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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: Why I Run

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why I Run

If you aren't aware that I'm running the Tough Mudder in exactly one month from today, then you must be new to my blog, FB page, or Twitter account, and we are not very good friends.  Mostly because my whole life is consumed by this event, so I may or may not have mentioned it few times, or 100 times, on this here blog.

I've had so many people ask me how I got started, how do I stick to my program, why do I want to do this.  My answer is going to be deep and thoughtful, so I'm sorry.  I'll try to end it with a snarky comment to balance it out.

If you have been reading my blog for very long, at least for most of this year, you may well remember that I started 2012 depressed and having a very difficult time in my marriage.  I had not hit my goals in life, I felt lost and confused and sad that I was looking back and realizing that I didn't find meaning in much of anything anymore.  I have since stopped whining much at about all of that.  Not because I magically fixed my life, but because what I needed was an escape.  And I found that.

A friend of mine who does mud runs each year announced that she was going to do the Tough Mudder and was looking for someone to do it with her.  I had no idea what it was, but said I would.  I looked into it and thought, "I already agreed.  And damn it, I'm going to do it."  I will be turning 30 next year and I'd love to have something super amazing that I can say I did before I could not longer call myself a 20something kid anymore. What I discovered was that training gave me a place that was just mine.  I put on my running shoes and what I do next is between me and the pavement.  I can run away from my life, I can run towards my goals, I can run to spite those who said I couldn't do it.  But I can run.

Now, I have the amazing benefit of being what they call a "neutral runner." This means I can wear crappy shoes, run on any terrain, and generally be the laziest trainer in the world and still better my times and never get a shin splint.  This has made me a pretty lazy runner in a lot of ways.  But, for the first time in life, I can be good at something with no effort.  I studied for hours every day before and after school when I was getting my degree.  I have to work hard at just about everything I do in my life.  I have very few things, if anything really, that I can call myself "a natural" at.  But running, well, I'm a natural.

I got pumped about the event at first.  I was thrilled to see the crazy things I would have to do.  I had my husband running it with me and a group of friends.  Running through fire? Well, that's pretty terrifying, but I'll have all this support, right? Nope.  Everyone bailed.  Not a single person stuck with it, including my husband.  And he has not been all that supportive.  He doesn't disagree with my running the event, but I have found him to not care about it at all.  But you know, that has added fuel to my fire.

When everyone dropped out, I looked around and realized I was all alone.  I was running with my friend, who is helping me train (but never agreed to do the event) and said, "F* those guys.  I'm doing this anyway."  And she said, "Good for you.  You've worked so hard already."  She then made an amazingly generous donation to my Tough Mudder charity page, because she saw it too.  This event is not about how fast you finish, it's not even timed, it's about finishing.  It's about testing your mental endurance, just as much as your physical endurance.  It's about walking up to the starting line with a group of strangers and saying, "We are all in this together." And it's those strangers who are going to help you climb that wall and run through those electrical wires.  This is not your typical event... And I am not your typical runner.

I have stuck with my training because I am going to show everyone what I am made of.  I'm not weak, I'm not a quitter, and I do not always have to be the girl who smiles and laughs and is super non-threatening.  I am a force to be reckoned with.  I have found something in my life I can do that doesn't take effort to love.  I have found something that I can put my heart into.  The trail I run doesn't care how fast or slow I go or how often I have to stop and walk.  I'm not letting anyone down if I don't cut my time this week, or if I set too high of a goal and can't reach it.  The pavement I pound, doesn't groan and grumble, it gives way to let me just be.

And when I run, I can put my headphones on and for that brief moment, for those 5 miles, it's just me.




Blogger Jamie said...

I love this. I really wanted to do our Tough Mudder in Sept but alas, I am pregnant so no go for me. I love that you're continuing on even though everyone else has dropped out. I cant wait to hear how it goes. Thank you for joining our hop!

August 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Duh said...

I can't believe the Tough Mudder is only a month away! Argh! That's awesome that you have been doing so great with your training! You're going to kick some Mudder @$$!

August 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

You are going to rock the Tough Mudder!!! :)

August 29, 2012 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Chantal said...

This is a great post. I wish they had a Tough Mudder around here!

Thanks for participating in the Wednesday Walkabout!

Chantal @ Scattered Seashells

August 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Erica Castillo said...

Hells yeah! I'm a Marine Wife too and obsessed with running. I ran throughout my pregnancy all the way up til labor.

I found you on walkabout, and while this post isn't a walkabout one (or one that you should necessarily read... it'd be preaching to the choir), someone else reading these comments might want to check it out. It's about how I started running. (I was not a natural but I was still able to make myself a runner.)


August 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

You're going to be kickin' booty and taking names! I can't believe EVERYONE bailed on you! Lame sauce. But, I think you'll have a blast. I can't wait to hear about it. And I am super jealous you're a natural runner. My body is under the impression running is an ancient form of torture. haha

August 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

ps- Thanks for linking up with the Walkabout!

August 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New follower from Wednesday Walkabout! My husband was a Marine for 8 years and just got out in December. I still get so excited and proud to be acquainted with other USMC families.

August 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Reccewife said...

I love the idea of Tough Mudder runs, I've always been sad there are none near me. Have a blast!

August 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Wow, I can't even imagine being able to run without pain and nausea. That sounds like a dream to me. Stick with it. You have my vote. :)

August 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM  

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