I'll warn you, the post is kind of long, but I couldn't help it. It may have only been 3.1 miles but the effort it took to do it the way I did it was pretty big. I worked out 6 days a week, even when I was tired after a long day of chasing kids, even when there was no convenient time to get it in, I did it. I did some tough speed training; tempo runs, intervals, mile repeats, and long runs. It wasn't just the race, it was all the work it takes to get there.
When I started "running" a year and half ago I always felt a little self conscious calling myself a runner. I had no previous experience, no team training, nothing but the articles I could find online and in magazines to help me figure out this new hobby. And while it seems pretty simple, put one foot in front of the other, I still felt like a wanna-be sometimes. After this race though things changed. I was walking back to the car with Taber, it was pouring rain and I was exhausted from my effort. I was trying to process how I felt about the race and finally the words came, "I feel like I'm a runner now." Taber laughed, "Well of course you are!" But no, this time I really really feel like one. I ran fast. I was 117 out of 1063 runners. I was 20 out of 287 in my age division. Of 22 pages of results, my name was on page 3. These are probably silly statistics to a lot of people but to me they felt like a reward to my efforts. Like a confirmation that the more you do, the more you become. And I've gotta say, I think I've become a runner : )