This is a healthy, real-life emotional post I wanted to share with you all!
On March 29th, 2015, I will be running my first ever half-marathon, the Love Run in Philadelphia! Yep, that’s 13.1 miles to complete! I’m so nervous but super excited because when I started I didn’t think I would ever get here. I’m mostly there (distance-wise) and I’m ready to shout it from the rooftops because I’ve worked really hard for this.
I won’t lie and say the road to running isn’t bumpy; during my training I got sick (just regular cold stuff, stomach bug), I had lazy days, I had days where I was super busy and couldn’t squeeze a run in before work or after, but I have stuck it out and that’s the most I can be happy with.
For as long as I can remember I’ve never been happy with my weight and/or appearance. I’ve always been the heavy friend, always –to quote Taylor Swift, “she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers” …I’m the girl in the t-shirts and hanging out on the bleachers. Even as I got older my rationale about who I am hadn’t changed much. And that’s something I definitely
need to work on, have been working on for a while and sometimes I see improvements.
Running works for me because I can zone out. I end up caring about how much more until I reach the half mile point, or when I have a mile under my belt. How many more songs will it take until I finish my distance? Breathe in, breathe out. All of these things are traveling so fast within my mind that I’m not paying attention to much else…and that’s a really good thing because I have been known to do too much thinking.
So with my weight issues three years ago I started to work out with Jillian Michaels DVDs. I saw some results but I just was super adamant on not wanting to spend money on a gym membership (which I eventually did) so I was taking the cheap road and spending $9 on a workout DVD where you’re your only workout buddy besides Jillian and she won’t know if you cheat and skip out on a move or not. Despite seeing some slimming I just never felt like I was seeing enough of an improvement and I like food too much to officially change my diet for the better. Even with counting calories on and off and a small time at WeightWatchers, it just wasn’t there for me and I was losing hope. I did hear of one other way you could lose weight faster and that would change soon.
On April 15th, 2013 Boston was celebrating its city’s day as well as one of their exciting community events, the Boston Marathon. 26 miles are run by thousands of individuals and thousands more come out to support and cheer all of those hardworking runners on! (Great, I’m tearing up writing this because it’s the truth no matter how clichéd you think I am) We all know what happened next.
That day I felt really terrible for the victims. Everyone who was effected and most importantly, every runner and supporter who ironically lost their leg(s) that day…it just broke my heart. I cried a lot and thought how freaking awful were these individuals to bomb such a happy occasion with this hate and hurt so many innocent people! People who were RUNNING now have a really long and difficult road to recovery to possibly running again, and may never want to try. After I got sad, I got angry and thought, “How can I come home every day and not want to take advantage of having two working legs, when these poor victims don’t have that simple right anymore?” It just…it really got to me and in addition to trading in my DVDs, I decided to become a runner instead.
I downloaded C25K, Couch 2 5K app for my iPhone, and decided I was going to make a real goal. I was going to attempt to find time to run and I set my goal that May to run my first 5K in October of that year. The app starts you off slow, you run on and off 1 minute to 1.5 minutes and you do that for 28-30 mins with a 5 mins warm-up and cool down. In the following weeks, you progress to 3 minutes then 5 and then 8 minutes and so on. I remember when I got to when I had to run 5 minutes in a row—I thought I was going to die. I was getting anxiety about it because I was barely managing the three, and kept thinking, THAT’S A WHOLE SONG! I’M ATTEMPTING TO RUN FOR AN ENTIRE SONG! SOMEONE HELP ME! Hahaha!
Oh if only my old self could see me now! Most recently the week I had to run my 12 miles I was so proud I ran 4 miles for 45 minutes without stopping for a breather or water and walk it off! Now that may be child’s play to some runners, but for me that was seriously monumental!
Since getting that inspiration on that tragic day in April, I’ve run (officially) seven 5K’s, two virtual 10K’s (run on your own, anywhere, pay and receive a medal—HOLLA! An honor system basically), and signed up for a 10K but had to pass on it because travel plans changed. This year I have my first half-marathon, a 15K, and a 5K already signed up for and I hope to run that 10K I didn’t get a chance to run the year before. I’m really proud that I’ve been keeping up with it and I’m hoping one day in the near future I can try for a full marathon!
I need a real trainer to help me get to running 26.2 miles…oh god I want to throw up thinking about that, haha, but thinking about running 5 minutes in a row once gave me that feeling too and I conquered that so I have faith and know in time I can attempt it and make it happen!
Family and most importantly my friends have cheered me on telling me how proud they are and some days I get it and some days I don’t. Running doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal. It’s just using your legs to get from one point to another. But some days… some days I get it. I get the appreciation people tell me because running isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone.
The fact that I can make a conscious decision to get out of bed, lace up my sneakers, put in those earbuds, and owning that treadmill or pavement does feel pretty good. And that does take effort that I always sell myself short on. Again, some days I get it—I see the hard work I’ve put forth, and some days it just feels like second nature to run because it’s another day and that’s what I have to do, I don’t need praise to do it because I just will.