As I mentioned in one of my intro posts, running is a relatively new passion in my life. If you asked me a year ago if I would ever think of running even a 10k, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I have never been a runner. I’ve wanted to be numerous times, but I thought that I was just never cut out for it.
When I was trying to get back in shape last summer, I joined a gym and spent my time there mostly on the elliptical. I also went on a fair number of walks outside. I figured, as long as I am walking the same distance I would have run, it doesn’t really matter how fast it happens. It’s basically the same workout, right? Well, not so much. I think one of the main reasons I didn’t like, even hated running is because I was not good at it. I felt incredibly out of shape and always felt like I wasn’t able to breath properly and my legs were going to fall off…
In October of 2010, Kinley told me that I should give running another shot. I’m not sure what made me say “okay” and actually start doing it. I started by running approximately a 5k distance (walking part of it) with Kinley which motivated me to not stop. Giving up is just way too easy when you have no one next to you. So that’s how it started. I was not good. I tried my first 5k race in November of 2010 at my college, luckily it was free for me since I was still a student. It was bad. I was expecting a road race and instead it was a run on the cross country path, and the weather was unseasonably warm and I had overdressed. I did make it by my “goal” time (of 35 minutes) but only by like 2 seconds, and I felt like crap. And I was like the second to last person to finish.
I swore to myself that I would never compete in another race again. They just weren’t for me. My body wasn’t cut out to run like that. For whatever reason, I still continued running… And you know what? I have improved quite a bit! I have not done another race yet, but I am signed up for a 10k on June 11th. My current training 5k time is 3 minutes faster than I finished the race in November (a good 1minute/mile increase!), and I can actually run without Kinley now (and without stopping!).
I am still improving each week. I hope that one day I can increase my distances because I really do enjoy running now. I am up to running an entire 10k, and can actually run it in pretty good time (for me). Kinley urged me to sign up for the DisneyWorld 1/2 marathon with her in January 2012, which will be her 5th official 1/2 marathon at that point, but only my first. I still have time to train for that, but it definitely gives me motivation if I ever do feel like giving up and walking the rest of the way home! I feel confident that I will be able to finish the 10k coming up, hopefully feeling better than I did after the 5k. It will truly be a test to see how I can run in a location I am not familiar with and also with other runners alongside me.
It is remarkable that I am at the place where I am now with running. I never thought I would see this day, and here I am looking to improve my speed and distance even more in the future. Hopefully this is the beginning of a lifelong relationship with running, and that I have many more races to look forward to in the future!