I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with running. During our fitness tests in grade school we had to run a mile (6 laps) around the school courtyard every fall and spring. Since there was no way for the gym teachers to keep track of everyone’s lap number they always invented some heinous method to keep us from cheating. My personal favorite was having to run with 6 popsicle sticks in our hands. After we completed each lap we had to drop a stick in the bucket. Don’t even ask.
In high school we had a mile test every summer for cheerleading. If we didn’t complete said mile in under a certain number of minutes we had to do it over. You better believe I ran my little tush off during those tests. Because really, the only thing worse than having to run one mile in the summer heat would be having to run two…or even three until you reached that magic little number.
In college I started running on my own accord. There was one summer that I came home and diligently woke up every single morning at 7am (before it got too hot) and went for a run. Each morning I laced up my sneaks, ran the familiar course around my neighborhood, came home and busted out a few sets of sit-ups and pushups and then relaxed on my back porch with an iced coffee until sun started blazing down. Even after school started that fall I continued to run for a little while. Truthfully, running that summer helped me lose a bit of the chub I had put on during my first year of college. It wasn’t the healthiest relationship I had ever been in but I didn’t care. I was addicted to the results. Thankfully, that period is the only significant time in my life where I can remember having body image issues and an unhealthy relationship with exercise. I consider myself lucky for that.
What’s funny is that through all of this, even when I was in “good” running shape, I never pushed myself to go further or really log the miles. I wasn’t in love with running, I was in love with getting it over with. To this day, when a significant portion of my friends have 10Ks, half marathons and marathons under their belts, I have a measly handful (not even…) of 5Ks.
But not for long! I’ve officially signed up for a 4 mile race next month which, although may sounds laughable, is a big deal for me. Four miles….of RUNNING? It was such a humbling experience to go for a run this morning. Since I don’t have one of those fancy running watches, I found this awesome app (Run Keeper- check it!) to help me train. It uses your phone’s GPS to track your run and pace and gives you updates every 5 minutes.
“Oh, I’ve only been running for 10 minutes so far? AT A 9+ MINUTE PACE? Hey thanks robot lady…”
There is obviously a lot of work to be done on my end. Discipline and determination will get me there along with a few good running buddies. It also helps to focus on the beauty rather than the pain…