Running, a Love Story
I would try and click-bait you, but I’m bad with titles so this is what it’s going to be. (Side note: the photo above is the trail I run on just about every morning.)
This month marks 11 years I have been running seriously. I would go out and run around my neighborhood in junior high and run in gym class and run during other sports, but August 1st, 2003 I went to my first high school cross-country practice as a baby freshman. I wish iPhones existed then so I could pull some old Instagram photos from that time. Anyway, running three miles seemed DAUNTING to me. Flash forward 11 years, three miles are junk miles to me*.
*this isn’t to say three miles are junk miles – if that’s all you can/want to run, be proud! You should be proud of any amount you run – you’re still beating everyone on the couch.
I have ran through it all: most notably, ligaments ripping away from my knee cap, years of physical therapy, wearing a knee brace, running on insanely taped-up sprained ankles – things I don’t talk about a lot because I’ve forgotten about them. It may be why I have such a laissez-faire attitude towards injuries – I know they can (usually) always be overcome. I obviously really love something if I’m still out there, pounding out 30 miles a week.
Running has gotten me through every break-up of my life, fights with my friends and parents, deaths, career insecurity – it’s been my longest relationship and has definitely been the best therapist I’ve had. I can’t tell you how many tears I have shed before, during and after runs when it has had nothing to do with running.
Running a marathon is something I have toyed around with for over a year now. I decided right before my birthday that this year was the year. “You have to want to run a marathon,” is what Emily told me. I finally realized that half-marathons were no longer a challenge for me – I could run a half-marathon drunk. That day basically told me I was pretty fit and I needed to challenge myself more.
I love running for the same reasons I love surfing or yoga: because I love pushing my body to the limit. I want to see what I’m capable of. That’s why this November, I’ll be running my first full-marathon, the Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon.
I’ve ran Savannah’s half-marathon before. It was probably one of the worst half-marathons I’ve ran because I was so out of distance running shape. The farthest I had run prior to that day in 2011 was 7 or 8 miles in over a year and a half. I had such an awful race I decided half-marathons weren’t for me and I backed off running for a little over a year, just doing maybe 15 miles a week, max.
In the past two years, I’ve seen how far I have come as a runner. If I don’t love running full marathons, at least I’ll have done one and I can stop feeling like a fake distance runner for never running a full. I know that I’ll always have 13.1.
As a note, I’m also excited for three other races I have coming up: Montour Trail Half-Marathon the first weekend in September (it fit in perfectly with my training schedule – I’m doing Hal Hidgens), Ragnar DC the second weekend in September and the Key West Half-Marathon (as an official blogger!) in January. The Key West race will be good because after I run the full, I can take a few weeks off then have another race coming up so I can’t get lazy.
Chat with me:
What are some goals you have for yourself? Have you ever run a marathon? What thing (not a person) do you a love affair with?