You'll have to wait until Wednesday to see my Fourth eats because today, I want to talk running. I mentioned in my last post that I am training for a 5k, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my running story.
When I was little, I hated running. I didn't mind short sprints, but long distance? Oh no. No way. During middle school, I played volleyball because 1) I had always wanted to play it and 2) there was not a lot of running involved. I played lacrosse for a year in high school, and I liked the sport, but there was constant running which I was not a fan of.
I had always wanted to be a runner. I saw those people who would run together along the streets and was always jealous. It looked so calming and refreshing and a great activity to do with a friend. But alas, it just wasn't for me.
In my early teens, I decided to give long distance running a go. So I started running with my dog. But I. hated. it. I did it off and on for about a month before I gave up. I tried to like it, but as I'm sure we all know, there is no such thing as trying to like something.
A year or two later, I decided to try shorter distance running. I worked with my trainer and ran several track meets for the 200m and 400m. I did not enjoy the 200m, but I liked the 400m. However, both races had to be full out sprints which ended up being just as bad as long distance for me. I began to dread track meets and get really nervous because I wasn't sure I could sprint the whole way. I finally decided that I didn't want to do something that I disliked so much and so I stopped track (I was never part of a team, but I stopped attending meets).
So I wasn't a long distance runner, and I wasn't a sprinter. So I just wasn't a runner, period? I gave it one more shot when I signed up for a 5k during the late winter/early spring of 2012. I was really excited. Just over three miles? No big deal, right? After about five minutes of running, I was walking and asking myself why I ever decided to do this. I did finish that 5k, but I walked for well over half of it which really disappointed me. I thought I could do it. But I couldn't.
And that was the last straw. It was official. I knew I wasn't a runner, but this was the last confirmation I needed. I didn't run at all that summer and had no desire to. I had tried, but it just wasn't for me. I did exercise of course, but stuck to weight-lifting and work-out DVDs. I love exercise and didn't want to give it up, but I just stayed away from any running.
At the end of the summer, I headed off to my first year at college. I knew that I wanted to keep active because I have always been an active person, but I wasn't sure how. I didn't have any desire to use the school gym - I wanted to be able to do something quick that cleared and refreshed my mind.
I began to entertain the thought of running again. I thought it would be a great way to see the new city I was living in. But the thoughts of my past experiences with it were nagging at my mind. Eventually, I decided to just run around the school once. It wasn't terrible, but I definitely didn't enjoy it. I was extremely sore for the next few days too. But that soreness was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
You see, I was working on a math project with another girl in my math class, and when I explained the reason behind my limping, she asked if I wanted a running buddy. She had run track in high school and was also looking for a way to keep in shape during college. Even though I hadn't planned on more running, I said yes! I was so excited - not for the run itself, but just the thought of running with someone like I had always wanted to! I warned her that I was pretty slow, but we went anyway. We went around the park and through a bit of town, and by the time we got back, we were both breathing pretty hard. And guess what she said? She said that I was fast! I truly think she meant it, and that gave me a bit of an inclination that perhaps I shouldn't have given up on running.
We started running two to three times a week, and for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed it. I looked forward to running. I enjoyed the actual running, and I loved the way it made me feel after and was amazed at the stress it helped me to relieve. Up until this time, I had never understood the "runner's high," but now, I did.
We usually ran between two and three miles, though our farthest was four miles. Definitely no marathon running, but it was just enough for us. We honestly didn't have time to go much further even if we had wanted to.
We ran throughout my entire first year at college, and I loved every second of it. Of course, we didn't always run consistently when we had big exams and other activities, but we did what we could. During second semester, we set a goal to have an average pace below 9:00/mile. We got close at 9:03/mile but unfortunately, no closer.
When I got home for the summer, I started working and had my summer class, and so running got left behind. But a few weeks ago, I started it up again, and my first time out, I had an average under 9:00/mile. But more importantly, I am enjoying it again. Now, I definitely don't love every run, and in no way is it easy. However, it makes me feel amazing. It is something that I can constantly prove to myself that I can do.
On July 21, I will run a 5k. I will be running at the start, at the finish, and every step in between. I have no goal time-wise. I just want to run it. For my first 5k, I thought I could run it. Now, I know I can.
If you had told me five years ago that I would be able to ever run more than half a mile, I wouldn't have believed you.
If you had told me five years ago that I would enjoy running more that half a mile, I really wouldn't have believed you.
And if you had told me that I would ever have won this, I probably would have laughed at you.
Well, congratulations if you have made it to this point. I think this is my wordiest post by far. But I wanted to share it in the hopes that it will inspire you to never give up. I'm not saying that everyone out there is a runner. I just think that you shouldn't write something off just because you have failed at it once, twice, or even more times. If it's something that you really want, give it another chance. You won't lose anything by doing so, but you have the world to gain.