I can’t post today without first saying THANK YOU for all of your kind words on my last post. You all make it a lot easier to be vulnerable in such a judgmental world. I think if more women talk about these things and more people react the way you all did, it will take some of the shame away from it. It’s something I rarely ever discuss, so hitting publish felt terrifying but also freeing at the same time. It was a release. So, thank you.
Let’s continue the story where the last one left off. When I first started to fall in love with running.
I was living in Chicago at the time and I would either run the lakefront path or on a treadmill at the gym. I didn’t know what a GPS watch was. I had no idea what pace I ran. I didn’t even know how far I was running when I’d run outside. If you asked me, I would’ve said “40 minutes.”
I was basically signed up for my first race, The Soldier Field 10 Miler, somewhat against my will. I didn’t have a competitive bone in my body at the time. During the race, I noticed that people were pushing themselves to the point of discomfort. I wondered why they didn’t just slow down? I clearly did not understand the concept of racing; in fact, I had never even heard of a PR.
I did alright in that race considering I didn’t make the slightest attempt to run faster than was comfortable. Up until that day, running was an entirely solo endeavor so I didn’t love the idea of running with thousands of other people. It felt kind of chaotic and unnecessary.
But I decided to do it again anyway and ran a 10k in the summer. After crossing the finish line, I abruptly left and later found out I finished second place. That gave me the slightest boost of confidence and ignited a little competitive spirit I didn’t know existed.
I never played sports as a kid so I never got to experience that feeling of winning, unless it was a game of Go Fish or Yahtzee. While other kids had shelves lined with trophies, I displayed my sweet ass Beanie Baby collection instead. This made taking second place in a small 10k that much more thrilling.
I started to ask myself what it would take to run faster. I began picking the brains of other runners and reading Runner’s World. I borrowed a GPS watch from time to time to see what my pace was all about. I started to really love running because it gave me something to work towards. I felt like I suddenly had a purpose. I could already run, but it presented me with an opportunity to get faster and run farther and I loved having that challenge. It felt good to set goals and it felt even better to see progress.
Fast forward to my move to San Diego (which I wrote all about in a previous post). The mild climate and ability to run outdoors year round was one of the primary reasons I chose San Diego as my destination. From there, my love of running skyrocketed and so did my performance. I was completely enamored by this sport of mine and was dying to see what I was capable of. I decided to train for and run my first marathon, and I finished WAY faster than I ever imagined. That race was the start of my love for marathons and basically, the rest is history. 🙂