In the End, it’s Only the Beginning

It’s over.  And I’m not really sure how to feel about it.  I guess the proper emotion would be enthusiastically bummed.   I mean I’m very proud of myself for finishing the program.  Six months ago if you’d have told me I would be running let alone racing, I’d have told you to have your head examined.  So that in and of itself is huge for me. Although, on the one hand, I am looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday (for now),  there are things I’m going to miss.

When I came to Running Start, I had one goal and one goal only… fit into that dress.  The dress has been replaced with a  deeper desire to push my body far beyond what I perceive to be my limits, only to be able to raise the bar a little higher each time that goal is met.  Much more rewarding than the dress!   Okay, wait.  I’m lying. The truth is, I didn’t make weight to fit into that dress.  The diet portion of this program never quite caught on.  But I’m still working on it.  For now, let’s just go with the idea that the emotional and psychological benefits of running far outweigh the fabulousness of the dress, shall we?

But seriously, I really wanted to take my time and think about just what the Running Start program has meant to me, and so many others, over the past 4 months.  It’s really been transformational.  I believe we all started with a goal, a dream or a dress and in the end, I think we all found something much more.    I never imagined this program would become such a huge part of my life.

The running aside, I have met some really awesome people (Shout out to 3:1), who have been ultra supportive.  And I think that support and that genuine desire to see you succeed, has made all the difference.  I came to Runnng Start to lose a few pounds and in the end, I gained an entire family!

I still don’t love running.  I won’t say I’m quite there yet, BUT I am warming up to it more and more. I’m motivated by the challenge it presents to me every time I go for a run.  I’m motivated by many of my fellow beginner’s who despite age, injury and limitation continue to run with childlike exuberance and the simple belief that they can.  I’m  motivated by the idea that one day I’ll no longer be  “new to running” but a seasoned old head with stories to share.

I want to thank all of the folks who have been instrumental in setting me on the path to becoming a runner.  For without you, I might have ended up back on the couch a long time ago.

Special thanks to the fabulousness that is 3:1!! Have I told you just how much you rock? Thanks to Charles Outlaw and Arneda Terry for being the best pace coaches around.  Thanks to Deirdre, Joanne, Cass, Karen and all the other coaches who ran at a snails pace with me to make sure I finished.  Thanks for not leaving a sistah behind!

And thank you faithful blog readers for keeping me honest and forcing me to be introspective.  I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And that’s it kids!   I look forward to seeing you all at  10k!

Happy Running!

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P.S. That’s me on the right. ;o)

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3 Responses

  1. Congrats Chanel. I’ve really enjoyed your blogs. I didn’t realize until the next to the last one who the author was! I had a great time “coaching” you all this summer. The funny thing is, I had to start incorporating the things I told you guys so, in that respect, I learned from you all as well. I will stay on you to make sure you don’t revert back to the couch and that you keep chugging along. Like you said, running is a journey, one that never ends. :o)

  2. Congratulations!

    And yes, do go with the physical and psychological benefits of the running. Keep doing this good thing, and other good things will follow. The dress won’t, apparently, be one of the first. But there’s a lot of good to the running even without that.

    Good luck on the 10k. After that, let me suggest aiming at running the 5 to 10k races faster — rather than to keep moving up the distance ladder immediately. It’s a different sort of challenge. And once you’re to the point of running 10k’s comfortably, you’ve got a decent training base to start including more thoughts for speed. Conversely, adding more thoughts of speed while plateauing on distance gives your body some time to consolidate the gains you’ve been making on the distance you can run.

    Main thing, though: Keep up with the challenge, and there are many, many new challenges out there if you like to think in terms of those.

  3. Chanel–Congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing your journey through Running Start training. You’ve accomplished the hardest part- getting started and making running a habit. I wish you success in your future running endeavors, and hope you will continue to post some updates from time to time.

    -Cindy

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