I’m going to have to keep up with this running thing—I’m actually getting better. Yesterday I ran the Drumstick Dash (a charity race for a local rescue mission), and I placed 1226 out of 3763 (pace 8:52). It turns out I run a whole lot faster when I don’t have to slog through mud and rivers and stuff (okay, that’s probably not much of a surprise). I’ve been pushing harder in my regular runs since it’s gotten colder, but I didn’t think I had improved that much. I know you’re not supposed to congratulate yourself usually, but I am so proud of me! Nearly all my life, I’ve been sedentary—relaxing on the couch with a book was my speed. I always liked to walk and hike, but claimed that I wouldn’t run unless someone was chasing me. When I started, I could barely jog for 60 seconds at a time—and look at me now. I can run 6 miles at a time, or more. It astounds me that I can do this, that I stuck with it, and that I’m still improving. I’m willing to run when it’s raining, or cold, or I’m sore, but it still feels strange to say this: I am a runner. Sometimes it feels like someone is going to look at me and laugh when I say that, but I’m realizing that my image of myself hasn’t caught up with the reality. I’m not the no-body-fat-marathoner yet, but I’m so much leaner and stronger than I used to be. And I’m hoping to start training for longer and longer races soon. Maybe a half-marathon in April and the whole 26.2 next November! And it’s not a “someday I’m gonna” sort of dream. It’s something I know now that I am perfectly capable of doing. Because I AM A RUNNER!