Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Running + Inspiration

Running is hard!  I've always thought I couldn't do it, always thought my knees were those of an 80 year old woman (yet there are plenty of women more than twice my age that are more than twice as fit as me!), always thought running was a high-impact, joint-ruining waste of time.  Yet so many people around me loved it, and put stickers all over their car for it, and would get up with the morning song birds before dawn and wear neon tights just to go do it every day.  What were these people thinking?

Today was one of the best runs I've ever had, and I went farther than I have ever gone - 5 miles!  May not seem like much, but to me it is a universe away from what I thought I could do.  But why and how did I get started doing this in the first place?  The run we're doing in January is the obvious driver, but we're running for much so more than to say that we've done a half-marathon.  My reasons, and I'm sure my teammates' are similar, are much deeper and farther reaching, and still being discovered every day.

I've been in and out of exercise my whole life, mostly diving into activities that allow me to be outdoors or to get from point A to B (functional exercise).  With regard to organized events, I've participated in a small handful of 5K's and short bike races, but my first real appreciation for large, organized fundraising athletic events was with the Bike MS ride in New Bern, NC to raise funds for research to help fight MS and find a cure.  My good friend Grayson was my amazing riding partner, and we did 50 miles for 2 days in a row, for a total of 100 miles in one weekend on a bike!!  My bottom hurt more than my quads, but my heart was full of encouragement and inspiration with regard to not only long distance athletic ventures, but for a critical mass of warm hearts coming together to make change happen.

So, how is the running compared to the biking?  This time, the event I'm running toward is very much closer to my heart, affording a boat-load of motivation and internal emotional support for the early morning runs.  However, I'm starting to discover, after months of bike training, and more than a month of gradual and well supported run training (go TNT!), that ... I ... actually ... LOVE RUNNING!!!  

It's glorious - endorphins pumping, sleeping better at night, seeing gorgeous countryside on bright and crisp fall mornings, meeting amazing people.  It's splendid - and running with Team in Training - hearing their Mission Moments each week as to why each individual is part of this team, what motivates and inspires them - makes me so proud to be a part of this.  What's more, my cousins and my husband and I, along with the whole family behind us, are coming together and doing so much more together than we could have done alone.  And our regular skype dates are pretty rad too!

So, kids, lesson is - 


Mucho love ~ Leslie


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