For people that have just met me, they may not know my love for fitness, especially running…however that was not always the case. To even remotely begin to start to share with you my journey I have to start from the beginning…..
When I was growing up I was huge into soccer, I loved everything about it and I could run a lot without even noticing how far I had gone. I soon stopped playing soccer with transitioned into other sports where I did not run as much. I was never per say over weight but I was not in the best shape when I left for college.
When I got to college, my roommate of course was a advocate runner. I sometimes would run with her, however it always ended up with her having to slow down because I could not run like she could…or her going ahead of me because I just couldn’t do it…
I would run maybe 20-30 mins max, always dying at the ending thinking it was never going to end. Our sophomore year in college, we decided to sign up for our first 5K. Okay let me rephrase that, she signed up for the 10K, my father and I signed up for the 5K. I didn’t really understand why she wanted to run more but at the same time I was envious she could do it!
My First 5K
After years of fighting the the love/hate relationship with running, I ran my first 5K with my dad. At the age of 20, I ran my first 5K at 30 minutes. In my eyes, I had done the
unthinkable. I still remember “Eye of the Tiger” being the song as I crossed the finish line. It was hard. Like I said I have never ran more than 30 minutes at a time without stopping since high school. I made it all the way through without stopping. That was my first step into running. I felt accomplished and happy I did it. I wish I could say it was easy, I wish I could say the whole time I wasn’t thinking, can I really do this? Then I remembered why I was running, it was to take that next step, to accomplish something I thought was impossible. After the 5K, I still wasn’t very interested into running a 10K still or anything like that, just happy I could do something like this and knew it was a step to a healthier life style.
My Second 5K
A year after my first 5K, my aunt asked me and my cousin if we would run in a race in honor of my cousin James. I of course jumped at the opportunity to not only run with her but to honor my cousin. I was still running from my last 5K, a few 2-3 miles here and there. All I wanted to do was beat my time of my first 5K, I finished the race in 26 minutes and again, I felt amazing to know that I could do it. I was just shocked I could run that. I was so happy to run with my family and be part of this. I think sometimes we forget why we run, I ran in honor of my cousin and my family. Regardless of my pace, which was my goal, my ultimate goal was being with my family and supporting them when needed. My family has a huge impact on me and it was amazing to be there with them. Sometimes when you run, the reason you run changes. From my first 5K to my second it definitely did.
My Third 5K
After my second 5K, I was trying to get into a healthier life style. I had graduated from college and was running about 4 miles about 2-3 times a week. In my new career and new location of a home, I found a path that worked for me. Some days I could run it without stopping other days, I had to take my breaks. I used the running to spend time alone. Eventually in May of 2012, my parents were on a health kick and we decided to sign up for another 5K. I was so excited to run with my family. I came in at 26 minutes, I kept the pace of my last 5K. My dad beat my time and my mom came in behind me. However this race meant more to me then the pace. I was able to spend time with my parents, I got to watch my dad continue to kick butt and I had the opportunity to watch my mom run her first 5K. It was so great to be part of their accomplishments and make memories together. This race was my easiest 5K, my pace may have been the same, but my mind set, health and feeling toward it was very different.
What I Learned…
I wish I could say after all these 5Ks, I was on my runners high and wanted to run a marathon. No I did not. I still didn’t understand how people could run such long distance and enjoy it. However I did grow in my health and my life style changes. Running to me taught me how to stay in shape, feel better about myself and have a more positive attitude. Running still wasn’t my favorite exercise but the struggle I had from the first 5K to the third one, were very different. I became a much stronger woman because of the strength I gained as I overcome the obstacles of running.
Stay tuned to my next article on my journey… It is amazing how your mind set can change even more.