Today’s a5K Story was submitted by Rachel Langley.
In late September 2012, a couple months into a new found fitness addiction, I decided to try a Couch to 5K Running program. I had never run a day in my life, but decided that maybe it was time I give it a try. Not for myself, but in honor of those I had loved and lost.
My goal was to run 1 mile of the Free to Breathe Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in October. I would participate in memory of my grandfather, Joe and my mother Paula, who I had lost in 2010 at age 60, to lung cancer. I had remembered, toward the end of her illness while resting in bed, she was moving her legs while sleeping. When she awoke, she shared that she dreamt she was running. And I thought, what a beautiful way to pay tribute to my mother’s memory. I would run. 1 mile. For her. Because I had never felt a desire to run for myself, ever.
That changed. When I started running, I could barely run a minute straight. I fought hard to commit to it. Running one continuous mile was far harder than committing to the work out plan I had embraced over the summer. I had fully absorbed into every ounce of my being a true love for fitness. But running? No, this would be a TRUE test.
“What a beautiful way to pay tribute to my mother’s memory. I would run. 1 mile. For her.”
Approximately half way through the program, I got injured. Too much, too soon. My body rebelled. I took two weeks off and when I returned I had lost track of where I had left off with the plan. It was frustrating. But more than anything, I wanted to run one mile on October 20th for my mom. Just one mile of the 3.1 miles had to be possible. I’d make it possible.
And it was. On October 20th of 2012, I not only ran 1 mile, I ran 2, then 3, then 3.1. My first 5K, in memory of those I loved and lost. Three point one beautiful, glorious miles. I ran them all.
And it’s been love ever since. I am now running 5+ miles (all at one time!). I have since completed a couple more 5K’s, with a 10K in March and June, and I am now (officially!) registered for my first half marathon for September (Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon).
My love for running was not one that I ever expected. It was something I was doing for someone else, in honor and memory of my mother. Six months later I run for my own sense of peace, my own love of the run. It never lets me down and always lifts me up.
I love to run.
Words I never thought I’d say.
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