Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My running story...

I have always been a fairly fit person.  In high school I played softball and volleyball.  In college I took regular 2.2 mile brisk walks (my route from my home through the local park and back) and did weekly step aerobics classes.  I even went on the occasional bike ride that started off as 4 miles but turned into 10.  But I never ever considered running.  In fact many years after graduation, a high school classmate of mine invited me to start running with him (he ran the Boston Marathon in 2007), but I balked at the idea and told him I would ride my bike beside him instead.

My husband and I were married in 2004, and as can happen to any married girl, I gained a few pounds.  Now, I am not talking about 40 or 50 pounds or even 30 for that matter.  I gained about 15 pounds from 2004 to 2005.  I was still fairly active during that time, joining the local rec center and still riding my bike, but I couldn't lose any weight.  After a move across the state for education reasons, I found myself in this new town with a fantastic gym.  I joined said gym and in early 2006 participated in a Health Challenge they were having.  During this 12 week program, I changed my eating habits, incorporated strength training into my workouts and increased the cardio.  I started tracking my heart rate and logged my meals in a food journal.  I even started running on the treadmill.  I remember how proud I was for running 15 minutes straight.  I thought I was bad ass for going 15 whole minutes without stopping once! At the end of those 12 weeks, I lost a total of 17 pounds and 22 inches from various bits and pieces of me.  Better yet, I felt so good.  I ran my first 5K in May 2008 and loved the whole race experience so much I did another one that August.  I took what I learned from the Health Challenge and continued to exercise, but even though I was changing up my routine, I felt like I needed to recharge.  Lucky for me I won personal training sessions at my gym.

This personal trainer I "won" also happened to be a former Division I college cross country athlete.  I remember telling him how I ran a 5K that year.  Gosh, I must have sounded so silly, but he suggested I shoot for a 10K next.  Well, I did and I actually ran that pretty fast -- a 9 minute/mile pace.  (Hey, that's fast for me!) That year I also ran a 10 miler.  He told me how the gym was forming a running club and thought I may enjoy training for a 25K.  I was sold.  That training started in January 2010 with the race being held in May.  I was amazed at the progress I made during that time.  Who was this girl running 10, 12, 15 mile training runs in the snow and cold?  I don't think I know her.  I can't say I crushed that 25K, but I was so proud that I finished.  I went on to do a 10K from hell (actually it is my favorite race yet, you might have heard of it, The Camp Pendleton Mud Run with my superhero Muddy Runner) and a half marathon all within a month.  I figured I trained this hard for this long why not run a marathon? So I did on 10-10-10, I ran the Chicago Marathon (that will be a post of its own someday).

I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I would be a distance runner. It is still kind of weird thinking how far I have come. Do I enjoy it all the time?  No.  In fact I so desperately want to love it like so many of you love it, but more times than not, I just don't.  Why do I still do it?  Because I know after the first 3 miles of any distance run it will get easier and after completing a double digit run, I feel I can accomplish anything!


  1. Your 5K story is funny - I remember after my first 5K thinking "wow, I've made it as a runner". Not that there's anything wrong with running a 5K obviously, but I've evolved quite a bit since then. It looks like you're on a great track! Keep up the great work!

  2. Hi, fellow pharmacist :) Yeah, retail is insane - but I'm used to it. I was a tech in retail for ten years. I bet I'd love long term care, though!

  3. FINALLY!!! The mysterious tahoegirl joins us in Blogland!!! :) So excited to follow your journey and get to know you better. We still have to meet up for a run sometime!

  4. Best picture ever!! Check you out with your awesome medal after rocking Marathon No. 1!!!

    Great story. It's funny how when we think back to how it was when we first started and how far along we've come. Running 15 minutes straight is nothing now but at some point - and this is true for most people - it was a big deal. Glad you got turned on to running (and that you started a blog :) )

  5. Love your story!! Isn't is amazing to look back and see your progress??? I look forward to following your journey with this blog! :)