I hear people say, “running must be easy for you.” Let me let you in on a little secret from every runner on the entire planet:
Running is not “easy”. For anyone.
If it were easy, everyone would do it. Sitting on the couch is easy. Netflix binging is easy. Eating a pint of ice cream is easy. Running is NOT easy.
Some of us are built to be elite runners, while others of us are happy to finish (me!!). But we all are runners. We all face moments when we want to quit. We all know the pain of training and the early mornings and the sore feet/knees/quads/etc. We know the high of victory—crossing the finish line when it felt impossible during training or even earlier in the race.
This beauty has played around with running for a few years, but became serious 6 weeks ago. She declared she wanted to train and run her first 5K. I was cautiously optimistic. A lot of people say they want to pick up running, but the true test comes when they begin training. I never wanted to force her into anything and I wanted her to run only if she got the same personal victory feeling most runners have.
Training began simply with running a minute, walking a minute, for a total of 30 mins and built from there.
The minutes of running grew and the training became more challenging. She wanted to quit. She wanted to sleep in instead of waking up at 5:00 am to run. She wanted to lay on the couch and watch YouTube instead of going out for an evening run. But she remembered her goals and her motivation and stuck with her training.
I am so proud of her.
On Saturday, she woke up at 5:00 am, got ready, and we made the journey to her 5K.
We made a plan… her couch to 5K training had only gotten her up to running 2 miles at one time. So we decided to run mile 1, walk 2 mins, run to mile 2, walk 2 mins, then run to the end.
At the start of the race, the temps were in the mid 60s and we were feeling great. The park where the 5K took place was absolutely beautiful. There were lots of people at the race and we stuck towards the back of the pack at the start line so we didn’t get passed up by faster runners :).
She put in the training. She did the hard work. But that didn’t make the run any less challenging. She had moments where she questioned her decision to run a 5K… she had moments when she doubted her abilities… she had moments where she wanted to quit. But she kept moving. With each step, she gained more momentum and determination. As we turned a corner and the finish line appeared, she got a new fire lit under her and she pushed to the finish.
I celebrated like an idiot as I watched that girl cross the finish line. Victory! Victory over self-doubt. Victory over pain. Victory over complacency. She won her race that day. Not the 5K… but the race we are all running to be the best versions of us we can be. I couldn’t high five her hard enough!
I never would have thought I would be a running coach, but that’s exactly the position I found myself over the last several weeks. We looked at the plan for the day, and I ran each step with her, offering guidance and cheers when she needed them. I tried to remind her of people who couldn’t run for one reason or another and how we could run for them–that we could carry them in our hearts and say a prayer for them in moments when we felt exhausted.
I asked her some questions after we got home from the race on Saturday:
What did you like about today?
Crossing finish line.
What is your favorite thing about running?
It challenges me and I feel accomplished when I finish it.
Why do you run?
Because you and Dad inspire me to run.
I loved getting the opportunity to coach this girl in running, but even more, I LOVE that I get to coach her in life. It is truly an honor. And I just pray I’m doing the best I can.