My Running Story

I am by no means a natural runner. I played softball for 12 years, and I was fast, but that doesn’t mean I was a skilled runner. I remember quitting softball in high school and trying to find a new fitness goal. That’s when I discovered running. I’ll never forget the first time I “went for a run.” This is one of my mom’s favorite stories because I told her I would be back in a while, and literally walked back through the door five minutes later. I had literally run to the end of the street and back.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you it took me a good three years to be able to run three miles without stopping. But I will also tell you that I have never been more proud of myself. It didn’t matter that it took me over 30 minutes to do it. What mattered was that I did it, and I could do it consistently.

In college all I did was cardio. I thought cardio was the only way to stay skinny (and fight off the late night pizzas and drinks). I would workout five times a week, but I never really pushed myself or had a goal in mind. I would just jog around campus or hop on an elliptical and read magazines. Then, I got an internship at the YMCA the summer after my sophomore year in the Wellness Department, and my supervisor asked me if I wanted to take her boot camp class for free in the mornings. I said yes, and when I showed up the first day and saw that everyone was easily over 40 years old, I immediately thought Oh man, this is going to be so easy.

I was wrong. Terribly wrong. Most of these people kicked my butt. I could outrun them speed wise, but I could barely do one push-up or anything that involved strength. It was at that moment that I realized how important strength training was in terms of being fit and healthy. I started doing some light weights, and magically, my running improved. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be strong over anything else! Then, during my junior year, my sorority needed people to run in a race called Little 50. Indiana University has a huge event called The Little 500, which is a bike race, and a few years ago they started a running relay race. Little 50 is a continuous 4×4 relay race. The first team of four to complete 50 laps around the track wins (which is roughly 12.5 miles, or a little over 3 miles per person). So, long story short, one person sprints 1/4 of a mile, waits until her other 3 teammates do the same thing, and then goes again. It’s basically the longest interval workout on the planet. But, I decided to join my sorority’s team, and I started training. I loved having a reason to train for something. This race wasn’t about distance; it was about speed and endurance. My team came in like 3rd to last, but I had never felt so accomplished in my life. I ended up doing it again my senior year, and even though my team finished no where near to first, it was awesome to just finish it.

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If I look like death it’s because that was how I felt. But once I graduated college and left behind a lifestyle of late nights filled with too many drinks and greasy food, I started settling into a healthier lifestyle that consisted of a normal bedtime, more natural food (aka less Lean Cuisines), and harder workouts. I didn’t really have a fitness goal in mind, so I started to see how fast I could run because I really liked interval training. Once I realized that I could do 4 miles in 30 minutes, I realized that there wasn’t really a point to what I was doing. Even though it felt awesome to run at a fast pace (for me!), I was probably never going to have an opportunity to do an interval race again where speed mattered over distance. So, my friends, I have officially jumped on the half-marathon bandwagon. I am hoping to run my first half on November 2nd, of this year (2013). I look forward to documenting my training with you and hearing any tips you have to give me!

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