My Relationship with Running

Happy Friday! Finally, am I right? Even having Monday off and being at home sick on Wednesday, this week has seemed long and I am excited for a lovely weekend. Tomorrow I am hoping to do the same thing I did last Saturday, first thing go for a run, then hit the yoga studio. It may be the perfect way to start a Saturday.

So yesterday I had a super bad training run. I think it was a combo of a few things, I am still wiped out from my dizziness bout on Wednesday, I’ve been about one run short a week for the past three weeks, and I was trying too much too soon. I’ve been plowing through the 5K program I’m following, and moving onto the next training week, even if I didn’t complete all my workouts the week before. Until yesterday, I was OK with this, but I need to go back a week for sure.

On my last run I was thinking (which in itself is a feat because running is usually when I don’t think, I usually think too much and this is my release to just stop thinking and stressing) about how ten years ago I wouldn’t have been caught DEAD running a mile, let alone training for a half marathon. I thought I would take this opportunity to share my history with running. It’s been and on and off again relationship (and on and off and on) but now I hope that we’re both committed to the long haul. (Disclaimer, this bad boy is long, get comfy.)

In junior high and high school I never ran unless literally forced. I was a gymnast and then a dancer, and both teachers were willing to write notes saying I got enough physical activity outside of PE. Then I quit gymnastics and was all about dance and I refused to run. I was a dancer. Then high school happened. WHAT? I have to run the mile, BUT I AM A DANCER. Yeah, that didn’t fly. I tried getting notes from my dance teachers, but it wasn’t till I got my physical therapist to write a note that said that running wasn’t in my best health interest. Here’s the thing, I was told somewhere along the line that dancers don’t run. Period. The muscles that you would build running would ruin you turnout muscles, and pretty much ruin you as a dancer. Well I couldn’t have that. (This is totally wrong by the way, and running may have helped my shed the extra weight I had in high school and may have actually helped my dance dreams, but that’s another post entirely.)

I only remember running once in high school for PE and that was because my teacher said he would fail me if I didn’t. Then I would have had to take freshman PE again and that would have been horrible. So I ran this trail by the school that everyone had to do, I just looked it up online and it was about FIVE miles. Holy cow, I had no idea till now! Haha. Well, I was taking my sweet time, and then I came across a dead deer on the trail. So I booked it around the deer, got to the end of the trail and turned around. I had no interest being near that deer, and both me and my PE teacher were shocked that I got back so fast.

Fast forward to college. For the first semester I didn’t have any dance classes because I found out that I didn’t get into the dance program. So I went from being a girl who lived at the dance studio 5 days a week during the school year and worked full time there over the summer to no activity. I got restless so one day I asked my roommate (who was a soccer player) if she would go for a run with me. For the rest of the semester, I would lace up my old sneakers and randomly go for a loop around campus. The next semester I was dancing again, so running went by the wayside.

Flash forward again to my last semester in school (this was after I lost about 20 lbs). I was bored with my workout plan, and I wanted a new goal. So I decided to train for a 5K. I didn’t have a specific one in mind and I would have been fine just being able to run that distance, but one morning at the gym a man came up to me and asked me what my goal was. I told him, and he introduced himself, turns out that he was the cross country coach at the local city college. He said that if I got to the gym while he was there that he would give me workouts to help me get to my 5K goal… for free. Win! He had me biking, running, walking at crazy inclines, and hitting the elliptical. I signed up for a 4 mile turkey trot on Thanksgiving.

The day before the race I was sick. Lay in bed with the flu sick. My now husband and I drove up to his parent’s house and I did everything in my power to get over it, but to no avail. No matter how much vitamin C and echinacea I pumped into my body, it didn’t work. The next morning I just decided to take some DayQuil and suck it up. I ran the race (with a few walking breaks) in 42 minutes. Not great, but I did it. To this day I am disappointed by the race. I think that because of what I viewed as my poor performance I decided to stop running for a while.

Around the time we got engaged I started running again, hoping it would melt off the extra weight I wanted to lose. It didn’t really (I think I was restricting my calories too much and my metabolism crashed) but it was an amazing outlet emotionally. I was stressed about the wedding, annoyed by my work, and so much more. I worked up to doing up to an hour of intervals at a time, three or four times a week. Then after the wedding I was OVER it.

And that brings me here! Now I am training for a 5K in October. I am not sure if I will be able to run it all in one bout, but I would be a OK with running for five minutes, then taking a one minute break. We will see how I feel the week of the race.

Then it’s on to the half marathon training!!

Runners: How long have you considered yourself a “runner” and what does that mean to you?

Nonrunners: What workout do you love and why?

15 thoughts on “My Relationship with Running

  1. I totally know where you’re coming from. Well, except for the dancer part! Haha! I took up running at the beginning of this year and actually stuck to it long enough to run a 5k. I tried sticking to running before, but something always “got in the way” and screwed up my running schedule. Then I would just stop running all together. I really got inspired when I got into healthy living blogs. Well, I started comparing myself to those pro runners (who run half marathons every month!) and I got really discouraged. I barely started picking it up again about 2 months ago. But sad to say, I haven’t been on a run in about a week and a half. I don’t really know if I consider myself a “runner”. More like “I sometimes go for a run”, especially when I’m feeling like I’ve gained a few pounds. Needless to say, my relationship with running is definitely off and on. It’s currently partly off! I’m sure I’ll pick it up again soon. Hopefully.

    Great post! I always like reading about people’s journey with running. Especially those who are similar to me and have an off and on relationship with running! 🙂

    • At the end of the day I am pretty sure that everyone goes through bouts with running like this, just on a different scale. I know for so many people, they run no matter what (I am talking to you lady who I saw running while it was snowing) but I think that if you strap on sneakers and run, you’re a runner 🙂

  2. oh girl, great post! i think I’m a non-runner, posing as a runner, at least for now.. title of my high school graduation speech? “I am not a runner.” BUT, I just ran my first half marathon last weekend!! I started running, slowly, on a treadmill, last October. Finally worked up the nerve to run outside.. and then registered for a four miler, and a 5K. They were both great, and now I’m hooked. The half was awesome. You will get better and better as you stick with it. You will BREEZE through the 5k, guaranteed, and be surprised at how good you do! It will be way better than your last experience for sure! Would love to chat more about the half training as you get into it! I haven’t posted on my experience yet, but will soon. The on off thing with running is totally normal, I am sure that way.. i think having the road races to train for helps keep you in an “on” phase! 🙂 you will do great!! what day is the 5K?! (ps, have no idea why that hat is my profile pic. I haven’t figured that out yet. ha)

    • I’m so glad you found my blog!! Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 My 5k is on Oct. 15. And I would love to chat with you about my half traing too!!

      I look forward to reading your half marathon experience! I am pretty sure that if you can run a half, then you are a “runner” and no longer a poser! Congrats 🙂

      • Yay, October 15! You can totally do it! I tried to email you from your comment on my blog but it didn’t go through! I will find your email on here and try again soon! We’ll definitely talk running! 🙂 Love your blog. 🙂 and again, sorry about the hat.. i have to figure out how to fix that.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your running story. Running us such a big part if my life and I love it so much, that I can’t read enough about other people’s relationships with running.
    The first time I remember running was when I was 6 years old with my dad on the track at the YMCA. But when I really knew I was a runner was around age 11 or 12 when our soccer coach would call a punishment practice after we lost a game and make us run for an hour. I actually looked forward to these! So in middle school I joined the cross country team and I’ve been in love ever since. It’s just part of my daily regiment now… Like eating or sleeping… I just run. 🙂

  4. Yay for running stories and relationships! I love that for someone who wanted nothing to do with running, you are now pursuing it. I was this way a little too. I wanted to be a pro soccer player. But an wrist-break at practice one day in 7th grade led me to find running, and then eventually to realize I was a much better runner than soccer player. I’m so grateful I broke my wrist! I love running so much, and I plan to just keep on running as long as I can!

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