I was a bad foodie blogger last night and missed taking pictures of my supper. (I had a chicken breast, parsnip fries and a salad btw.) So in lieu of posting about my supper, I thought I would do a little reflection this morning. Get a little deep. 😉
Why do I run?
What does running mean to me?
Looking back to last November/December, I considered myself to be fairly fit. I would ride one, sometimes two horses about 5 times a week. But riding is all I really did. I remember being bored at work one day so I started searching around in the blogging world. That is when I discovered healthy living blogs. It wasn’t long before I noticed a common trend out in the healthy living blogger world – running. I was impressed to see how many bloggers out there actually use running as their main form of fitness and exercise. I quickly started to feel the itch.
You see, when I was a kid, I just loved to run. I was pretty good at it too. I was on the cross-country team in elementary school as well as the track teem – where I excelled in the 100M sprint. When I hit high school, riding and part time jobs took over my spare time leaving running to the wayside and that was it. In my first year of university, during the second semester where I realized I had put on that freshman 15 some friends and I thought it would be fun to start doing some running on the campus track. Well that lasted about 2 weeks. 😉
Fast forward 8 years.
I’m no longer drinking, I’m eating healthy, I’m riding almost every day… but I need something more to be more balanced.
I decided that I wanted to run.
I’m not going to lie, some of my friends and family thought I was crazy. I had C’s support though so I went for it. I used my christmas money and bought myself a new pair of shoes.
My original plan/goal was to run the 2012 Walt Disney World marathon. Looking back, that was a great goal to have right out of the gate, but now that I have been running for almost a year, marathon training just really isn’t going to fit my lifestyle. And I’m ok with that.
I started out by completing the Couch To 5K program and my love for running started to grow as the weeks went by. At the end of that program, I participated in my very first 5K race. Finishing with a time of 31:41, I felt incredible and thought I did very well!
From the moment I crossed that finish line, I knew that I had fallen in love with running. The sense of accomplishment I felt when crossing that finish line, combined with the sense of just doing something great for my body was something I knew I never wanted to lose.
I still find myself a little shocked/surprised when I look back and think that only 1 month later, I actually ran my first 10K race! Finishing in 1:04:05! Amazing!
Honestly, I still don’t know how I managed to complete that entire 10K with no walking after only running for about 4 months. The only explanation I have is sheer love and determination.
I haven’t done any more races since that 10K in May, but that is ok. Although I didn’t do much running this summer (due to insanely hot temperatures), I find that I have finally found my balance.
I know that I have been spending the majority of my recent runs working towards training for a PR goal in my upcoming race this Sunday, but after this race, the running will continue. Not just for another race, not just for another PR, but for ME.
Running has turned into something special for me. It is not so much of an escape (I find riding is my escape and stress reliever) but I see it as somewhat of a personal challenge. That 10K race helped me a lot in realizing that I can really do anything I put my mind to. I know that my body is capable and that the challenge lies in my mind. I am a competitive person by nature, and it’s almost turned into my own little game to see how I can challenge myself in my runs. Whether that challenge be running up certain hills that have gotten me down in the past, or doing some crazy speedwork while giving myself that floating feeling, or even trying out a new route on an insanely windy day.
It’s all about perservering and completing the task that gives me that rush. And no matter how much I don’t feel like going out for a run sometimes, I always feel amazing and so proud of myself when I get home. It’s too easy to just come home from work and lay on the couch for the evening. So the fact that, on my designated running days, I can come home, quickly change into my running clothes and get myself right back out the door is my first victory in the day’s running challenge.
Now this isn’t to say that I see runing as this annoying or irritating thing I *have* to do. The challenge of getting out there and accomplishing a run not matter what is where I get that rush and that joy. As I said before, it’s something I never want to lose.
And who knows, maybe a marathon, or even a half-marathon will be in my cards one day!
For now, I sit here extremely proud of myself. The girl who less than a year ago decided to make a change in her life and start running!
I plan to make it my personal goal to never stop again. 😉