Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Running Story

I thought a lot on Saturday when I was out running.

I thought about how it was pouring rain and I was still in the park

I saw the other runners as soaked and cold as I was. I thought, "wow, they have dedication!

And then I thought that I had dedication, too. For the first time, I felt like a runner. Not just someone who likes to run or who just runs for fun. I felt like a runner. 

And then my Garmin died. Typical. 

Yep, exactly how I felt.
 
But so many people were running on (no pun intended) post-racing highs this weekend that it made me think about that one specific New Years resolution I made 2 years ago that magically turned me into a runner.

Okay, so it wasn't magic that turned me into a runner. But it was one goal I set on a whim and lots of blood, sweat, and tears.

I never used to believe in New Years resolutions in the slightest. Year after year I joked that my resolution was to "get a resolution next year". True story. 

Going into 2011, I knew I didn't want to set a resolution like "be healthy" or "get good grades". Those always seemed to be short lived. 

Randomly, I said "hey, I want to be a runner!" I didn't have any goals in mind. I just wanted to run. How hard could it be, right?

Backtracking across my whole life, I was never interested in running. I tried convincing myself I was a few times in high school. Fit people ran; I wanted to be fit. That seemed easy enough! I started a few "running logs" thinking I would see progress. I never saw any progress. I could fouetté turn and grand jeté for hours on end, or toss a six foot flag in the air and effortlessly catch it behind my back. Ask me to run and I'd probably curl up in the fetal position and cry. 


Truth of the matter was I never had to work out until college. Well, in my mind I didn't have to work out. I doubt that was really the case. I made my way to the gym a few times for yoga and for a boring round on the elliptical. Still no running for me.  

That about sums up college.

So why on earth did I want to become a runner? 

Still to this day in late 2012, I have absolutely no idea. I still don't really know if I feel like a runner even after Saturday's epiphany. I can easily say "I enjoy running" or "I go running often", but to other people I'd probably never say "I'm a runner." 

I get mortified when people ask, "Hey Tay, when is your marathon??" I say "omg, HALF. It's a HALF marathon!" because clearly I think the gods of running will strike me for being an imposter marathoner in training. 

I don't wear fancy compression socks. I don't separate my runs into tempo, hill, interval, easy, or any other adjective people use these days. I have good running days. I have some really fantastic running days. And then I have some really crap running days (and boy do I beat myself up about the crap running days). 

Despite all of that mumbo jumbo, I run. 

I started by walking around my neighborhood in the blistering Florida heat (rookie mistake, people). Then, I'd attempt to run. Of course I'd wait until there were no cars or people in sight (another rookie mistake; nobody really cares what you look like). I would put on an upbeat song and then motivate myself to keep going. I'd say, "run this whole song!" or "run the entire circle; it's so easy!". 

It was actually anything but easy. 

Let me break it down for you. The "circle" in my neighborhood was about .4 miles. Hilariously, I couldn't even run half of that without being winded and defeated. 

I joined a gym and slowly but surely the treadmill became my friend. I didn't really know what I was doing; I'd walk on an incline a bit or do some really awkward speed walking. But my friends were running, so I thought "why not?"

Running inside the gym felt a million times better than running outside. I didn't have to worry about running in the afternoon heat after classes or running in the pitch black night after work. 

Instead of being negative and feeling defeated, I set new goals for myself. I figured  if I could just run a bit longer (even if it was just 5 seconds longer) than I did the day before, it was a good day. So running for 5 minutes turned into 10 minutes, which turned into 20 minutes, which into my friends saying "WTF why can't I run like that?!"

I admit, some days I hit a major wall. I did my first 10 mile run a couple of weeks ago and was ready to quit half marathon training. Yes, dramatic but true. But then I thought about how far I've come. I couldn't run 10 seconds back in 2010, yet alone 10 miles. 

 
What I did 2 years ago kind of changed my life. And if you told me that fact 2 years ago, I probably wouldn't have believed you. 

I have a lot of goals for my future. Or maybe after the half marathon I will despise running. Who knows! But for now, I want more bib numbers on my wall. And I doubt that feeling will go away any time soon. 

5 comments:

  1. This is so inspiring! I keep saying I'm going to try running, but never do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's pretty much how I started running too. Just casually on the treadmill, testing to see how much longer I could go until I felt like I might be dying...or a really, really good song came on and I just had to run for that one. Also, reading running blogs and Runner's World magazine helped brainwash me a bit more haha. Then I was thinking about it all the time when I wasn't doing it. I'm on my way to doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February, hurrah! Good luck with your half mary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. running blogs are my weakness.... I think I can spend hours reading race recaps I've already read 8 times before!
      I want to do the Princess HM one day; I've always wanted to do it!! Good luck to you, too!!

      Delete
  3. YAY to all of this! When I ran in Suffolk over Christmas and I passed the place where I would have turned around when I ran there at Easter, I did a little dance :) totally understand!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this post! I actually just started running regularly this past summer and ran my first 5k in October. I'm hoping to do a half marathon at the end of the year! Just reading this made me more excited about my own goals! Thanks for sharing. Good luck to you! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by! I love reading what you have to say, so feel free to leave a comment!