So I'm going to admit that I almost completely forgot about today and how huge of a travesty would THAT've been?!! ;)
In any case, I've probably told this story several times on this blog, the Intro here and the Massive Epic Novel here. But to make a long story short, I was never able to run more than a few minutes and after that few minutes, I literally felt like absolute crap for the next couple days...sore legs and coughing...for DAYS! That shit ain't right! With several inspirations, namely my stepdad and my sister, I seriously wanted to give running one final try. If this didn't work, nothing would. I followed a very simple Beginner's Running Guide. It all began with the babiest of steps (in my mind at least): Walk a minute, run a minute, for 14 minutes.
One warm and sunny March Sunday, one year ago today, I walked a minute, and ran a minute, for 14 minutes.
And every week after that, I added an additional minute of running, per interval, to that schedule. I never strayed, aside from Week Six that I had to repeat because I just couldn't grasp running for six minutes straight all that well. It sounds so silly now, but this is my point! I started at a very very low end of the athletic scale. A place where ANYONE that has two working legs can start. Honestly.
Once I completed Weeks One through Ten, the sky was the limit. I hit all kinds of Personal Records:
-my first 5K
-my first 8K
-my coldest run (only 15 degrees which isn't that bad actually!)
-my most amount of miles in a month at 58 in February [FYI my least amount of miles was 0 in December d'oh!!]
-my fastest average pace ever: 8:04/8:13 (my watch/the race clock) min miles for my 5K last October.
-And of course, my longest distance at 12 miles this past weekend.
The Half Marathon is one more goal on a long list of goals that never really ends. And that's what rocks about running... I'll never be the runner who runs for her health, and in fact, it's probably hurting me just as much as it helps (damn my knees!) But it's the goals that push me every day! I absolutely love plowing through those imaginary finish lines and I may or may not be addicted to patting myself on the back for new PRs...I will totally admit it.
You know what I also love though? Other runners. I have found this whole new group of comrades with whom I just love reading, discussing, gushing, and complaining. Friends I never knew I had. We stick together. The best runner friends are the ones who are with you every step of the way, maybe not physically, but they're there, out in cyber Blogland or Facebook, cheering me on. I love cheering them on too, it's all part of the camaraderie. Running is a very personal sport and as the quote at the top of this blog states: "It's important to realize that whatever you're doing - it's your first attempt at it." You can't get mixed up in other people's PRs and goals and let them tangle you up. They are GREAT motivators to reach beyond yourself, but if you find you're doing it more to prove yourself to others, you'll probably get pretty disappointed. Despite its personal nature, however, most people need the support of others. I definitely need the support of others. I love it. And I hope I never stop offering my own support to my running buddies!
Anyway, looks like I made this long story long again. Classic Katie. But I just wanted to gush and, ok yeah, pat myself on the back a little. One year can abso-f'n-lutely change a person. And drastically. I can't say it enough, I COULD NOT RUN. I couldn't! I really really sucked at it. But a year later? I'm actually doing something! I thought an 8K was daunting a year ago (my original goal I wanted to reach when starting this escapade)...now I'm training for a Half that's in less than a month?!?! How Did I Get Here??? Well, I'll tell you how. By getting the heck out there on that pavement. By being in pain. By suffering setbacks. By kicking ass at goals. By my family. By my friends, personal and blogging, who cheered me on. And above all else, by having a freaking good time. Even my worst running days were running days which are GOOD days in my book.
So I've said it before and I'll say it again: anyone stumbling across this blog who has wondered what it would be like to be a runner...try it. Just give it a whirl. I mean I never really even wanted to run up until March 11thish, 2009. Something clicked in my head and I said: why not? Ok ok, it might have had a LITTLE to do with a guy I was seeing, but don't these things usually?
So to celebrate, today is actually one of my cross training days, but when I get home from work, I'm going to put on my old orange Asics, and I'm going to walk one minute, run one minute, for 14 minutes. I'm going to truly grasp how far I've come in these 365 days and 386.9 total miles!