I know that time flies by – I blinked and our oldest turned 10! It was two years ago that I began running, but it wasn’t until this year that I truly got it. Running isn’t something I have to do, it’s something I want to do.
When I began running, I only used the treadmill. Being outside seemed SO MUCH harder. I had trouble setting my pace and breathing seemed impossible. The treadmill was consistent, no need to worry about the weather or really even my pace. I just did it.
Races were awesome. Funny how the outdoors didn’t bother me when we had numbers pinned to our chests. It was fun and social.
I started off embarrassed. My lack of speed and stamina kept me to myself. I was very aware of what I wasn’t good at. There were times I wasn’t even good at the mental game. I would negotiate with myself and sometimes it worked and other times it didn’t.
I kept with it. Honestly for the races ;). Then it changed. I had running friends. I began running outside. I got the running bug.
I still love putting that number on (you would think I place – I SO do not) and having the collective experience of the race, but now I have found that feeling on a regular basis. I share my runs with my friend and we’ve experienced a lot of different weather. There was the insane downpour (emphasis on insane) and below zero temperatures. We’ve run along snow banks and really hot and humid days.
The online community has been huge. I know people complain about those who share their accomplishments online, but it is nice to cheer others on and to be cheered on. To see others out doing the same thing with completely different weather and scenery. I even find myself thinking, I would love to run there.
I actually think about running in different locations. My running shoes have begun making it onto the packing list. We ran on my birthday in San Juan and I’m planning to run on our next trip. My perspective has completely changed.
Of course, I used to think that anyone who runs for fun is crazy. I couldn’t comprehend people choosing to run a mile let alone more. Now, I am one of those crazy people. I am beginning to consider myself a runner.
It isn’t about miles or speed, it’s an attitude, a desire. I enjoy lacing up my sneakers and most days look forward to my run. I’ve even found a short route that I can sneak to in between classes.
It isn’t always great. Some runs downright suck. They don’t feel great and it’s a mental and physical struggle. These runs are infrequent enough that it’s ok. I am in the process of getting back outside and finding my routine. Somehow, it’s not daunting. I know I’ll be slower and not go as far. I also know how to build it back and that it won’t take forever. By the end of April, I should be back to my normal miles and I can’t wait.
Has your exercise experience changed? Do you enjoy being with friends and family while exercising?