It’s dark outside, there’s a distinct chill, and I'm standing on my porch trying to find the motivation to make the first step of my run. I can't help but remember the warmth of my bed and think to myself, "Why am I doing this?"
Then I think of the other anxious moments I've spent at the starting line—numerous cross country meets and lining up in the yard next to my sister as a kid—followed by flashes of the finish line: sprinting to finish road races, my last high school meet, my first marathon. As variables continually shift and change in my life, running has been a consistency. My home, my job, and the years have changed, but this moment standing on my porch is familiar.
I love the thrill of race day—picking out my outfit, my favorite socks, watermelon gu, and excitement enough for everyone. I ran the Erlanger Chattanooga Half Marathon with one of my best friends, Kellie. She doesn't live in Chattanooga, so this race was an opportunity for us to remotely train together, show off my city, and enjoy 13.1 miles worth of quality time.
When the miles get longer, I face the painful reality of running in the same way I do other things in life: I look on the bright side and find something to laugh about. In training, it’s about the sunrises I share alone with my city, but race days? Race days are for the vlog. I started vlogging during my second half marathon as a way to channel my nervous energy and to immortalize the miles.
Kellie and I live-streamed the race through the coolest parts of Chattanooga. Kellie looks good in any lighting (hello, early morning sunlight), and my sister says I’m my funniest self when I’m running, delirious, and broadcasting to my entire Instagram feed (hello, Mom and Dad). The double-digit mile mark hit us hard; at the aid stations, we breathlessly tried to drink our Gatorade without spilling it all over ourselves. About that time, we ran through a neighborhood full of fun signs, music, and excitement. There we found a man tossing doughnut holes to runners.
“I’ve got one left! WHO WANTS IT?”
I had never seen my friend’s face light up so fast. The next thing I know there’s a round, perfectly glazed sphere of dough flying through the air. Amidst a crowd of other runners, she caught that doughnut, and we updated all of our followers of this moment in history. After that, a few more miles didn’t sound so bad.
Back on my porch, I’m laughing just thinking about race day—especially that doughnut hole. As I pound down my front steps, another truth pounds into my bones: I run for the miles beside my best friends. I do this to show the double-digit mile marks I look better from behind. Life moves fast, and this is my favorite way to keep up: to chase the sunrise, the doughnut holes, and the memories with the best friends a girl could have.