Yesterday I ran my first 10K race in Maple Grove. The Autumn Classic is something I plan to do on a yearly basis because the race was perfect. Having run a 5K, a 4 Mile Race, and a half-marathon, the 10K race is by far my favorite. I wouldn't classify 6.2 miles as easy (especially yesterday's VERY hilly course), but it isn't nearly as difficult as 13.1 miles. Furthermore, I could still function yesterday at a normal level, and today my legs aren't sore. That was NOT the case when I ran the World Vision race in August. I would classify yesterday as a good challenge, and that is perfect for me:)
As a mother of two small children, I am often asked how I find the time to run. The answer is I don't. I don't find the time because there is never enough time to do things we try and find the time to do. Instead, if something is a priority, we MAKE the time. It's no different than signing your child up for swimming lessons, football, or making church a priority on the weekends. We don't find the time to go to church; we make it. The same is true for my runs. Don't get me wrong. Making the time isn't always easy. I run four times a week, and I have to be very strategic about it. But, three days during the week, as soon as my kiddos are put to bed, my date with the treadmill begins. On the weekends, I either run when the kiddos go down for a nap, or sometimes Brandon watches the kids, and I will run when they are awake. The commitment on my part has been made. Since May of this year, running is one of my priorities, and it is rare that I don't get four runs in. I am officially addicted to the runner's high you get after finishing a challenging run.
Still, some shake their heads. They ask why I put the stress on my knees? Or how can I run at 8:00p.m at night? The answer is this. I have never had as much confidence in my body image as I do right now. And those of you know me, that is a very bold and amazing statement to make. My whole life, I have struggled with my body image. Whether it was trying to look perfect for gymnastics, constantly comparing myself to my beautiful and stunning sister, looking perfect on the diving board, or measuring myself next to my friends, what I saw in the mirror was never what I wanted to see. For years and years, I had a very private, ugly battle with food. But now, at this moment, my struggle with food and my weight isn't there. I used to weigh myself multiple times a day. Sometimes before and after workouts even. I now weigh myself just a few times a month. I still have stretch marks from the kiddos, and if I obsessed over food, I know I could be skinnier, but I truly don't have that desire. If I want to eat something, most of the times I do. I may say to myself, "Oh, I shouldn't eat that," but inevitably I do, and it's okay. And it's okay because right now, my body is healthy, and I am stronger than I have ever been as an adult. And as my t-shirt that I am wearing right now says, "Strong is the New Beautiful." And maybe this is bad to say, but I like feeling beautiful.