My Love Affair With Running.
Hmm, where do I begin with me and My Love Affair with Running?
Well, I should start by saying that little question above, that bit about “love affair,” is a complete and utter lie. Running and I aren’t even entangled in an epic love/hate relationship, it’s pretty much just a, “I-hate-you,” “no-I-hate-you-more!” “no-I-hate-you-most!” type of thing.
But here’s my story:
I wanted to get skinny (obs) and somewhere along the road had heard that “running just melts the pounds right off” which naturally meant that tubby, old me was intrigued by running (anything to lose weight!), but I was lazy, and ddin’t try it because, well, movement and I didn’t get along.
In the summer of 2008, I remember hearing that my sister and her fiancé were running the Quebec City 1/2 Marathon. I was SO PROUD! I had no sense of distance then, but just knew it was really far. I would tell my friends (with great pride), “my sister is running a marathon!” as, despite the key word “half,” I had no idea what the difference was, and I considered anything more than a saunter down the street a marathon.
In February 2009 I started this blog.
And I lost weight, never ever running. (See beginning posts. I did it through restricting my calories to about 1,000/day.) I’d receive questions/comments about what my exercise regime was like, and I’d reply “me? exercise? umm yea… no.” I wanted to look hot in work out clothes before I went for a run, not be a ball of fat rolling down the street.
The days, weeks, months, passed, and then I received an email from a friend asking me to sign up for a 5k with her. Umm WHOA, Like Whoa, stop. the. presses. Whoa.
I had never run before, with the exception of a 5k (3 mile) charity race for breast cancer, which I walked/jogged with a friend in about 45 minutes. I was not a runner, I was a professional sitter. But as it would make for a great blog post (umm yes, tis true, I thought like this), I signed up!
I Google searched “5k training guides,” and then one night, I ran. This is the time I let you in on a secret, when I say, “ran” I mean “jog, walk, jog, stop, walk, walk, walk, jog,” but I had a set distance to go (like 2k) and I did it.
So, on April 26, 2009 I ran my first 5k. My time was 33:30.9. The night before I prepared as if it was a marathon; I was in bed by 9 pm, after “carb-loading” with pasta, with my outfit neatly laid out next to my bed. I was scared, terrified and excited. The race itself was cold, and hard, but that’s where I was introduced to the wonderful addiction of races: they’re fun!
I was hooked, just like that. Seriously guys, races are where it’s at when it comes to running, they’re so much fun and make you feel real special.
So I signed up for a 10k running clinic and race! Umm what?! That was BIG business. Me? run a 10k? That’s like twice as much as a 5k… Omigod, I suppose pigs can fly. And so I trained… and ran it (1:20:40). Whoa.
After following other fellow weight loss blogs, and seeing people run 1/2 marathons I (hesitantly) signed up to run my first 1/2 marathon on September 27, 2009. It was months, and months away, but OMIGOD, I was terrified. I created extensive schedules, and shockingly (this really was odd for me) stuck with the program!
Along the journey to my first 1/2 marathon, I ran a 15k race (1:41:11.0), and then finally ran my first half!! And what an experience that was! I ran the race in 2:24:23.9 and was just thrilled with the whole experience. So thrilled, I signed up for a 2nd 1/2 marathon two weeks later.
On my second half, I found out that there is no way to cheat running, as I cheated in those middle two weeks. In those middle two weeks, I hardly trained, had a carb-fest trip to NYC, and felt jiggle form on my butt. My time was 2:27:10.9. That was slower than my first half (disappointing), but I had just run two half marathons in three weeks, so I was still happy, and luckily wasn’t turned off running.
Over the winter of 2009, I started to hoard carbs for the winter months, and watched my weight plateau. I stopped running (see snow/wind/ice outside, and warm, cozy couch inside). I felt myself slipping into sad-times-gaining-weight mode, and thus needed something to revitalize my life.
So, I signed up for a full, as in 42.2 kilometers (or 26.1 miles) marathon. And as Usher would say, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh my God.
And then, as fate would have it, in June 2010 I signed up for a Marathon Clinic which has completely changed my life, for the awesome.
Along the way I’ve run another 10k race (6.2 miles, time: 1:05:39.9), a 10 miler race (16k, time: 2:00), a 30k race (18 miles, time: 3:33:59.7), another 10k race (6.2 miles, time:1:02:56) and a third half marathon race (time: 2:29:33.9).
This is all as shocking to me, as it may be to you.
In five days, at 7:30 am, I’ll set out in Chicago to do something I never thought I would do: run a *full* marathon. My emotions are all over the place and I still feel like this whole journey, from zero to marathon, has been a dream.
I have earned every step I’ve run, from sweat, blood and tears, to blisters, sore knees, shin splints, and painful arches to missing out on nights out with friends. I’ve worked for every step.
I’ve heard I’ll be a “changed person after The Marathon,” but I’ve already changed, inside and out (goodbye cellulite on my bum, hello calf muscles!).
So there that is, my running story. Every run is still an internal battle to actually get it done, but what I’ve realized over the past 20 months is this: I’ll be standing in my room, knowing I need to run, yet desperately wanting to be horizontal in my bed, a dilemma, no? Yes. So what I do is this: I run first, sleep/chillax second. That half an hour or hour is so tiny and inconsequential, and I’ll have the rest of my days to sleep, so why not RUN!
You’ll never, ever, ever regret a run (promise), that’s the beauty of it. So, one step at a time… it’s just one small step.