If you know me, then it’s probably no surprise that my topic for the letter R in the blogging A to Z challenge is running.
I’m a runner.
You have no idea how much I enjoy typing that sentence. Because I wanted to be a runner for a long time and it’s finally happened.
A number of years ago, I decided I wanted to start running. And I failed at it. I had shin splints so bad that there were a few times I was literally unable to walk because my shins hurt so horribly. I wasn’t surprised because so many other times I tried to run I had the same problem with my shins. I was giving up the dream.
Then in 2013 my husband decided to start running. And he had success at it. And I became consumed with jealousy. He wanted to run the Hot Chocolate race in Chicago and I actually picked a fight with him in order to give myself a reason not go cheer him on at his first 5K. I eventually did tell him how terribly envious I was feeling and I did go cheer him on, but I was an ugly person.
While he was training, I secretly started trying to run again. It was brutal. I was so out of shape. But I noticed that my shins weren’t bothering me. I literally started running by running for 30 seconds, walking for 5 minutes, and repeating this. I slowly started to increase my running time and decrease my walking time until I could start using a couch-to-5K app, then I used that, sometimes repeating a week 2, 3, even 4 times. I decided to run my first 5K in December 2013. It was brutal because I was really overweight plus I had a fresh snow fall to run through.
But that 5K really spurred me on and I kept running. I kept trying to improve, sometimes my pace, sometimes my distance. I tend not to care that I am a slow runner; my pace tends to be somewhere in the 13:00 – 13:30 mile pace. I’ve done as well as 12:51.
This past December I ran the same 5K I ran for my first 5K and it was a lot easier and a lot more satisfying. Since then, I’ve managed to increase my distance to 5 miles for my longest run. On average, I run 2 – 3 miles each time I run (about 4 times a week). I can easily remember when it was a struggle to run a mile. Now a mile isn’t even a workout.
I have even suffered a typical runner’s injury, had physical therapy, and bounced back from the injury.
One day, while talking with my husband about my running, he called me an athlete. I was dumbfounded. I’ve never been an athlete in my life. But I started thinking about it and realized he is right. I AM an athlete.
I’m a runner.
And I’m damn proud of it.