by Elle Brown
Running is a journey, not a race, I keep telling myself.
My mind is going through as many changes as my body. There are good days when I feel I accomplished a goal and bad days where I feel I missed my intention and have taken 2 steps back. Those bad days are typically because I didn't think straight. Either I didn't listen closely enough to the pace of my body or the watch and started out to fast. And, because all it took to avoid was a little mental capacity, I feel disappointed in myself. It's happening less and less often. When it does, it's because I disappear into Running Land.
Running Land is a fantastic place. It's where I cover a mile and didn't even know I ran that far. It's where my list of things to do doesn't exist and where no one has an issue with me or is calling my name or needs anything from me. It's my "me" place. It's indulgent. It's meditational and centering. It's hard to get to and when you're there it's hard to leave.
I began running in July as a birthday wish for myself and my husband. I wanted something we could do together that was healthy and we wouldn't miss because something came up with work or the kids or a sick babysitter. We could #run independently and still have it be all ours to talk about and run races together.
Our first goal was the Asbury Park 5k; a true race. Training consisted of us going out every other day and running longer distances each time. It was a bear for me. My husband seemed to adjust better than I. But, I'm not a quitter. In fact, not achieving makes me want it more. I kept running every other day and little things started to change for the better which enlightened me; rejuvenated my interest in the sport. I ran mid field that race and my husband did very well. Aside from finishing, the most awesome thing to me was being there among all those healthy people; athletes. It changed the way I looked at life and my running career began.
Team Kiditude came about thereafter. When I feel I can't run another step, I think of people who can't run one step. If we were going to run a 5k every month or several times a month, I figured we might as well help those people by raising money and awareness for their cause. Our focus shifted from races to runs.
Our second 5k was for Autism Speaks and just this weekend, we ran the Step By Step 5k for Eosinophilic Gastritis (EG). I finished in 30+ minutes for the autism run and 29+ minutes for the EG run.
What's next? I'm going to heal some beginner shin splints and focus on some cross training this week. My next running goal is a 27 minute 5k, then a 24 minute 5k. I'd like to work up to a half marathon. My husband is working towards a sub 20 5k.
If you have a cause for which you'd like Team Kiditude to run to raise money and awareness, please contact us at 1-855-KIDITUDE.
Laura Brown is the owner of Kiditude.com, a children's apparel store specializing in rock, punk and funny novelty clothes for kids 0-18 years. Team Kiditude is a running team focused on bringing awareness to illnesses and causes that affect children and family. She writes and blogs under the pseudonym Elle Brown and lives in NJ.