I wouldn’t consider myself a runner, but I do run. I wasn’t a runner growing up (field hockey and tennis, thank you very much) and when I had to run for those sports I did not enjoy it. Nope. When I would see people running I would look at their faces and say “Why do these people run when they all look so miserable doing it??” I decided that I was going to be a happy runner when I had to go out and train for the upcoming season. I wasn’t happy to be running, mind you, but if a car was coming I would plaster a giant smile on my face or try to look really serene, thinking I looked something like this:
but I’m pretty sure the effect was more like this:
Suffice it to say, running was not my thing.
That is, until I had children; lovely wonderful children who were so healthy and strong that my body had to make an enormous amount of extra room for them to grow. I know it’s hard to convey sincerity sometimes, but I really am so grateful that my children were not only so healthy, but that I was able to give them the room to grow that they needed. That being said, I don’t love the 2-3 inch gap I have between my abdominal muscles that will never close – or the lovely little flap and pouch that was bestowed upon me as a parting gift.
I started running because one doctor told me not to do any type of exercise that focuses on the abdominal region because he was afraid I would rupture. Great image, huh. I started at a gym, but then realized that if all I could do was some elliptical and treadmill work, it wasn’t worth the price. Then, I moved to running outside, and kind of half-assed things for a year or so. I would ‘train’ (half-assedly) for a Mother’s Day 5K, but then it would be back to the old routine of getting out for a mile or two twice a week, and then only when I really NEEDED to be by myself.
A friend and I were talking recently about running and she had said that she wanted to start up again, but hadn’t hit that point yet where she felt really motivated. We were interrupted a few dozen times before I could either think of a response or actually voice it, but what I thought after was that right now, running is all I have for myself. That, and this blog. I don’t work outside the house, and just about everything I do away from the home is involving or because of my family. I don’t take a class, or meet regularly with others on my own; my attempts to start a business were stalled by state regulations even before I acknowledged that right now might not be the best time for that. Right now, to do something just for me, I run.
One day I ran 4 miles, just because I wanted to see if I could. It was hard, but I did it. A few runs later, I did almost 5. And then I saw a facebook post of a friend who was listing the races she was thinking of doing, and one of them was a Half Marathon. For some reason, that idea just got stuck in my head. We emailed back and forth; she sent me support and a training schedule, and I got started. I told my husband, but no one else. I wanted to see if I could make it through the first few weeks without falling over or turning into a crazy person (see above picture…). I was kind of shocked that I could do it.
I registered a few days ago. I am excited that I am Getting Out (not so urgent these days…no caps needed), and am committing to something challenging. I’ve wanted to call it off a few times, before I even registered, but I kept hearing my husband say this:
“Of course you want to quit, it’s hard…”
Which was the absolute truth. I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid of failing – because this wasn’t easy, and there was a definite chance that my knees might not hold up, or that I wouldn’t be able to train enough in time; this was hard stuff and if I didn’t put the work in, I would fail, and for me that is scary. But even though I am scared at times I love the way I am feeling. It’s been a long time since I had a goal that was just about me, and it’s great to get out there and go at it.
I’m not all the way there yet, but I do know that if I keep trying, I’m not failing. If I give it my best, then I succeeded in challenging myself.
I am going to keep at it, and hopefully come October I will be able to share a wicked awesome photo of me at the finish line.