I think by now you have all realized that I caught the running bug last year - ok, recaught the runners bug – but it has stuck this time.
When I was younger I never wanted to run, I’m not sure why I was so against it. I’m sure it had to do with feeling uncomfortable in my own body, but I don’t remember any specific reasonings behind the dislike…
But then it changed in 2005… I started at the beginning of the year – the first week in January – running just a 1/2 a mile during that week. Week Two, I increased to 3/4 of a mile for the week and proceeded from there…
Next thing I knew I was signing up for road races and actually enjoying lacing up my sneakers and heading out for a run.
Okay, it was more like a jog. I wasn’t fast, but I was out there. I was moving one foot in front of the other.
But then all the fun and joy of running came crashing down after an injury in 2006. I hurt my IT band while training for my first marathon – pushed through and completed the marathon … with a lot of walking – and stopped running completely.
Fast forward through a couple years of putting a ton of weight on … working out, but not running and fueling my body with the unhealthiest of choices … join Weight Watchers … start seeing success … and all of a sudden it’s time to give running another shot!
I ran my first race after the September 2006 marathon was the Hot Chocolate 5k on November 1, 2009.
But between work and a back injury in December 2010, I had to hang up my running shoes once again – but this time it WASN’T by choice … which hurt!
I had finally found something that pushed me farther than I ever thought I could go.
I was cleared to start running again in June 2011 and I haven’t looked back. Since being cleared to run, I have completed 25 road races.
And now? Now I am training for my second marathon – and I am ready to BLOW my previous time out of the water!
Because now I have the desire, self-esteem, self-worth and support to know that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to.
And it has paid off.
On June 6, I completed – no I OWNED – a 14 mile run. The first time I had run that far since September 2006 and as you can see, I was beyond thrilled!
I look forward to any time I can lace up my sneakers and hit the path or chat with someone who is looking to start out running. I love to show that I started out at a 12 min/mile pace and can now proudly say I can keep a 7:30 min/mile pace for a 5k or more.
With hard work, determination, support and the desire to learn about the sport – anyone can be a runner!
If you are looking to start running, I really recommend the C25k (Couch To 5k) program that many of my friends have used to start moving that one foot in front of the other. It is a run-walk method that people even use to complete Half Marathons and Full Marathons.
I also recommend finding a running partner or partners … so many times my friend Ellie got me out in the worst of Chicago winter weather to run along the Lake. I knew I couldn’t let her down – plus she didn’t always bring her phone so I couldn’t text her to bail. :P Plus, our weekly runs were free therapy – for both of us.
So happy trails my friends … and always remember the bling!