Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How I Started Running

I was on the track team in middle school and for one year in high school. I ran short sprints and relays, and my favorite races were the 4x100, and the 100 meter hurdles. I was good at those, because they were short distance and only a quarter of the track. Not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty fast.

I also ran the 4x400 relay, however it was my least favorite because back then I thought an entire lap around the track was pure madness. There are a few reasons why I quit track after one year in high school, mainly because it interfered with our competition calendar for cheerleading.  If I ever had a regret, quitting track would probably be it.

After that, I wasn't a big runner at all. I remember taking a class in college, Boot Camp Fitness, and we had to run a mile and a half, and I thought it would be the death of me. I got bored while running and counting laps around a track was not interesting to me at all.

So in 2009 when my brother mentioned he was going to run a 5k with some friends and asked me to join, I immediatley laughed and said no. I didn't even know how many miles that was, but it sounded far and I was not interested. Then he told me I could walk it and that there would be beer at the end. So I asked how far was 5k exactly. 3.1 miles. After some convincing I finally agreed and the only thing I was looking forward to on the day of the race was the free beer at the finish line.

But then something happened on that race day when all those people showed up in their running shoes with numbers pinned on the front of their shirts and sports watches to time their progress, it was like something lit a desire in me that I never even knew I had. When the shotgun went off and the race started, and I turned on the ipod I borrowed from my brother and started jogging with a thousand other people, there was so much positive energy and excitement inside me. I had shown up fully prepared to walk most of the way. However, I surprised myself and ran most of (as well as really enjoyed) those three miles.

My First Race, Palace 5k April 2009 (I'm the one in pink)
  I was so excited about my accomplishment, that I convinced my friend Karah to run another race with me the next month. In May we ran the Tails and Trails 5k and after that she and I both were officially hooked on running races.

We started running together twice a week with the hopes of  improving our time for future 5ks. We ran a handfull of those for about a year, then Karah suggested we up the anty and attempt to run a 10k.

Our first 10k was this past April, the Springtime Tallahassee 10k. We trained for months in advance having two motivators, both of us wanted to lose a few pounts for my (then) upcoming wedding, and we wanted to cross the finish line having run most of the 6 mile race. We crossed the finish line, had a celebratory adult beverage, realized 6.2 miles wasn't so bad, and in the following few weeks, we set our next goal. We would run a half Marathon in October.

Springtime Tallahassee 10K, April 2011
  There were many times while Karah and I trained for the half marathon that we both thought we had lost our minds. There was one time I remember in particular, it was an early Saturday morning and I drove out to Havana where Karah lives and we ran an 8 mile track that took us around the Havana Golf Club. It was a  warm Hot summer day and we had her two kids in the double stroller, and at about mile 4 I remember feeling like it would be impossible to complete all 13 miles of the half marathon. 

We pushed through our training plan and on the day of the run it paid off. But what really is rewarding about this whole experience, has been spending time with a wonderful friend who I admire very much. We set goals and hold each other accountable all while enjoying the company of a good friend.

Apalachicola Run for the Bay Half Marathon, October 2011

So... what's our next goal you ask? With the time change and now that it gets darker outside earlier, we are going to try to improve our time on short runs, with the intent of improving our 10k time from last year by 10 minutes this coming March! Stay tuned for updates!

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