#running4brave: {Annie's Training Diary 4}

#running4brave Training Blog This Is My Brave

Annie’s blog

Those who have struggled with anxiety know how it can often creep up on you and leave you feeling like you are standing in quick sand, slowly sinking.  As I tried to fall asleep tonight, my brain began to race into overdrive and I simply couldn’t calm my thoughts down.

Some people journal, write songs or as for me, I run. Not in the sense that I run away (there have been times during the early months have having twins and severe post-partum depression that I wanted to run far away but thankfully I don’t have those thoughts anymore). The hard thing about needing to run on a late cold February evening is that it isn’t the safest or the smartest thing to do – yes, completely obvious to most of us, I hope. Now granted, I don’t plan on lacing up my shoes tonight and going on a 3 mile run BUT you can understand how cathartic running is for me. Tomorrow I will make up for that run I wanted to do tonight.

The control of the run

During a solo run, it is just me and my thoughts. I can control how the run will go - how fast I feel like going and how far I feel like running. I am in the driver’s seat on these runs and in control. In life we have input and our actions can direct our path but there are so many other circumstances that can affect the path we ultimately end up going on. My faith in Christ comes into this play here with more depth than I will go into in this forum but by no means do I want to neglect that aspect and belief when it comes to the path we take in life.

When I am out on a run, I may plan on “going that direction and taking that hill over there and looping around this way and that way” but should I find a really neat path I want to take, I can just go that way. I have no one to consult and can simply go in the direction I want to go. {Disclaimer: In the instance of safety, I do try to give my husband a general idea of where I am headed and there are apps out there that allow a partner or parent to follow you in real time. I now always carry my cell phone with me.} If I want to take a picture to share with you all during my run, I can just stop the hands of time (ie. My gps watch), take the beautiful picture, start my watch again and off I go!

Not just about the physical

I love how running challenges me physically and makes my legs stronger and leaner. I love how my calves have become more defined as I have increased my miles. My core is stronger due to my running as having a singleton and twins really did a number on that part of my body. But I really love how running challenges me mentally.

At this past weekend’s 10k race (a first for me at this distance), within ½ mile of the start I was already having the debate in my head of “eh, just stop here. This is a hard course. You can train more on hills and do another race one day.” Mind you, this debate goes on in my head at the same time at every.single.race.

Prep race under my belt

Due to the ridiculously cold weather this past weekend, I didn’t do my typical warm up run but rather waited in the lobby of the hosting high school with my fellow mother runners. When the race started, I was not warmed up and the first half mile was simply getting acclimated to run this race. And then the mental battle within my head continues as there were some pretty intense rolling hills on this course. My mind says “eh, just walk this hill. It’s tough and you need to give your body a break” and then the counter comes in saying “well, if you walk now you can’t say you “ran” the whole race and may end up just walking again.”

Alas, I did not walk any portion of this entire 6.2 mile race which took my 1 hour and 7 minutes (a couple minuets slower than I wanted but the course was challenging and I am not going to be too hard on myself). I can’t say I was speedy but I did not walk – shuffling comes more to mind during the hill at mile 5. And just when I was thinking “ugh, I can’t keep going and finish this race but I could see the finish line over that fence over there” in my ear via my headphones I hear these song lyrics by Sara Bareilles “You can be amazing….” Followed by “Honestly I want to see you be brave.”

#running4brave

Brave is jugging on, persevering, moving even when the time you are going through feels ridiculously tough or that hill (metaphorically or literally) just seems so steep you just don’t think you can continue and you want to crawl. It is then that you stand up and keep moving forward - One foot in front of the other. The good thing about those hills (metaphorically or literally) the view at the top is like no other and as you come down that enormous hill you almost feel like you are flying as your feet move effortlessly beneath you.

You’ve got this thing called life.

And for my fellow runners out there, or those that really want to take up the sport of running, whether you are the leader breezing by or the back of the pack keeping a steady pace, keep going. Keep training for that big race because the feeling at the finish line is so worth the ugly runner toes, subprime weather conditions and sore muscles. And that is why running, for me, is such a profound metaphor for life.

AnnieAnnie

 

We’re nearly at $2k! Well on our way to hitting the “stretch” goal of $5,000 for Annie's #running4brave fundraiser. If you are inspired by her journey and what we’re aiming to accomplish with our high school initiative, please donate and share to help us reach our new goal! Also, there is an 8k run the same day as Annie’s half marathon, so if you’re new to running and have done some 5ks, why not sign up for the 8k and join our cause? Thanks so much for your support!