Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Running down a dream...

Wanna' know what today is?

National Running Day!

If you would've told me two years ago that I would be a runner, I would've laughed in your face. And then I would've pointed in the distance, encouraged you to look there and promptly stolen a fry off your plate. Two years ago at 280 pounds, running seemed absolutely impossible.

In fact, it was just over a year ago that I decided that I might maybe should could try running. I had worked out -hard - on the elliptical at my gym for months. Every day, I'd wait in a long line of people waiting for a machine. The really fit people always seemed to be waiting for treadmills. As I'd be on the elliptical, burning calories to a dignified song like "I'm Too Sexy", I'd look at the people running on the treadmills ahead of me. Sweat poured down their faces and they STILL looked graceful and amazing.

'Someday,' I'd think to myself, 'I'm going to run again.'

See, when I graduated from college I decided that I wanted to run. I was renting in an apartment complex and about 30 steps outside my door was a little dirt track. I decided to run until I couldn't run any more. That lasted for about 30 seconds.

But I kept at it.

And soon enough, I was running miles at a time without wishing for death because at least that would stop the burning in my lungs. I eventually moved and stopped running - but I missed it.

When I moved to Colorado, I dated a guy that was all about running. I'll save the back story for another time, but basically, he wanted me to run with him. Who cares if I was exercising at the gym in my own way? He wanted me to run with him outside for miles at a time. And so I did. It was torture and I felt so embarrassed that I couldn't keep up with him -a guy that ran a frickin' marathon. Unrealistic expectations much?

So I ditched running for good. Or so I thought.

As I wrote before, picked running back up a year ago. At first, I just ran what I could, which was about 15 seconds this time around. But eventually the 15 seconds turned into 30 seconds, which turned into minutes (MINUTES!) at a time.

It's taken a long time, more than a few races, hundreds of miles logged, and the HUGE milestone I hit recently where I got under a 10 minute mile, but I can finally say:

Truthfully, I never really thought I'd be able to say that. But the stats show that it's true.
I have pride in that statement. Not that runners are any better than anyone else (because I've seen and heard plenty that are clearly a-holes). It's just that, to me, being a RUNNER means that you run consistently. You're committed to your own health and that you're doing something consistent about it.
So I run. I'm a runner. And unless you have a medical condition that states otherwise, you could be too. In fact, if you're curious, you can go here to read all of the benefits of running.
Today I'm going to run at lunch. I'm going to celebrate National Running Day by having a fun run - one where it's just for me. I'll run as far or fast as I want - or not. I've run in various 5Ks for the good of lots of organizations...
But today I'm running for MY own good.


karen said...

You rock my non-running socks!

Unfortunately I'm one of those who has been told not to attempt running because of medical issues. OH how it pains me sometimes ... because I read about how good it makes so many others feel and the rush that the accomplishments give ... but I'm going to keep listening to (and swearing at) my medical advice and just live vicariously through those who can.

So keep on running ... for me ;)

Jams said...

Go YOU!!!! Isn't it amazing? I told myself long ago that I couldn't run. Then in October of 2008, I signed up for a half-marathon. Um... I couldn't even run a mile at that point. I started slow and built up, and I completed that half-marathon in May, 2009.

It can be done. I'm moving on to bike riding for now, but I'll keep coming back to running. It does help get the stress out.

Keep smiling!

Misspudding said...

Good for you!

POD said...

I would love to run and used to have dreams where I was running.
Though my knee hurts from arthritis so today I'm celebrating National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day. I may even use some on my knee to reduce swelling.

Have fun you lil runner, you.

Rebecca Jo said...


It took me till my 37th birthday to start running! 37 yrs old... man, I wish I would have started earlier...

And I'm one with bad knees & always said it was too rough on them... I come to find out running has BUILT my knees up stronger! I may not be the fastest - but I am one who wants to keep moving, concerned for my health... so on the National Running Day, I will say along with you - I AM A RUNNER! YEEE HAWWWW

Traci said...

You go!!! Great job on becoming a runner and sticking with it!

Lesia said...

thanks for recognizing those with health problems, like me. I actually got my trike out this morning and plugged in my Zune and off I rode all over town. Something like a hour or so and like 5 miles I think. Could be more I was jamming not counting. I wish I could run. But here's to all the runners "Run Forrest, Run!". smile.

Amanda said...

I am one of those who has never thought I could run. I've always felt that I was too big. I've always said that I'll start when I lose "x" lbs...I think I'm going to look into the C25K program again.

I'm dropping by from the VBL contest to say "hi," btw. Nice to "meet" you. :)

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

I LOVE this post!

I may be a very slow runner, but I LOVE it. I love how it feels. Like Pod, I've had running dreams for years. I love the feeling of knowing I'm breathing deeply, but my lungs aren't jumping out of my chest.

I've gone back to running since dropping almost 60 lbs not to lose more weight, but because I love it. I run because it feels good, and when I was 208 pounds I couldn't. I run now because I can!