When I was in high school I was a figure skater. I had skated for about 9 years and around 15 or so I was seeing some new curves and I gained some pounds the good old teenage way. I started staying up too late and eating too much good stuff with my friends on the weekends. I was not heavy by any means, but I started to notice it was harder to finish my programs and unfortunately (to get real honest here) it was a time when body image started to play a huge role in my life… it was hard not to notice other girls and their freaking tiny tights on the ice.
(a more recent picture out on the ice)
I started to put pressure on myself and started running. Without laying out my sob story, running was a great release for me and it sure started out as a way for me to become more confident in my body image and improve my ice time. Eventually, other teen issues happened and I lost sight of healthy verses obsessive and unfortunately lost my way for a while.
Even in my darkest times growing up (when I probably had no business running) it was a wonderful release and gave me so much clarity. It took me a few years to get back on the healthy train and as I found my way back I used the gym more and more and lost running.
Anyhow around January of this year I decided to sign up for my first race. It was a St. Patrick’s Day 7K. I thought it would be just something new and different and it seemed like so many people around me were racing and raising money for causes and I just wanted to see what it was all about.
(what?? green beer is a great way to refuel)
Honestly, I didn't train for it. I knew I could run 4+ miles and I didn't care about my time. Well race day came and I stood at the starting line and the feelings that started flowing are hard to describe. I saw people, all shapes and sizes, just beaming and bouncing in anticipation for the gun shot. I could feeeeel people’s passion for what they were about to do radiating off of them. I was amazed at how everyone was building each other up and cheering their peers on, all the way till the last finisher.
Well I got home and had to sign up for something else immediately. I was on a huge high all day and could not wait to run out the door and start training for my next race. I knew I could do better and race faster and so I started reading everything I could get my hands on about running, including blogs!
Since March, I have ran in two half marathons and a 5K (I will include all my finishing times below). In one day (YAY!) I will be running in my first 10 mile trail run and I just signed up for two more half marathons this fall.
Honestly, some days I have no energy and I wonder if I am going at a rate that I will burn out too fast. I wonder why I am up so early or like being so sore. My husband certainly questions how much money we are spending on this daily, but 6 out of 7 days a week I feel so lucky to have found something that makes me this happy. I love my family, and my husband, and my dog a whole lot, but running is different. It’s something that has changed me.
Sometimes I wonder if it means so much because of my unhealthy past. Running has taught me more about myself in 6 short months than I ever thought anything could. I am starting to really think like an athlete. I am proud of my body daily. I am not sure I could have ever said that before.
I think that reason alone is why I can’t imagine a life without running now.
1. Lucky Leprechaun 7K: 38:49
2. Door County Half Marathon: 01:56:19
3. Madison Half Marathon: 01:52:53
4. MAADAC 5K: 25:17 (Placed third in my age group!)