Fall is for firsts. This, being the first year I have ever actually stuck with running across multiple seasons, has brought many firsts. The first time I’ve ran enough to wear out a pair of shoes. The first time I successfully set an alarm, got up, and ran in the wee hours of the morning. The first time crying happy tears at a finish line. The first time calling myself a runner.
The fall season however brings a certain feeling about firsts, as it’s the season of first days of school, first turning leaves, everything changing and bearing down for winter. Work gets busier, the city fills with students, and races fill with enthusiastic runners who have dedicated their hot, grueling summer training to be there. For me, this first fall as a runner brings a new, very welcome meaning – an exciting challenge and a refreshing payoff from the hard work throughout the hot summer.
I understand why runners love fall race season. Running feels amazing in the crisp fall air after a hot, humid summer of training. You’ve got one more chance to achieve the goals that you set for the year before winter sets in and then you’re back to (hopefully) training for next year.
Some runners may have gone into 2016 hoping to run their first half, or to PB, to run their first out of province race, or maybe just to stick with it all year. For me, when I set goals for 2016 they included figuring out a way to get out of the funk I was in – trying to lose weight, find happiness and contentment, and first and foremost to enjoy the moments I’m in instead of planning too far ahead. Like everyone, I wanted to get my health on track. Running was not included in these goals, because running was not something I knew I would do in 2016. I didn’t realize that running was the ticket that would help me achieve all of these things and more.
Yet here I am 10 months later having finished four 10k’s and six 5k’s in 2016 thus far. I’m feeling like I checked every box, wrote a new list, and checked those off too. I went into my two more serious fall races (Maritime Race Weekend and Valley Harvest Marathon) hoping to PB, to make it closer to my goal of the coveted sub 1 10k. To think 7 short months ago when took a leap of faith and joined Team Myles, I did not believe that I could run 10k at all, that I would maybe complete the 5k, if I could overcome the doubt first and really, truly commit.
If you are thinking about changing something you are unhappy with, just start. Start tiny and be realistic with yourself, because you deserve to be successful. Care about the person you are now enough to help them make the changes. Don’t take on too much just to crash and burn. Be patient, and things will happen faster than you think. It’s as easy as starting.
What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best moments haven’t happened yet.