Yesterday was a holiday here in Canada, and I woke up feeling guilty.
On Sunday a marathon was held here in my city. And I didn’t run it. I toyed briefly with the idea of running the half a while back, but with still recovering from anemia and not having had that much time to train, I wasn’t feeling ready for it. I’ve been doing a lot of long runs lately and I knew that I could physically complete it, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to finish as fast or as strong as I had finished the half marathon last fall. So I chose to sit it out this year.
I read all about it on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday, and congratulated a few people I knew who participated in the 10km portion or the half. And all the while I felt guilty. Like I should have been out there. Like I’d somehow failed as a runner by not running the half. I felt rotten about it.
Yesterday I dropped the girls off with their dad at noon and then headed out on a run of my own. It was several km in when I realized what would help dissipate that guilt: proving to myself that I could indeed have run the half the day before, had I chosen to. I steeled my will and settled in for a good long run. I literally ran from one end of the city to the other. I ran through our gorgeous park, drinking in the ocean air. I ran through some of my favourite parts of the city.
I didn’t just feel like a badass. I was a badass.
I didn’t worry about my pace. I didn’t stress out when I needed to walk a couple of the big hills along the way. I allowed my mind to float away and just let my body go on auto-pilot. It wasn’t always easy. There were times when I really needed to dig deep and push myself to keep going.
But I did it. When all was said and done, I ran 23 km. On my own. With the only cheering section in my head to urge me on. No fanfare, no “official finish time”, no medal to congratulate me, nothing waiting for me at the finish line except my own sense of accomplishment and pride.
I arrived home, sweaty, exhausted, aching, and with the biggest smile in the world on my face.
This is what being a badass is all about.