Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Running Scared

Nothing quite motivates you like fear. As my half-marathon debut approaches in June, I thought I better get off my rear and start moving. I've come to terms with the fact that I will not get up early in the morning before work to run. The morning cold is too cold and I am too tired. That leaves the evenings after kids go to bed to get moving.

Last night I laced up my shoes, strapped on an iPod and a flashing light band, equipped myself with a handheld pepper spray and headed into the night. Now, we live in a very safe neighborhood and I can't think of the last time something bad happened, but I also am well aware that bad things can happen in good places and to good people.

As I ran though some of the quieter streets, I felt worry creep through me. What if someone jumped out of the bushes? What if a drunk driver lost control coming down the street and killed me? What if I was thrown into a car? How would my husband raise three small kids alone? Is running in the night stupid? Am I stupid?

I practiced flipping the safety switch on my pepper spray as I made my way through my pre-measured 5k loop like I was a gunslinger in the old west. Shadows were making me jump and people walking their dogs became potential assailants. I have to admit that about 1/4 of the way into the run, I was running because I was scared of the "what-if's." I didn't stop running until I made it to my street.

The good news is that the fear propelled me to shave 3 minutes off my last run time. The bad news is that I genuinely freaked myself out. As the days grow longer, running will get easier. At least I know I have the will to make it 3.1 miles out of 13.1 miles I'll need to.

Baby steps...

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