I was never a runner.
I was the girl in P.E. who dreaded the end-of-semester fitness test. When my cheerleading coach told us we were going to start running a mile at the end of practice, I shuddered. In college, I became friends with one of those freaks who genuinely enjoys running and working out in general, but it didn’t really rub off on me.
That is, until Spring 2015, almost a year after graduating. My then-boyfriend, now-fiance, Jeff, decided that we needed something to motivate us to work out. So he signed us up for a 5K.
Sound the alarm. The sky is falling.
I was in denial at first. Then, Jeff had to go away for work for a few weeks. After basking in the glory of a clean apartment and a cleared Netflix queue, I realized I was bored, out of shape, and about to be humiliated at a 5k. So I spent some time researching running plans and settled on this training plan by Hal Higdon. I won’t lie, it was really hard to get started. The first run was supposed to be 1.5 miles. I went to some woods in town with Molly and tried to do it. I ended up having to alternate running/walking after the first half mile.
Fast forward 8 weeks.
I survived the race and even ended up beating Jeff and setting PR that I haven’t beaten yet of 28:24. After that, I had caught the bug. One night, fresh on a runner’s high, I texted the aforementioned freak who loved running (love you, Jaime!) and asked her if it would be impossible to run a half that fall. A perpetual dreamer, optimist, and nut, she convinced me to do it, and that night, it was too late to turn back. I registered for the Atlanta half. Training for that race was a mess because it was happening in the midst of buying a house, moving, adjusting to a new job, and planning a wedding, but in the process of it, I realized something. I became a runner–the type of person I would always look at enviously and then dismiss the idea as something that I could never bring myself to do.
Nowadays, my running time is sacred. It’s my time to release the crazy and focus on the important things. I feel more stressed out when I skip a run versus when I find time to squeeze in some miles after a long day at work. It’s nice to feel confident and strong. I still have a long way to go, but I don’t see myself shrugging this bug off any time soon. There’s always a new challenge to be had, and you can come along with me on the journey!