My relationship with running is a roller coaster and the best way to perfect your health with running. I started running in high school as a way to lose weight and to give myself a challenge.
The summer after joining track, my friend and I became addicted and would run in the mornings and at night after work. It worked-I lost a lot of weight that summer (about 30 pounds). In college, I kept running more because it was something that I had to do not something that I wanted to do.
I ran to keep up with my PT for the Air Force and to try to keep those college el bees in check (late-night food and unhealthy choices caused the weight to slowly return). After I graduated and moved to Chicago, I signed up for my first ever race. I needed something to distract me: I was in a new city 2 hours away from home and my then-boyfriend (now husband) was getting ready to deploy for 6 months.
I needed something to keep my mind off of that-so I ran. And I loved the freedom that it gave me. It was my time to think about everything or nothing at all. It also made me fall in love with Chicago. It’s by far my favorite place to run. Now I run because I just love it. I love the way it makes me feel and that it’s time out of my day that I devote just to myself.
You thought I would’ve learned the first time. I was over at my best friend’s house one day and she told me that she was training for her first 1/2 marathon and talked me into running it with her. I had already missed out on a few weeks of training and I was still feeling the effects of an ankle sprain that I had suffered from 4 months prior.
I probably should’ve sat this one out, but I wanted to keep myself in shape after our wedding, so I ran it anyway. I was not prepared, not mentally or physically. I remember lying in bed the morning of and hearing the thunderstorm outside.
I prayed that they would cancel the race so that I wouldn’t have to run it. That was a first for me and from that day on I promised myself that I would never run that long of a distance without being prepared first. I woke up and ran it and did better than I thought I would. Still…the itch is there: I know I can do better. I can run faster.
I underestimated the importance of following a training plan-I can tell by my time and the fact that my whole body felt like it was hit by a truck the next day. The heat was pretty bad and volunteers were passing out ice cold sponges toward the end of the race. Melissa and I kept pace with each until about mile 6 and then she urged me to go ahead without her.
I ran by myself for a few miles and at the mile 10 marker, I decided to wait and run the rest with her. I waited and waited. Finally, when I didn’t see her, I went ahead without her. Just as I was crossing the finish line, I saw the back of a very familiar head: it was Melissa, just steps in front of me! We high-fived and hugs each other as we both finished our first 1/2 marathon.