The feeling of soreness is one of the greatest feelings I know.
It is odd how the only moment I don’t feel like running is right before a race. I love to race, but there is a lot of mental energy that goes into racing that is exhausting. It is in racing that the inner argument between “I can’t give any more” and “push just a little harder” takes place. It is the argument of life.
The thing about racing is that it is the one place where my perfectionism doesn’t come in. Sure, I love to win. It is a great feeling. But the fact of the matter is that every time I win, I am shocked. I never expect to win. I never think I’m good enough to win. It isn’t about winning. And it isn’t even about achieving a PR. It is simply about giving my best on that day. It is about pushing just a little further than I thought I could.
And isn’t that what life is all about? It is about giving your best, not to win, but to be the best version of yourself.
Saturday was a great day… but COLD! It is funny how 45 degrees in January feels balmy and right now 45 degrees is enough to send me packing to the gym.
At 25 minutes to the race they shut down main street. Cue me arriving to the start line with just enough time to shove my earbuds in my ears and take off.
I was in the lead since the beginning… 5 overall, 1st woman. That was it, mile one. I crept up to 4th overall after the second mile and that was it. It is an odd feeling being in first that quickly. It confirmed that racing isn’t about winning. It is about doing my best.
I did set a PR for a 10k – 7:09 pace, 44:27. I am happy. But not because I won, or even because I defended my title. I am happy because as I worked my way up that final of four crazy hills and I felt like I had nothing left, I visualized the strength and muscles in my legs. I pushed. And I achieved something I didn’t think I could do.
I don’t know how many PR’s I have left in me. But I do know that, God willing, I have a lot of races left in me. And each one is its own personal record – a personal record of mental strength and determination.
As I came down the second hill I remembered this race three years ago, a week after my therapist told me I need to stop running. I had held off as much as I could all week, but I was already signed up for the race. It was after that race, that I went back to her and told her that I couldn’t stop running and we needed to find another way around it. Sure, running and eating disorders can be contradictory. But I am running my way to recovery. Because each time I run, I discover something new about myself. Each time I run I discover an inner strength which is greater than I ever imagined. Each time I run, I get to know myself better.
Personal records are not times, they are mile markers of moments when you taught yourself something new about yourself.
And right now every time I go up or down the stairs and I feel the soreness in my muscles, I am reminded of what an incredible day Saturday was, and what a great things that soreness represents.