I know I have mentioned on this blog that I love to run. Maybe you are wondering why, well here is my running story.
About 6 years ago I started on my get in shape journey. I would get up every morning and get on my elliptical and go for 30 minutes three days a week and the other three days I would do an abdominal workout video. Nothing major but enough for me to think I was active, it took off the baby weight I had gained having 2 boys 17 months apart and some extra weight. I felt good but I wasn't pushing myself, I was going through the fitness motions.
My brother and sister in law were doing a bootcamp that also did trail runs. My brother told me I would love the runs and I should try one. Now I didn't run, I didn't like to run, I did the elliptical and I watched chic flicks from Netflix while I did my mild 30 minutes and I did abdominal workout DVD's. I worked out, I was good, I did not run. But I was intrigued (I like to try new things), I did not think I could do it and at that point I didn't like to run!
After more encouragement (and pestering cause that's what brother's do) from my brother and sister in law and listening to them talk about the races, I went for a run in my neighborhood, it wasn't pretty and I still didn't like running. I went to the pre- run practice with my brother and we ran the trail where the race would be and I struggled. I was slow and at the back of the pack, literally the last runner and I thought, this is not for me, I suck at this. I did the race. I struggled, I ran, I walked, I jumped in a river, I did ladders of mountain climbers and burpees throughout the race, I ran up and down 5 sledding hills and did squats at the top and bottom, I thought I might die (I cursed my brother for talking me into this), but I finished. When I finished that race I felt proud of myself, I felt like I had conquered a huge feat (it was a huge feat, those races were tough!)
But I continued to do my elliptical because that is what I had and how I worked out. Early morning workouts were easiest at that point with 2 small kids. I did more of the bootcamp runs and with each one I felt less and less like I was going to die, it was good. After each race I felt better about myself, I felt pride in myself for completing the race.
I sold my elliptical and bought a treadmill. I then got into a rut again, where I did 30 minutes three times a week at an easy pace, not pushing myself, not overdoing it. But I no longer hated running, I liked it but didn't consider myself a "runner"
But I was a runner, I liked to run. We moved and I had to stopped doing the bootcamp runs, the drive was a little too long (they were fun but I was moving on).
2 years ago, I decided 30 minutes at an easy pace wasn't good enough anymore. I started to do more runs outside and increase my distance. I thought about maybe doing a half marathon, although I didn't think I could, that was too long to run, it would be too hard, impossible even.
I went to a local park and set out to run the entire bike trail loop, 8 miles, the longest I had ever run. It took me 2 hours and by the end everything hurt, my legs, my knees, my chest, everything. But I felt amazing, so what if I was slow, I ran 8 miles! I loved that feeling.
That day at the park I made a commitment to myself that within a year I would run a half marathon. I ran more that summer and trained on my treadmill in the winter. I worked on my pace, I pushed my treadmill past the 6 mph hour speed and ran for longer then 30 minutes and it didn't overheat or smoke.
A little over a year after that slow crawl around the 8 mile loop, I headed out to the same park to tackle it again. After my year of hard work, I finished in 1 hour and 20 minutes! I couldn't believe it, I was almost in tears, I was so proud of myself. I signed up a for a series of three trail races last summer, the Serious Series through Running Fit. I signed up for a 5 mile run in May, a 10K in June and a half marathon in August, I was committed, no turning back.
I found a half marathon training plan and I started training. I loved my training, I fell in love with long runs. I loved the time to myself, with my music and time to just think with no one around who needed me. My long runs calmed me and re-centered me each week.
I completed the first 2 races. The 5 mile run was not my best run but I finished. The 10K in June was great and I finished 2nd in my age bracket, I was shocked and proud, my hard work was paying off!
The half marathon arrived, I was nervous and excited. Two days before my half marathon, I fell hard on my tail bone. I slipped on the wet hardwood in my house while going to shut the door wall as rain was coming in. I was upset, I spent 2 days sitting on ice but I never thought about not doing the run, fast or slow I had come this far and I would finish it.
The day of the race I iced my behind the whole drive to the race, when I arrived at the race I was slightly intimidated by the "real" runners, with their tape and tall socks, water backpacks, watches and other gear. Then I reminded myself, I am a runner just like them, with or without cool gear. I also had to remind myself to run my race, my goal was to finish and run the entire time, plain and simple.
I started out on the run and felt good. My tailbone was hanging in there, no pain. My music was playing and I was on my way. Around mile 8, my tailbone started to hurt from my fall, the course was hillier then I had expected but I was determined to finish the race and to finish it running. When I rounded the last turn and saw the finish I was so happy and exhausted. I crossed that finish line, got my medal and cried. I did it, I finished a half marathon!
I finished in 2 hours and 15 minutes, it was awesome and I felt proud of myself. To add to my pride when I looked at the results I was second in my age bracket, I couldn't believe it!
I am a runner, I love to run. This year I will run 2 half marathons, one in April and one in October. Will I run a marathon, for now I say no but I have learned to never say never. I never thought I would run a half marathon and look at me now.
Running challenges me like nothing in my life ever has. It challenges me to do better, to improve, to keep pushing. Running pushes me to my limits and beyond and I love that. Running has taught me that my body is capable of anything.
I am a runner and I run this body! I will get one of these shirts one day from Mile-Post and wear it with pride!
I also hope to take my half marathon bibs and a few other race bibs and get one of these bags from Mile 22 bags to carry around with pride at all I have accomplished so far in my running.
Question of the day:
I'm not saying I am perfect in fact I am far from perfect. I am a work in progress and will be for my entire life. Nobody is perfect no matter how perfect they claim to be. I have flaws, I have accepted that my flaws are part of what makes me unique. I don't want to be perfect, then I will have nothing to work toward or challenge myself with. I like the challenges I face and the goals I set for myself. I like the feeling of reaching them and then setting new ones.