It was family race day this weekend in Belgium and I came in last – well almost. And guess what? I had an absolute blast.
J’s family and I decided that it would make of a fun Saturday afternoon to run a 10k race together and you could say that this race was on a bit of a smaller scale race. This race took place in a small town in Belgium and only 90 people enrolled for the 10k (a big stretch from our last race together in Bruges where thousands of participants hit the cobblestones running). When we arrived at the race it seemed as if everybody knew each other from somewhere and the runners looked serious. As in almost everybody had matching-running-club-logo’d-t-shirts, was in tip-top physical shape and towered way over my average 5’6 ft frame. I may or may not have stood out in my bright pink running skirt in the middle of it all. 😉
As we approached the starting line. The thoughts began racing through my head – ‘What if I come in last?’, ‘These runners are in much better shape than me’, ‘How will I ever keep up?’. The last minute panic started to settle in just before the race started. But before I even had the chance to think things fully through, the starting shot went off and the “real” runners were out of my sight before I even had a chance.
So that is when I started running. At my usual pace, one foot in front of the other, while jamming out to my new favorite song. And the thoughts slowly left my head as I continued the race, one foot after another, with a smile. I started remembering the days before I could run, the days when I would lose my breathe running a quarter of a block to the bus, and then I remembered all my days of training up to this point. And I kept on running, all the way to the finish line. Placing 84th out of the 90 participants. And I could have very well been the last. And it wouldn’t have mattered. Because I got out, got moving, ran the race, did my best and had fun in the process.
J and I have signed up for several runs this Fall to ensure we stay active and happy as the cooler weather settles in. For me, signing up for local races keeps me motivated, on top of my training by working towards a goal and also simply makes sure I get out there and get active! And who cares if you make a fool of yourself/show up in your cute-favorite-hot-pink-running-skirt-when everybody-is-wearing-shorts/come in last along the way?
You got out there and got active and that deserves a metal in itself. Or a congratulatory beer if you live in Belgium.
The next run J and I signed up for is in a couple of weeks and apparently you get a beer for every two kilometers you run! How is that for mixing activity and pleasure? #onlyinBelgium
Just make sure you end your race with a smile knowing you’ve grown, even in the slightest bit, since the person you were yesterday.