I’d like to start by saying that I’ve previously never had any desire whatsoever to run, and, until recently, have always said that ‘I only run if someone or something is chasing me.’ I’m a complete klutz; I have ankles that roll and sprain in an instant if you look at them wrong; I’m an overweight seasonal asthmatic with bad feet. Not exactly what you’d expect or want in a runner.
It all started with my Mom, whom I’ve talked about before and who is an avid marathoner. She runs at least one race a year with my younger brother and wanted to do something with me as well. Somehow she found a virtual group race called the Amerithon Challenge – basically, in groups of up to 8 you log daily how many miles you move via walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, etc. and the goal is as a group to go the 3,521 miles it takes to travel from San Francisco to Washington D.C with milestones along the way. Mom got me to join, and then I convinced my friend B- to be in our group as well. Our group name? Team LiveBadass! Our second choice if that had been taken? Team You’reNotMySupervisor! *And yes, that’s one of my favorite Archer references
About the same time, I was looking for a way to kick my metabolism into gear. Hiking and walking regularly were only getting me so far in terms of getting into shape, and I’m never going to be the type to join a fad diet or deny myself cheesecake once in a blue moon on a special occasion. My little brother, the former collegiate athletic and current physical therapist, suggested taking up running (in small doses), and my mother chipped in with the idea of downloading and trying the Couch to 5K app. As much as I loathed the idea of running, I figured anything was worth trying at this point.
My first attempt at the Couch to 5K app was not as successful as I would have like it to be. I downloaded it in Fall 2016 and got through the first 2-3 weeks of the training plan, but then came down with a super nasty bug. I could barely breathe without coughing while walking, so I put the running aside. Then after I was fully recovered, the holiday season was upon us and delicious carb-y baked goods abounded, so I pushed training back even further. By the time I opened the app again, it recommended I just start over from the beginning, which was a touch disheartening, but understandable.
I did eventually begin again with the app and training towards the beginning of 2017, and I’ll admit that the learning curve was a little steep as the program progressed. How far in advance of running did I need to use my inhaler to combat the pollen count of Middle Tennessee? What type of food would sustain me and what type of food would make me sick? To carry water or not to carry water? Even trying to find music that would motivate me without unintentionally pushing me to run at an unsustainable pace was something brand new that I had never had to deal with before.
I don’t know that running will ever be easy for me or something that I particularly enjoy, but I’m also not going to be giving it up any time soon. I’m currently participating in a Fun Run Challenge, I have races scheduled for 2018 in Hilton Head, SC and Cincinnati, OH, and I’ve also discovered that running can help me stop a budding migraine (along with Excedrin and caffeine, of course). Plus, there’s something so incredibly satisfying about getting a medal at a finish line, knowing that while you may not have finished first, you finished, which is all that matters. I may never be the fastest or run the longest, but I’m still running circles around the people who never leave the couch.
I guess I’ll keep this up a while longer, after all.