|Super cute necklace from Etsy|
So I kept running. I signed up for my first race with my friend. The night before we ran, she texted me and said she was fighting a nasty cold and since she was flying to Europe for vacation the day after the scheduled run, she was going to put her health in first place and bow out of the run. So there I was by myself with no encouraging voice beside me, a little bit terrified but also encouraged. Some people just looked "fast". But there were ordinary looking folk too. People stretching, laughing, and checking watches.
I figured once the signal went to start, I'd leap around the race route like a fawn in the woods and follow the pack till it was all over with. My mantra was "someone's gotta come in last". But it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. I didn't come in last, and my finish time was respectable for a newbie. I've since done a few other timed races, always hoping to beat my own personal best time. Uplifted when I do, bummed when I don't. Some runs feel easy, while others are a struggle from start to finish.
I read this great piece tonight, and it seemed like something I needed to share to remind myself that I so long as I do my best given my capabilities and how I've trained, I should feel accomplished. I'm not fast. I'm not elite. But I put my feet to the pavement and go. I am a runner because I run.