Eighteen months ago, I started running. And by running, I mean walking fast. Ish. Twelve months ago, my friend Allie mentioned something called the Bourbon Chase – a 200-mile relay race through the bourbon distilleries in Kentucky. And it was this weekend.
Our team was slated to be among the slowest; I’m sure my projected pace of 12:30/mile didn’t help much. Even though this was a team event (12 of us in two vans), this was really about me. It was about doing what I never thought I could do. It was about permanently shedding the old me. It was about pounding the pavement for 16 miles over 24 hours. It was about doing what I never thought I would do.
Yes, it was intimidating. Terrifying. Particularly because it involved a 6-mile run in the middle of the night. I hit the first run full of trepidation, hoping not to get lost. Miraculously, I didn’t. In fact, somewhere, on a dark country road in full night running gear, I found myself. I got lost in my breathing and took in the expansive sky above me – it went on infinitely. And, even though I felt so insignificant and got passed thirty times, I felt so powerful. So alive.
Even though I wasn’t the fastest person out there, I was the fastest me. I was doing things I never thought I could do. And now I want to do them better. It was the inspiration I needed to get myself back in gear. So, here I go. Publicly declaring it. I will lose another forty pounds. I will run a half marathon in November and one in January. And. I. Will. Run. A. Marathon.