There is only one time in my life that I can remember running a sub 8 minute mile: during the Physical Fitness Test. In the sixth grade. I missed getting Presidential because of the sit-and-reach! Damn sit and reach. I always got minus on that crap (i.e. couldn’t touch my toes.)
In middle school the only time I ever ran more than a mile at a time was during the dreaded Ticket Run. Dun dah dah. We all had to run 2.5 mi in under 30 min in gym class one or two times a quarter. We would have to run with a “ticket” in our hand that our P.E. teachers would mark every lap so that we couldn’t cheat. Hey, at least I am still able to run the Ticket Run if I had to, ok? I mean, I think I could.
During high school track season I HATED running any farther than repeat 200’s (meters). I was a sprinter. I couldn’t believe the skinny little girls that ran their hearts out in the 2 miler. They were crazy! I’ll stick to my 55m dash during indoor, thank you very much.
Where I went to college – in Charlottesville, Virginia, is one of the Top Ten Healthiest Cities for Women(source). Therefore, you could always drive down one street and see several runners at any given time. When I went on my very few and far between runs in college (partially because I was always
hungover studying), and I would run/walk around a mile and call it a day.
My whole life I was frustrated that distance running was something I never felt like I could be a part of. How do you begin to excel at something you thought you could never be good at? The reason I thought I couldn’t be good at it (good = run for long periods of time at not an embarrassingly slow, ridiculous pace) was because I wasn’t a natural born distance runner.
Running was hard for me! It seemed like because it was hard for me – in contrast to those people who could run a 10K without a second thought – that I could never be a runner.
My friend Mal introduced me to the running blog community, and I was hooked. It was so fun to read about normal girls like me racing long distances and challenging themselves through running. I wanted to be one of those girls: so confident, slender, healthy, and happy. So I signed up for the Tough Mudder in September 2012 for inspiration to really get fit.
Only in the past year, when I started running more often – did I slowly build up a tiny base of mileage and realized that RUNNING IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. All this time, I had it wrong. I didn’t understand that the crazy skinny little girls running the two miler were working hard to do so! I thought they were all part of some natural distance runners club or something.
Nowadays I try to run 3-4 a week. During the spring I run outside in Rock Creek Park (on the paved trails – I had a disastrous experience trying to run on the hiking trails.) I love running outside, where there are scenic routes with creeks and canopies of treetops keep your eyes busy during a painful run.
In the late spring, when it started to get it started to get pretty hot outside, I sucked it up and decided it was time to join a gym. Up to this point, I hadn’t even thought about how I would run in the summer! Poor 2012 Boston Marathoners.
Ali actually gave me my gym idea with her reviews of the fun classes and nice looking pictures of equipment/locker rooms at Crunch Gym.
Since I live right outside of D.C., I was able to pretty much have my pick of the litter for my gym. I used to belong to LA Fitness a few years ago and wasn’t a fan because it was kind of (ok, REALLY) smelly. I got a free day guest pass to Crunch and LOVED it! Brand new, not smelly, lots of cool class opportunities, free parking, nice locker rooms. It hurt my bank account just a tad bit signing up, but so far, it’s totally been worth it.
I ran my first race (a 5K!) in summer 2012. I successfully completed the Tough Mudder in September 2012 and my first half marathon in March 2013. In November 2013, I ran my second half marathon. Hopefully I’ll be able to look back at this in a few years after running my first marathon, and be able to marvel how far I’ve come. We’ll see….