That is definitely the question!!
In all honesty, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in life. I remember being in the 6th grade and dreading the mile run. I would cry to my parents, make myself sick, and even send myself into a panic all because I had to run a timed mile. I watched as my classmates would cruse past me. Stride by stride my body tightened, my legs cramped, and my wheezing increased. I dreaded the mile run, but that was only the beginning.
As I moved into high school, I tried to find any way out of PE. I made my way into “advanced fitness”, which was the football team’s ability to practice during the school day. It more or less consisted of lifting weights and running every Wednesday. I’m pretty sure I got out of every run just by sweet talking the teacher. It also helped that I could lift more than most of the football team!
Later in high school when I joined the track team as a discus thrower, I remember “warming up” with the team and falling 3/4 around the track. Some of the boys laughed at me. I was that girl. I was the overweight thrower who couldn’t even finish a lap. I was devastated and knew that I would stay as far away running as possible.
In 2006 when I moved to Vermont for my first job out of college, I decided to make some big changes. I had just finished my career as a Division I collegiate discus and hammer thrower and could no longer hide behind the fact that I was a thrower. Being a thrower made my weight permissible. I was large because I was a thrower. I didn’t run because I was a thrower. I ate what I wanted because I was a thrower… or at least that’s what I told myself. My weight peaked at 261 pounds.
In November of 2006 I joined Weight Watchers and began working out. One of the softball coaches at worked shared with me her workout routine and how she began running, as she too use to be overweight due to her sport. With her coaching, I began jogging for 5 minutes at a time. I was really comfortable on the elliptical, but I wanted to begin running. Just a few months later, I was comfortably running 40-60 minutes 3-5 days a week. I lost 54 pounds that year, coming down to 207 pounds by the summer of 2007. I was by NO means a runner, I still hated it, but I was a lot more comfortable and it helped me in my weight loss.
Between 2007 and 2009 I ran sporadically. I probably ran 2 times a week, but began struggling with it because of my decrease in training. I started taking classes at a local gym and stuck to the elliptical. Then in 2009, I decided that I wanted to run a half-marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training. My first run in December was the worst! We ran 3 miles in Clarendon and I seriously didn’t think I was going to make it. I was one of the last to finish and had a lot of difficulty with my asthma. The next 3 months were crazy… crazy AWESOME!! It is really amazing to see how much your body can grow, change, and adapt through training. It was also incredible training with TNT and raising money for blood cancer. Before I knew it, 10 miles was easy… well, maybe not easy, but I was happy to run 10 miles instead of 12.
The half marathon, April 24, 2010, was in Nashville, TN. Let me just go ahead and tell you, the Country Music Marathon in Nashville is SUPER hilly! I finished the half marathon (13.1 miles) in 2:54:23. I still to this day have no idea how “good” or “bad” that is. All I know is that I RAN A HALF MARATHON!!! YAY!
The day before the race, as I walked around the expo, I dreamed of all the races I would run. I thought to myself, “this is awesome and I never want to turn away from running” but after the race I thought to myself, “I will NEVER run a half marathon again”. So…. here’s the dilemma…. do I run a half marathon again? My BF’s sister and her husband are excited to train for their first half marathon and my BF is totally on board. The 4 of us are thinking of running the Rock and Roll Marathon in Las Vegas (The Strip at Night) in December 2011. I really, really want to do it but I’m just dread running. How sad is that? I really think I hate running, but I wonder how much of it is just the pain it brings me mentally when I think back on my childhood. I have wonderful memories from running as an adult, but just can’t seem to cling to those memories just yet.
I know deep down that I want to run this race with my BF, his sister, and her husband. I also need to remember that I’ll feel different when I get into my training…. my body will change and adapt and each mile will get easier and easier!
Are you running any races this coming year? Can you relate to my story?