So since it has been a while since I’ve done any sort of blog post that wasn’t a race recap or ‘random thoughts’ I figured today would be a great day to share with you my ‘learning to love running’ story! Here’s my little personal anecdote to how I fell (and stayed in love) with this incredible sport.
Those of you who’ve read my bio and have been reading a while know that I was not an avid runner growing up. I was never your ‘talented cross country kid’ that was just good at all of the sports. My mother had me in dance classes and I dabbled in track (forced upon by my parents to keep me out of trouble) but I hated it. I always felt like a fish out of water with running. Dance, however was where I thrived and I loved tap and jazz and just grooving to the music always. It was where I could just be free and me versus me. Freedom of expression for me was where it was at. (This came back later in life where I did teach dance at the gym for a number of years!! Now I teach spin and dance on my bike.)
As I got older and graduated high school into college I continued enjoying dance, and working out in general. I would run on the treadmill at the gym and enjoyed that, especially as I started doing bursts of speed and getting faster.
I remember one summer running a 5k on the treadmill and being so proud of myself. It was a boost of confidence that I had never felt before. This kind of sparked my enjoyment for running and as I became more fit and graduated college it turned into a hobby that I loved.
After college and going into the working world, I discovered that local run groups had social runs and decided one day to check it out. At the run, lots of folks talked about running a local Dallas half marathon. Training to RUN 13.1 miles seemed absolutely ridiculous to me at the time. I remember how it literally boggled my mind that people really did that. But at the time the fact that it boggled with my head also FASCINATED me. I wanted to be THAT runner. That runner that could actually take each milestone and build one on top of the other. Deep in my heart of hearts I knew that I wanted it, and that I could do it. I just needed the time and the practice.
At the time of training I was in my early/mid twenties and really loving the party life. I had a lot of party friends and we could go out for drinks every Friday. Hey, sometimes even during the work week. Happy hour after happy hour. Honestly and truthfully, being hungover for me back then was a way of life. And really one that I enjoyed. (Now, being in my 30s that is a different ballgame & another blog post in itself, HA.)
But, I quickly learned that hard partying and distance running simply did not mix. Oh how quickly did I learn that. I would still faithfully show up to group runs on Saturdays with Luke’s Locker with a pounding headache and pound out 10, 12, 13 miles. All of my running buddies (most of them married, older, with kids) would laugh at me- but hey, I showed up. I ended up running my 1st half marathon in November 2009 after partying all night long from Halloween weekend. It was NOT a pretty sight! But, it got done.
As I got older I started loving longer distances, and the more I loved running, the more the constant partying began to fall to the wayside. I was no longer that party girl, I was the runner girl! I loved the HIGH of success, and putting in all of the miles. I no longer got excited about staying up past midnight. Rather 9 pm bedtimes were my NEW JAM. Spending Saturday mornings with like minded people was my new happy hour. And still is, to this very day.
I can say that distance running has changed my path & my journey of life and I am really so thankful for it. I fell in love with the beauty of nature, with the beauty of people, with the beauty of seeing life so differently. I’ve made lifelong friends just from the pure joy of this sport.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you, running.
Share your ‘learning to love running’ story with the group! (go as long or as short as you want.) 🙂