Meant To Run

by rachello

My calves and thighs are aching.  Sweat is running down my back and neck.  I still have two miles to go to finish the seven mile race.  They always say it gets easier to run the distance, but that’s never been true for me.  I ran cross country in high school and now college, and I still question why I do it.  I love the thrill though.  The wind going through my hair.  My lungs burning from the cold.  My number and jersey flapping in the wind.

I have long legs and arms.  I’m lean and muscular.  The cross country coach in high school saw me one day and asked me to join the team.  He said I was meant to run, and he was right.  I had been running since I was a little girl and had always loved the feeling.

Once I started running competitively, the feeling of crossing the finish line felt even better.  Everyone cheering.  It was wonderful, and now I only had another mile and a half left to go, separating me from that feeling.  I keep running and running.  I had to make it.

Now, I was running at Penn State for a full scholarship.  My high school coach always told me I was good, but it wasn’t until the college recruiters came that I believed her.  That’s why I kept going because I knew I was good enough to win this.  I got a full scholarship didn’t I?  That’s what I always had to ask myself, and it pushed me forward even after I didn’t think I could keep going.

I was down to only a mile now.  I don’t stop running.  I could feel the sudden burst of energy that I always got as I got closer to the finish line. I knew I was second right now.  I had only seen one other girl pass me, and I knew the rest of the runners were behind me.  I had to try and catch up to the girl in first place, so I started running faster.  It was easier now because the path had changed to pavement instead of uneven grass.  I could see her now.  She wasn’t too far ahead.  I sped up even more, and I was only two or three feet behind now.  She was slowing down.  She started too fast in the beginning and was too tired now to keep up her pace.

I passed her, and I could tell she was too exhausted to try and catch up to me.  I had less than half a mile to go, and I was going to finish in first place.  I loved the sound of my feet pounding the pavement.  The finish line was in sight now.  I kept running.  Less than a quarter of a mile now.  I passed trees and road signs and finally, the finish line.  I heard everyone cheering for me, and I knew that I had done well.  I was meant to run.

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