It’s my one year runaversary. I am a Couch to 5k graduate. You might remember I completed the program on our 10th wedding anniversary last July. I finished in Central Park. It’s funny now I kind of chuckle at feeling proud of my three miles. I remember my first blog about running I had tears flowing as I completed my first two mile run. I realize I had to start somewhere. It starts with one step and moves on to many. You can’t go if you never start.
I saw someone on the greenway a few weeks ago who I will call Matt Damon’s twin. I noticed he stared at me in shock and the energy was weird. Matt Damon’s twin looked at me with his hat and sunglasses and we crisscrossed paths. I ran down one side of a path and he ran down the other. He stopped at the bottom to tie his shoe and I passed him. About a half a mile later he slowly went in front of me and I just took my time with my stride. He did a walk/run interval and I remained at my slow jog. I was about six and a half miles in on my seven mile goal. I was so close to done and I had never gone this far before. We went down a loop to turn around and our pace was almost matched as I headed into my last .2 miles. I slowed to a stop and celebrated with joy that I had reached my 7th mile and Matt Damon’s twin headed over the bridge on his way. I walked the half mile home super proud of myself and took a long warm bath. This week I ran into Matt Damon’s twin without all of our running gear on and he said, “Hey April. I have been meaning to apologize to you about not speaking to you on the greenway the other day. I felt like you were so focused so in the zone I didn’t want to interrupt. I’m such a slow runner I’ve got a lot of work to do.” I responded, “Oh I remember that. I didn’t realize it was you or I would have said hello. Your pace is just fine and I’m slow too. I was taking it easy that day because my goal was distance and not speed. I just started running a year ago and I’m so happy with where I’ve come I try not to be too hard on myself about my pace.” He said, “Oh did you go out again this morning?” I replied, “No I went yesterday. I’m training for a half marathon now, but I was able to take about 10 minutes off my mileage from the week before.” His jaw dropped, “Really, wow… you were just so focused. I was amazed and in awe of you out there pushing on your own. You inspire me. You truly inspired me to work harder to focus. I’ve been thinking a lot about it.” I don’t do well with compliments so I just said a quiet, “Thank you.”
I was out running again, but this time with my faithful dog Benson. He greeted a woman on the greenway sniffing and licking her hand as her group passed me. She was impressed and remarked on his speed. I said, “Well he’s a great running partner and he’s about six miles in now. Last time we ran six miles together he managed to go to the dog park and out run everyone there too. He’s a fast one.” That sparked a long conversation. She told me about her beagle and we talked about how Benson can just appear to be walking at my fastest pace. She let her group go ahead and she slowed to my pace. We talked about the weather, dogs, work and then she told me she was training for a full-marathon that is this Saturday. She told me how she’s lost 60 lbs and this will be her third full-marathon. When she began she said it was hard to even get started so I told her I was training for the half marathon and explained I had only been running for a year. I told her how far I’ve come and I think we simply found each other inspirational. I left the greenway feeling like it is possible… all of these things are possible. Thanks to my new stranger-friend Vanessa for my inspiration.
I first wrote about running, because it was a dream I had. A dream a real actual dream about running. I could not, but I so desired to do it that I had many nights where I spent time dreaming of my feet hitting the ground. To start somewhere and build up to something and achieve it. I would wake up in pain and hurt from simple walking. My joints would ache in pain. I’ve come so far from then, but I’ve started to dream about running again these last few weeks. It’s time to push harder. I dream about my feet hitting the ground at a faster pace. I dream of achieving goals in distance. I awake the mornings of my long runs not in doubt or with heavy dread… I awake in anticipation.
Running is no longer a dream it is a passion.