It amazes me sometimes how crossing a finishing line is motivation in and of itself to step up to the next starting line.
In my case, I literally crossed a finish line. I committed to completing 4 5k races in 2011 and I did my first one in Tulsa, OK on April 9th. This run holds a very special place for me because it was at the Mpix Meetup, a photography conference that I have been trying to attend for 3 years! The folks that participated alongside me were friends and mentors, people whose photography has inspired me and whose words have encouraged my development as an artist. I enjoyed EVERYTHING about that conference and will do whatever it takes to make it every year from now on. If I had to pick one favorite moment though, it would have to be crossing the finish line Saturday morning.
The weekend after I returned, the tornado hit and the chaos that followed threw a major wrench in my training plan. I re-started the Couch to 5k program with a neighbor in our new neighborhood but 3 days into it, Lil' Bit and I got hit with a severe allergy attack that is just now subsiding. The few mornings I did go, I felt I could do more but it was so easy to say the "plan" says this and if you're going to follow it, it's best not to skip ahead. The neighbor I was running with is just beginning and I also didn't want to discourage her efforts.
This morning I woke up feeling like I had actually slept and the temperature hadn't yet reached 200 degrees so I went for a run. I thought about my route and decided to go the whole way around, even if I had to walk some of it. I headed down the street and made my first turn. That was the only point that I had to hype myself up to keep running, once past that point my breathing settled into a good rhythm and the burn in my legs turned to warmth. I found the groove in my music and for the first time EVER I understand why people enjoy running. Usually, I spend the entire time talking myself into continuing. Today, my thoughts were about the run in Tulsa and that I had finished it. If I can do that, I can run 1.6 miles around the neighborhood. Easy-Peasy. I kept running until I reached my front porch. Sweaty and tired I did my own little happy dance, singing to myself, "I did it, I did it!"
The search is on for my next starting line.