I started running 6 years ago. I can’t remember why, exactly, but I’m pretttty sure it’s because I wanted to lose weight. I was back home from college and wasn’t my healthiest self; between my new income at my first real job and my mom’s amazing cooking, I was definitely packing on some pounds.
My friend Kate and I signed up for our first 10K (The Big Gay 10K, naturally), and training for that first 10K was brutal. A memory that sticks out is when my ex-boyfriend (he was a firefighter and in great shape) and I were on a training run, and at about the 3 mile mark (we were planning on a 6 mile run) I threw a fit because I had side stitches and was tired. I had zero confidence in myself. After all, I was that girl in middle school who walked the mile. Walked! What was I thinking I could possibly run a 10K? I’d always thought to myself that since I don’t have long legs like a gazelle and that running isn’t something I’m “naturally” good at, I had a valid enough excuse to just give up.
So my ex-boyfriend ran off without me, and something in me clicked. I finished that run, by myself. And I kept at it with my training. I woke up early in the mornings and penciled in my runs. The training paid off, because I’ll never forget how I felt when I crossed that first finish line. I was proud. And hooked.
After that first 10K, I wanted to continue to prove to myself that I could do something that I wasn’t “good” at. That made me uncomfortable. Since then I’ve run 6 half marathons, and dozens of 5K’s, 5 Milers, 10K’s and 15K’s. It took be about 3 years for me to comfortably classify myself as a “runner,” (I feel like that label can be a tad pompous and intimidating), and even today I have a love/hate relationship with running. I am constantly procrastinating my runs. I get intimidated and anxious when I have a long run coming up. Will I be able to do it? Will I stop? Did I eat the right things leading up to this run? But even when I procrastinate, it gets done, one way or another. One thing running has taught me is commitment. Every race I sign up for, I train for. Of course, some races I’ve dedicated more time and miles to, but I’ve still put in whatever effort I’ve had.
Above everything, running makes me proud of myself. Even if it’s not pretty, includes walking, or pain, I am proud of every single run. I’m proud because my non-runners body, short legs and long torso carry me every step of the way. But most of all, I am doing something I thought I could never do. And guess what? I guess you could say I’m pretty “good” at it 🙂
So, what do I have coming up? This weekend I’m running the San Diego Rock n Roll Half marathon in preparation for my first marathon on July 31st. I’m excited, NERVOUS, anxious, everything. But I know I just have to trust in my training, and in myself.