This spring, I am training for my first half marathon. That is really all you need to know about me, but I feel compelled to fill you all in on my history as a runner in explicit detail in order to orient you to my current situation. (Not because it’s particularly interesting, but more because it’s pretty unremarkable, and the whole reason why I wanted to start this blog was for people who feel as intimidated as I do by running long distances.)
I’ve been a casual runner for years… the kind of runner who jogs frequently for fun, usually a distance of 5-8K, with varying speeds depending on my current fitness level. Running is really one of those things that I love to do, but it’s not always my absolute priority. There always seem to be other things that come up here and there – a crazy work schedule, injuries, or even just too much fun. So while I’ve always loved to run, I’ve rarely been disciplined about it.
A couple of years ago, I ran my first 5K. I didn’t train for it, but since I usually jog at least that distance, I did well. It was a good experience, and I decided to train for a 10K in order to really track my progress and force myself to take running a little more seriously. (In general, I enjoy challenges, so training for a race seemed like a good idea.) I made good progress, and ran a full 10K a couple of times even before my race… but a few weeks into my training, I suffered a severe back injury. (Completely unrelated to running.) Not only was I sidelined from running, I had to take a month off work and do intense physiotherapy just to be able to walk normally again. Since running requires so much core strength, my physio suggested that I avoid it for a while, so I switched to the elliptical and the stationary bike, and started to get my cardio fix at the gym. When I finally returned to outdoor running, my speed was drastically improved, and my core was much stronger from doing so much physiotherapy. It felt great, and I was starting to really think about training – not just running the same distance every day for fun, but now speed training, core training, and all that other good stuff.
And THEN I got introduced to boxing… So yes, this is a running blog, but I have been a fickle runner… my love affair with running has met some with some stiff competition from the boxing gym. My fitness life (and actually the rest of my life too – but more on that later) absolutely changed when I put my first pair of gloves on and stepped into the ring. Since then, running has been more of a compliment to my boxing regime than my primary source of exercise.
Fast forward to now! It’s spring 2014, and I’m lacing those running shoes back on. I’ve got my half marathon training schedule up on the fridge, and I’m ready to go! I’ve decided to make boxing my cross-train activity, and running is back at the forefront. I have experienced a series of events and realizations in the last couple of years that have lead me to creating this new goal for myself, which I’m sure I’ll discuss more in future posts… but for now, all that matters is that I’m hitting the road and trying to log those miles!
And now to address why I’m starting this blog… why do I think you want to read about my journey to a half marathon and hear all the boring details of my life along the way? Well really, this is more for me than anyone else… If no one ever reads this, it will still be the best thing ever to help me stay accountable and to track my progress. But I also feel there are a lot of people out there who are just like me, and I’m hoping that all of you will feel encouraged and cheered on when you read about my own ups and downs.
Yes, I know that there are about a million running blogs out there. They are heartfelt, inspirational, funny, and pretty much just overall awesome. I read them every day for training ideas and encouragement. But sometimes reading these blogs can have the opposite effect on me. It seems like everyone who writes about running is a bazillion times faster and stronger than I am, and sometimes it just gets discouraging… I feel good about logging 4 miles, and then I come home and read about someone’s 20 mile run… will I ever run a marathon with a 6:00 average pace? (NOPE) Will I ever run ONE mile in 6 minutes? (Probably not) Can I even get myself off the couch tonight to run my easy 3 miler when there seem to be 20 other things competing for my time and attention? Like for example food, the NBA playoffs, and my extremely comfortable bed??!
So this blog is for people like me – people who run their races just to FINISH, even if they have to walk half of it. This is pretty much just about getting out there and DOING it, and being proud of the effort… I’m sure that as I train, I’ll become a faster and stronger runner. But this blog will hopefully be a place where normal people can feel empowered and inspired without feeling intimidated. And where I can keep myself pumped up and on track to finishing this race because it pretty much feels impossible to me right now.
And that is my second blog post. The end.