Dear 2013 Leah

Dear 2013 Leah,

It came up last week in my TimeHop that you finished the Arctic 5K 4 years ago. Yesterday, I finished it for the fifth time. Yes, it still sucks, but it’s gotten better. You’ve gotten better. And as we start our 4th year of running adventures, here’s a few thoughts for you.

Right about now, you’re trying to decide how much you really like this running thing. You finished your first 5K at what you think is an embarrassingly slow time, and you’re contemplating how you’re going to survive your second (Spoiler: you do finish). You’ve signed up for your first few races of 2013, the year you planned to run a 5k every month.

Let me let you in on a secret. You’re not going to hit that goal. You’re going to crush it. You’ll end up running not only the Virginia Ten Miler (yeah, that race you said you would never run in a million years because of the hills), but a half marathon (another spoiler: you finish that too).

Right now, you’re frustrated. All your life the things you’ve wanted to do have come easily to you. But, running still doesn’t. You have to work for it harder than anything. You’ll call Zach crying because you can’t run a mile without stopping. That’s okay. Keep at it.

Because last week I ran 20 without a problem.

Right now, you’re lonely. You don’t know anyone else who runs. Doing training runs solo is hard.

However, I have found the best group of running friends/training partners ever. There was some trial and error to the process. You’re not going to like everyone you run with and that’s okay. I won’t spoil who they are for you, but trust me, you love them. They inspire you and keep you motivated and will be the best thing to happen to you. You’ll also meet one friend who is crazy enough to run 10 half marathons with you in one year. Some go great, some do not, but you have a blast.

Right now, you’re wearing horrible shoes. Get your butt to the running store and get fitted for real ones. (Sadly, we’ve got another 3 or 4 months before you learn this lesson).

Right now, you really have no clue what you’re doing. But you’ll figure it out. And it will change your life.