You know how sometimes things “just stick”? There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for it at that particular time, but sometimes it just does. I had always said I didn’t “get” running. I could see it to run and get the ball or to run to tackle someone or to run the bases, but running just to run… I never got it. I also have arthritis in my knees so used this as a crutch for why I shouldn’t run if it was ever brought up. I really never seriously even considered starting to run. Why would I? There were other things I enjoyed doing to be active.
One day I was talking to my boss and she said she was going to try to start running because it would be something convenient she could do anywhere. I have ZERO idea why, but at that very second, I just thought to myself “I can do this too”. I printed up the Couch to 5k Plan from http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/ and placed it on my treadmill. That Monday, I started on the first week. The plan said do it 3 days a week, but I repeated whatever the plan was for typically 5 days a week. I did this throughout the length of the program. The couple of weeks where I found it a little more difficult than others, I just simply repeated that week. I wasn’t doing it to complete by a certain time, I was just proud of myself for even starting. I did it strictly on the treadmill because it felt “safer”. Although I was running (though not too fast), I felt embarrassed to run outside in public because I didn’t consider myself a runner. I didn’t have a runner’s body, I wasn’t fast, what if I had to walk and couldn’t run? etc., etc…..
Then one day while I was still going through the plan, I went up to the reservoir (we are so lucky it is two blocks from the house, a nice 1.6 mile paved route that we walked the dogs at all of the time) with Sahara and Bella for our walk. I said “Girls, let’s try to run half-way around”. So, we started running. At the half-way mark I felt good and they were enjoying it, so we kept going. I’m not going to lie, I felt a little embarrassed at what I may have looked like running out in the world for all to see and not hiding on my treadmill. It also was a different feel “pounding the pavement” as they say than my legs were used to on the treadmill. But, at the same time, it was a glorious feeling to actually be moving somewhere, to be out and breathing fresh air without staring at a tv on the treadmill, and most importantly, I was with my girls. I couldn’t wait to tell my husband we ran the reservoir!
As time went on, I got that same exhilarating feeling when we went twice around! First outside 5k! Then after a while we pushed ourselves to go 3 times around. Each time we increased our distance, I’d tell the girls how proud daddy was going to be of them (yup, I keep reminding you I’m the Crazy Dog Lady). They got better with me. They made me better. It was good for Bell’s excitement to get some energy out, it was good for all of our physical health, and was sure a great release for my mental state of mind. At some point, I stopped being self-conscious of how I looked while running. I started to feel what is referred to as a “runner’s high”. I would plan my next run and whether or not it’d be solo, with my girls, with a friend, or my brother or husband.
Never say you can’t do something. It is amazing what we can achieve if we put our mind to it. And sometimes some of the most surprising things stick when we least expect it and for no real reason at all.
I became a runner. A couple years later I ran a half-marathon with no training (I’m not saying I had a great time or that that’s the smartest thing to do). Even now, I’m still not very fast, but I sure still do love it. Thankfully it just stuck that one day! Now I “get” running.