My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

How did I become a runner?

on December 4, 2014

This is a question I get asked fairly regularly.

And I almost always answer the same way:  I kind of chuckle and say “I don’t really know. It just kind of happened.”

I hated running as a kid.  HATED. IT.

I was a fat kid with severe asthma, so I didn’t really do much of anything.  As I got older and my asthma got a little bit better, I still didn’t like running.  I remember having to run in gym class and cursing every single second of it.  And I remember the teacher yelling at me because I couldn’t run very far or very fast.  And I remember the other kids making fun of me.

So I never thought I’d be a runner.  It never even crossed my mind.

So how did I become one?

I don’t really know.  It just kind of happened.

When I first started working out, one of my goals was to walk more.  Just walk.  I wanted to be able to walk around the mall or even the grocery store without my feet hurting.  I wanted to be able to walk around the park with my friends and be able to keep up.  I wanted to be able to walk longer and farther.

I remember, not too long ago, going to Marineland with friends and not being able to keep up with them.  My husband spent most of the day pushing me around in a wheelchair just so I could keep up.  I was sad and rather embarrassed about it.

When I first started working with Tyler, he asked me about my goals.  This was March 2012.  I told him I wanted to be able to walk a 5k event by summer 2013.  He said “oh yeah, no problem, we can do that”.  With his help and guidance, I completed that goal in July 2012, a full year before I thought I’d be able to.

And let me tell you, there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment you get when you cross that finish line.  I was so proud of myself that day.  And I think about it any time I feel like giving up or when I need a little extra push.

So I was walking.  A lot.  And farther than ever before.  I would often walk to and/or from the gym.  Sometimes I would just go walking because I wanted to.  It was kind of awesome.

So how did that lead to running?

I don’t really know.  It just kind of happened.

Later in 2012, in my workouts with Tyler, he had me run short distances.  Like, we’d be at the park and he’d have me run to the next light post or pole.  I remember saying, on several occasions, that I don’t run.  I can remember thinking I was not happy that he wanted me to run.  But I did it.  I always did whatever he wanted me to do.  Or at least did my best to do it.

In early 2013, Tyler had me try running on the treadmill.  I’m pretty sure I argued about doing it. But in the end, I did it any way. And OMG, I was terrified that first time.  I was so afraid I would fall off.  I can remember holding on so tight.  That first run lasted 30 seconds.

Eventually, I got up to a minute.  That was pretty cool.  It was hard and I didn’t always want to do it. But I kept trying.   The first time I ran longer than I minute, I was astonished.

I’d see other people running on the treadmill and I’d think there is no way I can ever do that.  And I thought people who ran outside, especially in the cold, were a little crazy.

The first time Tyler took me outside to run, I’m pretty sure I called him crazy.  We went to a park near the gym.  It was probably March and there was snow on the ground and it was cold.  We went around the park, one minute running and two minutes walking.  I’m pretty sure I cursed him a few times that day LOL.

The first time I ran 5 minutes on the treadmill without stopping, I could hardly believe it.  Luckily, I had a witness – a friend was on the treadmill next to me.  For a long time, I couldn’t get beyond 5 minutes, no matter how hard I tried.  I often would struggle just to get to 5 minutes.

Then one day, I did 8 minutes.  That was pretty awesome.

A few months later, I did 20 minutes.  I was beyond excited about that!

But try as I might, I couldn’t get beyond that.  To be honest, for a long time, I couldn’t even equal it.

But I kept trying.

And I did more races.  Throughout 2013, I did 3 more 5ks and even one 10k.  I ran some of each race, except for the 10k.

In the summer, I had a little misstep.  After Tyler went back to school, I was pushing myself too hard.  I tried to go too fast too soon on the treadmill and I strained the arch on my right foot.  It took a while, but I finally recovered, with the help of better shoes and custom orthotics.

I wanted to do more races, and run as much of them as I could.

In early 2014, I started running around the indoor track instead of the treadmill.  To be honest, I don’t really like running on the treadmill.  I still have the nagging fear of falling off.  And I didn’t want to get hurt again.

I did fairly well at the track.  I was able to run longer and farther.  It got me really excited about running more!

And what I find funny is I’m really enjoying it.  Most days, I really look forward to my run.  Over the summer, I would get up and go out early in the morning to avoid the heat and humidity.  I regularly check the weather reports.  If the weather is bad, or I can’t run until the evening, I’m usually at the indoor track.  Otherwise, I try to do as much running outside as I can.  It’s getting a little harder with the colder weather, but I’m doing the best I can.  I definitely need to get warmer clothes for outdoor winter running.

I follow a lot of runners on twitter, and even participate in twitter chats about running.

I think the majority of my wardrobe is running/workout clothes.  Sometimes it’s hard to find something to wear that isn’t running related.  Most days, if I have nothing to do, you’ll find me in running or workout clothes.

I regularly check for local races to do, and usually plan them months in advance.

I love checking out new running gear.  And I keep a wish list going too.

We don’t have a running store in my town, but I keep hoping we will get one.  Whenever I go somewhere where there is one, I want to go and check it out.

I’m always looking for ways to improve my running.

I never thought I’d be a runner.  Ever.  And yet, I became one.

I went from someone who absolutely hated running to someone who loves it.

I’m a slow runner.  People walk faster than I run.  But I’m out there as often as I can, doing the best I can.

I’m a runner. And I still don’t know exactly how it happened.

How did you become a runner?





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