This is my first post and I’d like to start out by telling you that I’m a girl that loves running. Like, I REALLY love running (if I hadn’t told you this, you’d have figured it out pretty quickly anyways). Growing up, I was never an athletic child. I didn’t participate in sports; I didn’t have the coordination nor the desire. The only exercise I ever did was in the form of dance and gymnastics classes– but I never took them seriously enough to excel at them. I was raised on pop (I call it pop, you call it soda), pizza, burgers, and computer games. My gymnastics hobby kept me at an average/borderline-heavy weight up until college, when the dance classes stopped and the “Freshman 15” hit me hard. I was heavy and had no idea what to do about it. I give credit to my college roommate at the time for showing me that a gym was not something that was only used by the rich & famous– that normal people like me could use it too! It was there that I discovered the treadmill and the wonderful feelings associated with the endorphin release caused by exercise. It didn’t take long for me to get hooked– my cardio queen dedication allowed me to lose 35 pounds in relatively short amount of time. I loved learning new ways to eat healthily (I couldn’t stand the thought of a salad until my sophomore year in college) and stretching my body’s limits on the elliptical and treadmill. It was like a whole new world– the world of exercise, health, wellness– had been exposed to me. Since that time, my passion for all things health & fitness has been one of the most influential presences in my life. I am always learning and trying new things, and I love every minute of it. That’s why I’m so excited to start this blog– to share the experiences that mean the most in my life, and to meet new people who share the same interests and ideals.
Anyways, a few years out of college, I was working full-time at a desk job and still doing my same cardio thing in the gym to stay in shape. I ran outside by myself occasionally, but I always did the same loop around my apartment– I aimed for 30 minutes of exercise and quit whenever I was done. Running was just another form of cardio for me. I didn’t enjoy running outside any more than I enjoyed my time in the gym. Then I took a new job working with my cousin, who had run several 5K’s and one full marathon at the time. She was (and still is) such an inspiration to me. She would talk about how much she loved running races and how much she enjoyed training with her friends. I was intrigued. When she offered to run together– I hesitantly agreed. I was afraid I’d be embarrassed by my skill level, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But once we started running together, all of my fears were put to rest. She taught me the joys of running with a partner. Of running for distance and not time. Of setting goals and pushing yourself to meet them. Because of her, I fell in love with running. She was eventually able to talk me into running a 5K– she told me that after one, I’d be “addicted.” I remember thinking I was crazy for signing up and terrified that I wouldn’t be able to complete it, or that I would come in dead-last. I had no idea what I was doing on race day. But I signed up, and forced myself to run it alone (my cousin cancelled out last-minute– which made it all the more scary). Looking back, I can say choosing to run that race truly changed my life. Until that point I had never experienced the emotions I felt that day– pushing my body to the max, unknowing of how long 3.1 miles at max pace would feel, searching for the finish line. I almost cried when I rounded the last corner in the course and could see the finish. It’s a satisfying feeling that I feel at each finish line– but never to the degree I felt it that day. It was a relatively small race, which I didn’t know at the time. I was the last runner to cross the finish line around 33:00 and didn’t even care (I found out later that I placed 1st in my age group– I was the only one in my age group! haha). It was the biggest victory of my life thus far, and that’s a day that I will never forget.
That was in 2010, and three years later my love for running has never stopped growing. I’ve run countless 5K’s and 10K’s, two 5-milers, two 10-milers, as well as four half marathons (including one last week in Myrtle Beach, SC). I was signed up for my first full marathon last year (October 2012), but hurt my knee and wasn’t able to run it. That’s the distance that got away– and I hope to run a full sometime in the near future.
For those of you who love running as much as I do, how did you love begin??