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! ;)