Thursday, October 18, 2012

Run Away With Me...

So, you've probably noticed that I haven't posted terribly regularly the last 2 years or so. Commence judging me...I'll wait.

You done? Good? Good.

Forging ahead...the years 2010 through today have been quite the roller coaster. Over the course of that time I have gone from being a SAHM, to a re-employed working mom. I have gone from being a student of life, to a non-traditional student finishing up an English/Secondary Education degree to a non-traditional student  pursuing a Computer Science/Software Engineering degree.  I have gone from being relatively sedentary, with occasional, seasonal outbursts of outdoorsy activity to being a marathoner. I have also gone from being a large size 12 to a small size 4. So yeah. Changes.

Each of those changes could be a blog unto itself.

Perhaps, at some point, I will take the time to write up each of those. (Don't hold your breath.)

So let's talk running.

There are so many great motivational quotes about running out there, that really, there isn't anything illuminating that I can say, that someone else hasn't already printed onto a t-shirt, so I'll spare you the attempt at ironic brilliance...

If you run, you are a runner.

Running is not truly something that I am new to. Honestly, anyone that has ever been a child, isn't "new" to running. (With the obvious exception of those that are not blessed with full use of their legs...again, another post, for another day.) My earliest running forays were peppered with such encouraging insights as "You run like Gumby" and assorted laughter. Can't imagine why I didn't run more often.

In high school, I accidentally joined the track team. Despite putting up a hell of a fight, I loved it. And bonus!!! Nobody called me Gumby.

Anyway, the history isn't the real story.

At some point I stopped running. Something about an older boyfriend, parties in a basement and hormones...I do't know, I didn't get the whole story. (Hi mom!)

That? Was a long time ago. A very long time ago. Long enough ago that I get mildly depressed thinking about it.

While I was doing my SAHM thing, I started walking my neighborhood. With my dog. For exercise. Not as a professional. Really, what kind of hussy do you take me for?? In June/July of 2008, my best friend asked me if I wanted to run a 5K with her. I arrogantly said "Suuuuure!" And then proceeded to do almost no training.

I ran a few times, found my ankles SCREAMING at me, and did what any sensible girl would do...blamed the shoes, and went SHOE SHOPPING!!!!!

The day of the race came, I strapped on my lovely new shoes, took off and almost immediately found myself hobbled. I walked a fair bit of that race, and think I finished sometime around October. No, really, it was like 46 minutes or something. I've blocked it to be honest. I spent the next week or so with my ankle wrapped, and my pride wounded. And I hung up my shoes.

In January 2011, I went back to work. At some point in the next two months, I decided that it was time to get my butt up off the couch and back out on the road. A friend dragged me into a a running specialty shop, where they would do a "gait analysis" and put me in the best pair of shoes for me. I was skeptical, but figured that, if anywhere would have a snazzy pair of kicks, it had to be a running store - right?

In we marched, and the owner (who has now become something of a running sensei to me) came over and asked how he could help. I told him what I had experienced and he grabbed a couple of pairs of shoes, had me strap a pair on and ushered me over to the treadmill. Me. The girl who once threw herself out. Clearly he had no idea what he was asking for.

I gamely hopped up on the treadmill and started trot. So far so good. He stood reassuringly next to me, and asked me a question. I turned to look at him as I answered and SHWOOP, off the back of the treadmill I flew. Into one of his neatly stacked displays. No longer so neatly stacked.

To his credit, he *didn't* throw me out of the store right there and then. Probably because he knew he was pretty much guaranteed a sale if for no other reason than the fact that I felt really bad about destroying his store.

New rules were quickly put in place, and going forward I was to get on the treadmill, run, look forward, and answer any and all questions only AFTER I had safely exited the ride. Within 30 minutes, he had outfitted me with my first pair of Newton running shoes.

Armed with fancy, brightly colored VERY EXPENSIVE shoes, I guess I felt obligated to run. So I started the Couch 2 5K program. Which I cannot say enough good things about. At some point during that 12 week program, a hazy idea started to really materialize, and I sheepishly admitted to myself that I wanted to run a marathon.

It would take me nearly a year and half to accomplish this goal, but not quite two weeks ago, I did it. I became a marathoner. my head, I plan to continue some posts along these reality? We'll see what happens.

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