Sometimes things in life come together in a beautiful way. Last May is when I started running OUTSIDE. I had been a pro on the treadmill, up to 11, 12 miles on a regular 4 time a week basis, when I switched to outside running. Honestly, when I think about that now, I can’t even imagine how I spent those miles on the dreadmill. Last year I couldn’t run ¼ mile outside w/o practically feeling like I was being run over by a semi-truck. For my 1st 5K I chose a very special one for our community of Smithville Warriors! The run was to honor the everyday heroic life of Smithville Middle School Guidance Counselor, Julia Bargman. She was not just the counselor but a tender heart & the high school’s cross country coach. Julia ALWAYS had a positive spin for even the most devastating things in life. She has become my running inspiration. “IF Julia could do it, I can.” Julia had a long battle with breast cancer but never seemed to be down & out. She was kind, lovely, beautiful & awe inspiring. She would run our hills of Smithville like THE healthiest, most fit body, soul & mind out there. All the while, trying to CONQUER her horrible illness.
The community lost an EVERY DAY WARRIOR when Julia passed away. To honor her, Julia’s family & our little community put on the mother of all 5Ks! I think everyone in Smithville had some part in that run/walk. Signs, balloons, sprinklers, cheer sections, you name it, we had it goin’ on! That was not an easy run. It started early, was terribly HOT, was hilly & when I ran it, I huffed & puffed all the way thru, when I wasn’t walking it! My time for that 5K was about 35-40 mins. The hills were insane & hard & steep. I’ve run those hills since then about once a month, to remind myself it can be done, that Julia did it under the hardest of conditions.
The run is coming up again, one month from today. I wanted to run the entire course today to see what kind of performance I could turn out for myself. The temp. this afternoon was about 84 degrees, sunny, slight wind & those hills were just waiting. Btw… the run FINISHES on a hill! I thought to myself today before I ran, “You’ve got this. You just ran a Half named Hospital Hill, for crying out loud. It’s KNOWN for its HILLS!” Uh, no… I didn’t “GOT” this… I was WORN OUT at mile 2. I knew what kind of hills were waiting for me, so I sucked it up & continued on. I wanted to walk, to quit, but I kept thinking how Julia NEVER quit! If she could do it, I can do it. I was one of HER warriors. She was an EVERY DAY WARRIOR. I really did want to quit. I was winded, hot & I think I was still feeling the after effects of yesterday’s & Monday’s runs. Julia was an EVERY DAY WARRIOR & I am one of HER warriors. If she could do it, I can do it.
Mile 1 was timed at 8.14. Mile 2 was 9.43. Mile 3-.3.01 was 11.01. My total time was 28.58 with the average pace of 9:50 per mile. I was pretty pleased with those times. Those were some of the longest miles I’ve ever run. They were worth each & every foot strike. There are EVERY DAY WARRIORS out there whether we know it or not. Every time I have wanted to give up, slow down, not complete a run, I think of Julia. If she could do it, I can do it. In my life, there is an EVERY DAY WARRIOR, my running inspiration. I’ve tried to learn from Julia’s life, the gifts she gave & her CAN DO attitude, even when the odds were against her. I try to take something from every run. Today’s run for me meant I am stronger than I have ever been, more determined, happy with my progress & always needing to learn from an EVERY DAY WARRIOR.
Keep in mind there is always an EVERY DAY WARRIOR out there. Happy running y’all.