+ Like my daughters, I, too, was a gymnast. Unlike my daughters, I lasted about 18 months. Then I fell off the beam at the YMCA in Cuyahoga Falls and promptly told my mama that I was done. FOREVER.
+ I was on the Kimpton Middle School track team in 7th and 8th grade. I do not know why. My events were hurdles (ha ha ha), 4x100 relay, and long jump. I excelled at none of these, and avoided running distances longer than 101 yards at all costs during those two years.
+ I played softball from the summer before third grade until I graduated from high school. I loved every minute of it. I avoided running distances longer than the base path at all costs during those ten years.
+ One summer during college Matt and I played tennis almost every day. I avoided running distances longer than the width of the tennis courts in Munroe Falls at all costs.
+ One other summer during college I was roped into running the Ohio Derby 5K by Matt's family. I nearly died from the lack of training and embarrassment. I finished second to last, burning past some poor little kid at the very end to save at least some small fiber of dignity.
You might deduce from my sterling athletic history that a.) I am unlikely to stick with something that I don't love, especially when the equipment is out to get me (i.e. beam, hurdles) and b.) I have carefully cultivated a complete avoidance of running more than 100 yards my entire life. I've been working to change that this summer, but during the past month I've become a living, breathing anomaly: I've been running toward a goal of running 50 miles in one month. And tonight? I did it.
The minute I clicked "join" on Cathy Zielske's Women Run 50 Miles in September Challenge on Nike+ I experienced a feeling of complete dread. Why in the world would I do such a thing? I had a small amount of success this summer teaching myself to run after taking the entire season of wind off, but not the kind of success that would put me on pace to reach 50 miles. In a short month, no less. But here on September 28, the evening I ran 4.14 miles (in a row!) to surpass the 50 mile mark, I am ecstatic—I have never been happier with 16th place (especially when the first place lady has run over 130 miles this month). (!!!!!)
I have overcome the following in pursuit of this goal:
+ the attempt to run in sunshine with accompanying temperatures greater than 62º (I am ever-so-much-better at night)
+ irrational fear of ghosts I don't even believe in on the most allegedly haunted of military installations
+ sprinkler attacks
+ fear of attack by mean, lurking badgers (this one is new in the last week)
+ antelope poo
+ Old Lady knees, legs, feet, and heels, and mish-mash of bones on the top of my right foot
+ general laziness
+ lifelong phobia of treadmills (I ran four times on a treadmill this month when the weather was icky)
+ extreme slowness (I am an excellent 13.10 minute miler)
+ occasional bad attitude about how much this is cutting into my doing-something-else time
I'd like to officially thank Cathy Zielske for her inspiration to do all this in the first place. My other sources of running inspiration and encouragement, too–Angie Lucas, Amy Sorensen, Kattie Spies, Matt, my mama...