Running: Thankful for the past, excited for the future.
Posted Jun 13 2012 10:16pm
June 6th….National Running Day. I took this day (and a few days after) to write about myself (not as easy as it sounds) and my relationship with running. Sure I think abour running EVERY DAY. I try to go running EVERY DAY. (and no, not just on National Running Day) But… I don’t run, think about running, AND type my thoughts about running out, all in the same day. I do have a full time job. That involves screaming children, that swear at me.
So here’s my post…. a few days later than National Running Day.
What did I do to celebrate National Running Day? 1) I went to the gym and I ran (this doesn’t happen every day… although I do need to get BACK into the habit of that. I also ran INTERVALS which also NEVER happens, and when it does, it’s pathetic….) 2) I thought about running (this happens every day, about every halfhour..) National Running Day has also made me appreciate my love for running MORE, and appreciate the fact that I can actually RUN. Why do I run? I guess I never thought about that question long enough to come up with an answer (I JUST DO STUFF OK..) I started running at a young age (…oof…this makes me sound like a grandma…) thanks to soccer and track. I dreaded practices, but loved games and meets, and just the fact that I was outside! I played sports in high school and in college, but after college I stuck to running. I was lucky enough to participate in many races. 5k’s 10k’s, half marathons, marathons(holycrap), sprint triathlons, trail runs, or even runs around the block. When I was on college breaks, I would meet friends to run around town. We would talk about everything, from the previous semester, to what we were going to wear out that night. To me, running is tough, rewarding, challenging, peaceful, and FUN. It makes me happy, because I always come back to it. These days I run mostly by myself. Training by yourself is tough. Lately, the hardest part for me is getting out the door. Most runners will agree (correct me if I’m wrong). While I”m running, sometimes I think about nothing. Sometimes I think about everything. Like most people who run, I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with running. sure, I LOVE running, but there are MORE THINGS that I LOVE MORE than running. Like everything in life, running isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. (Actually, if it was, everyone would be doing it, right?!) There are times where you just want to cry, just want to stop. It’s painful. There are times when I “miss a run” or can’t run due to my schedule, and I get anxiety, and get bummed out. Hills are intimidating. Times are intimidating. Miles and miles and miles are intimidating. Of course there are rest days. Days when I don’t feel like moving. Days when I can’t move. Legs feel like concrete blocks. I’m 60% sure I have ugly feet because of it(blisters, etc….) and IT bands, oh don’t even get me started. THE LAUNDRY….is endless…. but, there’s somehting about it, I just keep going back to it. (the running….not the laundry…the laundry’s just been sitting there……..) I have wonderful and very memorable experiences from all most of the races I”ve been lucky enough to run in. Most of the runs that I have been in have been with other friends. They encourage me to keep moving, and I thank them for that. I hope that someday I can encourage others to keep moving as well. Let’s make a little trip down memory lane….. The first time I entered a race (now I”m talkin after college..) was in Springfield. It was a 5k with my friend Christina. I don’t remember much. Not my time, unfortunately, and I don’t remember how I felt while I was running. All I remember is crossing that finish line, and throwing up that banana I ate right before. That, was not pretty. Surprisingly I signed up for many more races after that . I guess a little puke goes a long way…. One of my favorite runs to this day was when I participated in the Ragnar Relay in 2010 from CT to Foxborough, MA. One of my legs required me to run 6miles at 2am… it was awesome!!!! It was just me, the road, and a headlamp. It was pitch dark. The only sounds were my footsteps, and my breathing……and of course some crazy people I call my friends blasting KE$HA from the team van a mile away………..
It’s been a tradition the last three years that my friends and I run in the Holyoke St. Patricks Day Parade. It’s a challenging course, but fun with friends, and of course beer (what isn’t fun with friends and beer…?! )
My first half marathon (thanks to Heidi and Christina) was in Newport, RI. It snowed that day in October, after the race of course. DURING the race, there were turrential downpours, and hurricane winds. I was wet, cold, frozen, and had a smile on the whole time. I loved every minute of it. I ran an not so shabby 2:15. That was my first half marathon. That was the first time Nathan went to a race of mine, and I saw him! It was also the first time I wore a trash bag.
I have been fortunate to be there to experience many friends “first” races. For example, my 2nd half marathon was in Hartford, and I ran it with my good friend Melissa! It was a great race! I ran a personal best (PB) of 1:49, and Mel did great too! It was an honor to run with her! I also got to sneek in a hug from my special someone, Nathan!
Here’s another picture of me and some friends who completed their first 5K in Worcester a few years ago! It’s inspirational FOR ME to watch others as they complete their first 5K, or even their first MILE. Running is a BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT, and HARD WORK!!
I ran another Personal Best in a 10k (49:08) with two friends that I don’t get to see often. This made this run special. AND to add to that fantastic news, all THREE OF US ran PERSONAL BESTS THAT DAY! This race was in Plymouth, MA.
This past April I ran in The Boston Marathon (my first marathon ever!!) with Team Dana Farber. I ran for those who are dealing with cancer, those who have fought and survived, and those who have fought and lost their lives to the terrible disease. I trained for 6 months, and during that 26.2 “run”, I threw everything out the window, and just wanted to FINISH. it was 89degrees, and HOT as a MOTHERWOEIROWIEUFLKSJDFLSKJDF. I was dehydrated, messed up, delusional, name it… I was it. It wasn’t pretty. But I kept pushing. I crossed the finish line. I DIDN’T GIVE UP. I also couldn’t have done it without my family, friends, and Nathan. They were all there for me during the long lonely six months of training, and they were all there for me on that day too. And I can’t thank them enough.
Everyone has their own definition of “runner.” I still cringe when I hear people saying, “Yeah, she’s a runner” or “Oh, so you’re the runner” The way I see it, (and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but to me, a runner is a professional. Olympic qualifiers, Marathon Champions, World record holders, insane abnormal people who run 4minute miles….those are runners. (Now… if I was ANYWHERE close to being those that I just listed, then I would definitely call myself a runner) But….Me…. I just enjoy running. Its not my job. It would be WONDERFUL if it was…..but it’s not. It’s just something I enjoy doing. It’s exercise, and it’s good for you.
What’s the future of running have in store for me? Who knows, but I’m ready and excited to explore, and learn where running can take me. I’m interested in signing up for more races, different races. I hope to crush times. I want to get faster, and stronger (isn’t this a song…?) I’m interested in learning new strategies, and trying out new products. Heck, maybe I’ll even be the last one to try out the Vibram Five Fingers. In the future, I’m interested in setting new goals for myself involving running. Hopefully looking back on this post will give ME motivation, and you as well.
In the future, my hopes are that I still love running. I’m thankful that I can run. Loving running though, is just a bonus. ;) In the future I want to encourage YOU to get out there and MOVE. RUN, JUMP, HOP, SKIP, WALK BACKWARDS! Even if it’s just a half mile….YOU CAN DO IT!! I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Just put one foot in front of the other. It’s not going to be easy, you’ll have bad days, and bad runs. You’ll also have good days, and fantastic runs!! KEEP PUSHING YOURSELF! YOU’RE STRONG!! I’m proud of YOU. P.S. — don’t forget to breathe. And stretch. Stretchings very important, and I’ll be honest… I don’t do enough of it. Til then, I’ll be running and .. i’ll be thinking about running….every 20minutes.