Sunday, October 28, 2012

Girl Named Runner

When I started running, it was on a whim. It was Christmas 2010, and I decided I needed to get rid of my baby weight. I went to the gym and ran a mile on the treadmill, and almost died. I started researching, and decided to try Couch25k, and set a goal to run my first 5k at the CMN Med Mile (I worked there at the time). I completed the program and ran/walked my first 5k in 44 minutes and some change. It was hot, I was miserable, I thought I was going to pass out and/or puke, and I hated it. But I kept going, but never considered myself a "runner". "Runners" do half marathons, marathons, triathlons, ultra marathons, but "runners" don't do 5k's. I continued my training, and completed 9 5k's between then and October 2012. My goal was always under 40 minutes - in August I finished on in 39:48. Then I changed my goal to under 35 minutes. My next 5k I finished in 35:21 (SO close!) but I ran the whole time, and gave it all I had, and I was SO proud of myself afterwards!
Me and my friend Heather, right before my PR 5k

 I decided to do a 10k, and started training doing Couch210k. The training was hard, with runs much longer than what I was used to (2 miles was as far as I ran unless it was a 5k race). I cross trained with P90X to build my legs up a bit. The first time I ran 5.7 miles was one of the proudest moments of my life, and the first time I believe I achieved a true "runners high". When I started running, if you told me I'd ever run that far I would have thought you were crazy. Then came the 10k, and I was SO nervous! I knew the worst that could happen was I'd have to walk, but I really wanted to do this right. Up to this point, I'd only ever finished 2 5k's without walking! My goal for the 10k was 1:20:00 and I started. I took it slow because I had never ran the full 6.2 so I wasn't sure what pace I could withstand for that long. I'm proud to say that I ran the entire time, with the exception of 3 water stations, and finished in 1:19:28. 
Me and my super-fast husband  (he finished in 53:00) right before the 10k

Again, when I first started running if you had told me I'd run for an hour and 19 minutes straight, I would have thought you were crazy! I still didn't consider myself a "runner", although I felt I was getting closer. It wasn't until I got my first running injury (torn meniscus) that I realized I am a "runner". Right after the 10k I had my knee checked out and the dr said to take 2-4 weeks off, and I couldn't believe it. I thought I would like to be ordered to take a break, but it wasn't that way. I felt lost, and I got sad and depressed. I was SO afraid that I would lose all my progress and all the hard work I'd put in would be gone. I didn't feel like myself (and it was only 2 weeks, ridiculous, right?!) but running has gotten so ingrained in my personality and identity that I didn't know what to do without it. Well today I had my first run in 2 weeks, and it was horrible (I only did 2 miles, but that's better than nothing!) and it was amazing at the same time. Today I finally feel like myself again, I'm running again and I feel normal. Today I am officially a "runner". I've decided to train for a half-marathon and I'm SO excited! I'm hoping to find a good one next spring to do, and if not I'll do the Bass Pro half next fall. Will I ever do a marathon? Right now I say probably not, but I said the same thing about a 10k and half-marathon a year ago, so who knows! I'm just glad to be back, and to anyone that loves running as much as I do, you will understand what this post was about. 

P.S. Below is a blog I found the other day, through another running blog I found. I immediately identified with her because we have SO much in common. She used to be overweight (although she's lost a lot more weight than I have!) she was bullied when she was younger and made fun of for being overweight, she started running and doing 5k's, and has now done 2 marathons! She is amazing, and I love to read other people's running stories and what motivates them. 

Chase Fear

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