I’m running again. And on one hand, it’s a good thing, preventing heart disease, balancing hormones, yada yada yada. On the other hand, I’m pretty competitive. Usually, that cold blooded drive to stomp other competitors to the ground leads to positive achievements, like being Valedictorian and having the highest free throw percentage on a district championship basketball team. (If you didn’t notice, those are also accomplishments very unlikely to appear in casual conversation once you turn old enough to vote. I cried when I had to take #1 in my class/super-nerd-who-loaded up-on-AP-classes-to-pad-the-GPA off my resume. High schoolers: aim low. None of it matters.) I’m sorry, where was I?

Running. I’m doing it. Slowly (as in, Bryson runs backwards to actually get a workout at my pace) but surely. Because I maintain a sufficient amount of self-delusion, I’m always certain I could lace up my Mizunos and run until the end of time with a picture perfect stride, calves sparking with definition, hair falling just so to frame my blushing, relaxed face. I “decided” to keep it to three miles for the sake of time and how devastatingly helpless my husband is when I am not there to welcome him at the door after a long day of sawing bone fragments and telling that sweaty, shaking patient No, I will not refill your Oxycontin.  

Okay, okay, even “three miles” means that after 2.75, I look at Bryson and convince myself that even two more steps will tire his poor little steroid-injected heart right out. But in reality, in two more steps, the left lung that has been begging for asthmatic mercy and traveling up my esophagus and is now starting to protrude between my two front teeth might, in fact, explode in a nasty mess of oxygen and desperation all over the cute, pink-faced CNU track team who are passing me in bare-chested whooshes.  

But I’ve got big dreams. Ones that blink “13.1” in the back of my mind and pushed me to get past the 2.5 mile wall I’d been hitting for a few weeks. While historically I’ve filled my plate with gobs of things I was good at and casually slid the bland-tasting failed ventures into my napkin under the table (The Lion King video game on Clayton’s vintage Sega Genesis, golf, leading bouncy spandex-clad women in cardio kickboxing classes), I think times are changing. Turns out, I love to write. And it seems there’s a very distinct possibility I’m not The Best Writer the World Has Ever Known. And maybe, right now, I wouldn’t even be earning an A- in “Owning a Freelance Writing Business for Dummies.”

But dreams persist. And needing to be the best at every little thing is fading into the shadows of immaturity as carving out my own niche and setting my own personal, achievable goals is moving to the forefront.

I can still dream. And I am. I’m dreaming of what bib number I might wear in my first half marathon and what it might feel like to actually register for a half marathon (something I’ve yet to do while in my 3 mile-ish bubble) and what life will be like with a steady stream of writing clients and having the freedom to one day turn down a project that doesn’t interest me. Those are my dreams, not to win a Pulitzer Prize or run the New York marathon. And for now, that’s completely satisfying to big-girl, getting-closer-to-grown-up me.

**Obnoxious update to make myself feel better**
I originally wrote this post a few weeks ago. Today  I am excited (and a little gloat-y) to report three mile runs are firmly in the “easy training zone.” At this moment, my long runs are 4 miles. Today I plan on changing all that and pissing off an additional mile’s worth of drivers with half-waves when I don’t move out of the driving lane. Can’t afford those extra steps on my long run, folks. It’s all about efficiency! Up next: 8k on June 4.

I haven’t decided how much I want to write about running. The main reason others blog about running is the one thing intimidating the honesty right out of me: accountability. So, if you have a preference–

“Your running adventures are sure to change my life with their insightful hilarity!” or

“OMG, please spare me every painful detail of your boring venture into that weird, monotonous non-sport.” or

“What’s your name again?” or

“Where’s the OFF button on this thing?”

do share!

If you are interested, I’ve become a legitimate stalker follower of the following running blogs (albeit with a touch of boiling envy and unhealthy thoughts at their race times):

skinnyrunner.com – Girl runs like 11 marathons in a weekend. I read to pine for her natural ability and not in any way emulate her pace or schedule. Or rad SoCal lifestyle.

runningoffthereeses.com – Moreso than the fact that this chick runs in the summer in Texas, I read this blog for the hilarious and snarktastic dialogue bubbles. And because she runs with a rape whistle. So looking into that.

fashionablyfitfemme.com – I knew Nicole in middle school, and through the magical ease with which Facebook allows me to pry into random people’s personal lives, I found her fitness/fashion blog. I think she is adorable, and while I could never be that feminine, she has inspired me to get rid of the XL t-shirts and start looking cute matching when I run. Because, let’s be honest, posing for those professional race photos makes up like half of my training plan.

Finally, because many of my besties are cheering me on long distance, I’ll give you a little taste of what me on race day typically looks like (via bostonmarathon2011.wordpress.com):

Or thereabouts.