bus Half on May 1st! LOVE YOU.