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I’ve never considered myself a “runner.” You could say I dabble in jogging, maybe. I like to go outside, run a few miles, slowly. Sometimes I find it relaxing, time to myself, and other days I find it miserable. It is a love/hate relationship I have with running, but I found out you don’t have to be a “runner” to enjoy a race.
I used to think signing up for a race, such as a 5 or 10K, was pointless. Why would I pay to run, I would ask. I’m not good enough, why would I do that? I’m not a runner, so what’s the point? The questions and doubts were endless.
Then, a friend asked me to sign up for a 10K with her. That’s 6.2 miles. The longest race I had done was a 5K, around three miles. I thought she was crazy, but I told her I would do it, thinking it would jumpstart my workouts. It did a little bit, I joined a gym, ran a couple miles here and there, but I’m still not a “runner.” I didn’t train enough, and I thought it was going to be one of those times I hated running.
For not being a runner, I loved every minute of it. The environment, sense of community with the other participants, the adrenaline you feel just by being registered is incredible. Everyone is cheering you on, no matter how fast – or how slow – you decide to go. There are people running 8-minute miles and people running 12-minute miles, and even people walking. Just knowing you are surrounded by a group of people with the same goal is a great feeling. Everyone has a positive attitude, and is rooting for YOU to succeed. And crossing the finish line, even if you’re not breaking the tape, is a great feeling. It’s an accomplishment. The positivity is astounding.
Now, I’d like to become a runner. Just by doing a 10K, my attitude about racing has completely changed. While signing up may automatically kick some people into gear, the day of the race made me realize that running is inspiring. I find myself wanting to go run six miles just because I can, just because I proved it to myself in my race. While I may not be signing up for a marathon anytime soon, I could do another 10K, maybe even a 15K.
If you have doubts about signing up for a race, don’t hesitate, just sign up. Make it a 5K if you’re not completely sure. Sign up with a friend because he or she will help you get motivated and provide support. Tell your friends and family, no one is going to tell you not to do it. If there is anything I’ve learned, it is that a community of runners could be one of the most supportive, inspirational groups. No matter what your skill level is, just go for it! Don’t tell yourself you can’t, won’t, don’t. Start telling yourself you can, use a positive attitude to train and then succeed. I promise you’ll be happy you did it. Plus, you can cross something off your bucket list. Run a race…check!