***This post is part of the Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday.
Defining my running in 6 words? Now THAT'S a challenge!
When I started running, I was in elementary school. Our gym teacher would have one boy and one girl race to the end of the gym and back. Until about the 6th grade, there wasn't a single boy who could beat me. It's the only time in my life I've been a decent sprinter. At that time, my 6 words would be :
Run hard and beat the boys!
I joined both the cross country and track teams when I got to high school. I knew then that I was better suited for endurance than I was for speed, but the 3-miler was the longest race available. I concentrated on doing the best I could do for the team and enjoyed being part of a running family. Some of my best memories from high school involve hanging out at practice or on a Friday night with some of my teammates. Six words for that time would be:
Do my best and have fun!
Once in college, I got involved with a LOT of extracurricular activities from my sorority to student government. Running wasn't really a priority until my last semester of school when I decided that there was no reason to put off my goal of running a marathon. I ran 4 days a week, and every run was done at 13-minute per mile pace. I was determined to take it easy, not get injured, and just cross the finish line. Keep in mind I jumped from a 3 mile race to a 26.2 mile race, never attempting the distances in between. My 6 words for my first marathon would be:
Cross the finish line still smiling!
(And I did.)
After that, I was hooked. Running became my addicition. I wondered if I could run faster. I wondered how often I could run a marathon. I wondered if I could ever run a BQ marathon and get a ticket to Boston.
Marathon #2: Don't pass out from the heat! (It was hot. And humid. And I just wanted to survive. I did, beating my previous time by 16 minutes.)
Marathon #3: Have fun. Meet people. Set PR. (It was one of the most fun race experiences I've ever had. The crowd was great. I chatted a lot with fellow runners. And I broke my old PR by 26 minutes.)
As I train for my next races, I feel as though the important thing is to just keep enjoying myself while I run as well as enjoy all the benefits of it... my sanity, my health, my body, making new friends with other runners, achieving goals...
I'd like to think that for now, my 6 words are:
Keep running. Keep smiling. Keep improving.