I ran two half marathons within 7 days of each other this month.
Kim and I trained and ran them both together. Well, we run together for the first few miles and then we usually run solo. In a time of my life where I am rarely alone–it’s the running solo that I truly love. (Although, Kim is so fun, isn’t she?)
The first race was rough. Rough, I tell you.
It wasn’t a pretty. It was through my city. No awesome scenery. Most of it was on a road dodging traffic.
The scenery (or lack thereof) really got to me around mile 8. I started spiraling.
Do you ever spiral? You know, where you just start thinking about everything that STINKS about your current situation? And it just builds and builds and builds until you are bawling? I’m sure you NEVER do this.
My left foot felt like it had a pulled muscle about an hour into the race.
We ran past a pasture of horses and I wanted to puke. The smell!
The course was on/off/on/off the road and then sidewalk and then road again. It was so frustrating especially with a sore foot.
We ran about .5 of a mile past a tall iron fence where the sun was flickering through each of the slats and I thought my head was going to explode.
I almost got hit by a car. (Lady wasn’t watching the police who were directing traffic.)
I needed water.
I didn’t know what mile I was on.
And so on. And on. And on. Spiral of unhappiness.
AND THEN this runner flew past me looking really strong. Looking effortless! He was wearing his hat backward. THIS hat.
Run Happy. Run Happy.
As soon as I read it, Vanilla Ice started pumping through my headphones.
All right stop, collaborate and listen.
You know what, Vanilla? I will do just that. (He is so wise.)
Stop the spiraling.
Collaborate with myself.
Listen to reason.
“Choose to be happy, Lindsey,” I told myself. CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.
Sure, this race wasn’t going as smoothly as I had envisioned it. Parts of it stank, literally. I was limping along. But, I was IN THE RACE! I was doing it. One foot went in front of the other. Miles started to tick away.
I wrote this post in my head between Gu shots and power ballads.
And then, wouldn’t you know it, the finish line kind of came out of no where and there was my family cheering me along, waiting for me to finish.
Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes we don’t get what we think we “signed up for.” Sometimes we think it’s just not worth it and we want to give up. We are limping along, bruised and broken.
And then someone who has more experience runs in front of us with a reminder to be happy. They show us that it can be done and done with grace.
Choose to be happy.