About five years ago, my best friend Lauren sat me down and told me I seriously needed to get my act together. I was a hot mess throughout college (a very fun hot mess, but still â€“ a mess). I binge drank, socially smoked, ate like crap, and Fat Talked all the time.
When Lauren intervened (thank goodness; I love her for it), she offered to take me on a run. I was, as you might expect, not in very good shape and could barely run a 1/4 mile without stopping to dry heave. But I LIKED that I was so bad at running. After all, that meant I had lots of room to improve! I was back out there the next day.
After a year of running 5Ks on the treadmill, I decided to train for a 10K. Looking back, I have no idea what possessed me to sign up for the race. None of my friends were doing it. I just knew I wanted to try for a new distance. That 10K was one of my favorite memories; I had no idea that it would be the first of 34 races over the next four years.
I fell in love with running.
- Running doesnâ€™t care if you donâ€™t have nice clothes or fancy gadgets.
- Running is always there for you, wherever you need it.
- Running doesnâ€™t care if youâ€™re slow or fast.
- Running rewards you when you work hard and is surprisingly forgiving when you slack off.
- Running teaches you to like sweating. It means youâ€™re doing a good job!
- Running doesnâ€™t care if you hate it occasionally. It loves you even when you donâ€™t.
- Running humbles you and forces you to appreciate your body for more than just its appearance.
- Running will listen to you complain and philosophize. Running never talks back.
- Running doesnâ€™t mind if you leave it for a few weeks, months, or even years â€“ it will always be waiting for you to return.
Itâ€™s been six or seven weeks since my last run. I tweaked my knee on a long run while training for a half marathon (that I never got to do), and Iâ€™ve been relegated to swimming and yoga ever since. Running also taught me to respect my body when itâ€™s injured â€“ trust me, no one ever healed from a running-related injury by more running.
But in the two weeks, Iâ€™ve been jogging a mile or so with my Girls on the Run team, and on Saturday, I jogged a 5K with the team without pain.
Iâ€™m feeling pretty good about my knee situation, so this morning, I dusted off my Garmin, turned on my iPod, and decided to go for a run. Cue: sneaker-shaped confetti.
I started off a little too fast â€“ a 10:00 minute â€“ just to prove to myself that I could still do it. I definitely lost some endurance over the last six weeks, but itâ€™s not a disaster. Around the 0.75-mile mark, I came to my senses and took a walking break. I do NOT need to push it too fast, too soon. I repeated the run/walk pattern for the rest of the workout.
In total, I ran/walked 2.0 miles. It took me about 25:00, and I was thrilled.
My plan is to very, very slowly ease back into running, assuming I donâ€™t have any injury flare-ups. Iâ€™ll probably only run once or twice a week for the next month or so, and gently increase my running time and mileage. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll be going long distances anytime soon â€“ that knee tweak was SUPER painful.
Back at the hotel, I hit up the gym for a chest/biceps workout of lat pulldowns, bicep curls, rows, and tricep pushdowns. I did some crunches, too. I was smiling ear-to-ear the whole time on account on my run â€“ glad I was the only one in the gym!
Surprisingly, pretty good! I had a tortilla with egg, cheese, and salsa, plus a big fruit bowl.
Are you in love with running, too? Why?