Running… who loves running? I didn’t.
It was something I was forced to do while I served in the military. I was young and was in really good shape, but I hated running.
My max run was a mile and a half. It was the minimum I needed to run to pass the physical fitness test.
I guess it’s true, when someone TELLS you what to do, you just don’t want to do it. No interest what so ever. I often wonder how fast I could have been if I would have enjoyed running and tried harder? I was way younger and a lot lighter. Well, that brings me to today.
In 2014, a veterans group I am affiliated with decided to run the Walk for Warriors Veteran 5K to raise money for the homeless veteran community. Eager to raise the money for fellow vets, I signed up.
Then I got nervous. It had been a long time since I donned a pair of running shoes. I think they call it couch to 5K. Ha! Seriously, I was a couch potato until then.
I wasn’t worried about being too slow, I just had to beat my fellow vets. I think competition runs deep with all current/former military members.
I did pretty well and placed #2nd out of my group and that is when the running bug took hold. The runners I met were so supportive and encouraging, they talked me into training for a half marathon.
That’s 13.1 miles!! I was feeling the runners high so I said sure and signed up.
Training was brutal for this former couch potato. I went from couch to many miles in a short time. I shopped for a quality pair of running shoes and started tracking my miles.
I did quick 3 milers to long slow 20 milers. I think I had almost every type of body ache, pain, and minor injury. I had sore knees, tweaked hips, and sore calves.
I got a black toe nail then lost it.
I had bloody nipples (and the picture to prove it).
But all that training paid off. My first half marathon was in my hometown of Ventura, CA in September of 2014 and I ran it in 1:45:21. So excited, I signed up for another immediately. I just had to beat that time on the next race, and I did.
I met so many encouraging runners at the races and using online forums. I have a virtual running family online that keeps me motivated daily.
If it wasn’t for the strong community of runners, I could see how it would be easy to slip back to the couch. But it’s not going to happen.
In less than one year, I went from the couch to running five Half Marathons. So far this year (2015), I am signed up for two more Half Marathons and two 5K races.
I am always on the hunt for a new race in a unique place. The goal is to always get a PR (Personal Record) at every race, meet new runners, and eventually race out of state! Boston??
Come on new year, lets see what you bring.