My second Half Marathon is quickly approaching and I have been reflecting a lot on my goals for the race and how I became a runner. As a child I had asthma, it was often triggered by running and necessitated two in-patient stays at a local hospital. They occurred around the age of 9 and 13, I remember the details quite clearly. I could swim with no problem, so I swam in high school and even lettered a couple of times. Yes, I am a former mediocre high school athlete.
It always bothered me that I could not run, I would try and quickly become frustrated with my wheezing and tight chest and at some point would abandon the effort. While I was in law school I lived literally one block away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. If you have ever witnessed the Boston Marathon and said that you didn’t want to run, you would be lying. There is something really magical about watching those runners from the elite athletes that run 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours to watching those who cross the finish line long after the big crowds go home. You really have to stand in awe of all those runners who put in the time, energy and mental fortitude to run 26.2 miles regardless of the time they run it in.
After one of those races, I decided to try my hand at running again. I would wake up early and attempt to run a loop around the Charles River. I would run and walk but I never got it down. It was hard, too hard and I would abandon the effort again. I resumed my workout routine of elliptical and walking a couple miles to and from work every day. Boston is an amazing city to live in, you can really just walk everywhere.
Years pasted, I got married, had a child, moved to Baltimore, had another child, moved to California and then decided I was going to tackle running again and this time I was going to succeed. The difference this time, I signed up for a 5K and followed a training plan. I like structure so following a plan, especially a specific one would be the key to my success. I downloaded the Jeff Galloway app for 5K training and was good to go. I really liked that he talked to you throughout your run, encouraged you to slow down or walk if you were getting tired. It truly was like having a coach with you on a run.
Initially those baby runs, 1.5 – 2 miles, seemed long but each day I was getting stronger and eventually I was able to run 3 miles. This was huge, I never even ran the Presidential Fitness mile when I was in school. About a week before my first 5K, I got the flu. I was extremely disappointed and could not run, I wallowed and was angry. Then I sought the counsel of some friends, who are runners, and they said it happens, now find another race. That is what I did. I found the Run Like A Mother 5K and ran my first race at age 34 on Mother’s Day. Now as I prepare for my 2nd Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, I can look back at all those attempts and failures and say I am a runner.
Alexis was kind enough to share they story she wrote from her blog and it is an awesome blog!!! Find her blog at Miles Meals Motherhood and look her up on Facebook!!! She was recently selected as one of Women's Health's Action Heroes for 2013 and is working hard to spread the word about their Run 10, Feed 10 race series. Go check out her pages to learn more!!!!