I am a runner!
I usually run on Sunday morning. The past few months I’ve been in a rut with that, but I’m slowly getting back into the grove. This time of year I’m not as faithful as I am during spring, summer, and fall. And if there’s snow and ice? No way! These are the “hip breaking” years, lol!
I have not always been a runner. I am not a fast runner. But. I am a runner. I have a love/hate relationship with running, ok, maybe with most form of exercise….Athletic is not something anyone would ever have considered me. I learned early on how to get out of participating in PE class. I was always the last one picked for teams and made fun of, (now days it would be considered bullying) so once I learned if I didn’t “dress out” I had to sit out, well, guess what I did? I failed PE, but it was a small price to pay!
I never ran until I was 51. Except for once when I was about 15/16, and only once. A school friend and I decided to take up “jogging”. We set out one day for our first and last time. Apparently we weren’t fast enough and my mother came searching for us (my life with her is a study that Freud or Jung would have hard time analyzing). At the time she found us we were walking and the hullabaloo that ensued wasn’t worth me ever trying that again.
Until one day in August 2014.
I was around 30 lbs down in my weight loss journey. I had been faithfully attending my yoga practice twice a week and working out with my personal trainer twice a month. When I started with him I made sure he knew “I did not/would not run”, no way, nope, no how! I would walk and I would bore myself silly on that dang treadmill if I had to, BUT Janet did not run!!
At that time my daughter and daughter in law to be, were training for the Baltimore Half Marathon and were running on Sundays. One day they asked if I wanted to go (I think they felt bad they hadn’t/didn’t include me). So I said sure, I’ll go, and off we went. They took off running and I took off walking. During the previous few weeks I had started running a few steps while on the treadmill here and there. But I still didn’t run. So that day I decided when a fast paced song came on I would run a little. And I did. I couldn’t run through the entire song, usually, but I ran for as long as I could. When we met up later on the route, they had gone eight miles and I managed five and a half.
Sunday Runday was born.
Every Sunday morning my daughter and I would head over to my daughter in laws house, and off we would go. Every week, just like them, I added more distance to my day. I bought new, “proper” running shoes, I bought a “camelback” to carry water, I created a running “play list” and bought “good” head phones. I found and downloaded a training plan. I was becoming a runner. I didn’t dare to call myself that, but I was on my way. I learned what an interval was and started doing real run/walk intervals or maybe it started as walk/run. I decided if I made it to covering 10 miles I would register for the half marathon too. You didn’t have to run it, you could walk the entire thing, and had five hours to complete it. I knew if I could go the distance, I could manage the time (I’ve always been a rather fast walker, especially for being so short). Well, I made it up to 10 miles and registered for that race! I was so scared and excited. If you’re a runner you know what I mean.
I went to WW a day early that week to weigh in, because the race was on Saturday and I would be missing my meeting. I was officially down 35 lbs. Woo Hoo!
I had been doing intervals during my “training” time of 1:30 run/3:00 walk, but during that walk time if I felt I could run more I did. Sometimes it was across the cross walks, sometimes I was so bored walking I just had to go faster, so I did. when I got to the last cross-road, I crossed into the area of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the tears started falling, I was almost at the end. I was determined to run it in. As I approached the end of the “warehouse”, My husband (the man; as I call him at times) was there, my youngest son, my daughter and daughter in law (they finished way ahead of me), my son-in-law, and at the time my two youngest grand littles. Knowing those babies would be at the finish kept going some times. I knew if I kept putting one foot in front of the other, they would be there. My dad (who was my biggest cheerleader) and I had many a conversation as I was running. I firmly believe he was with me that day. I think I exorcised a few demons that day.
It took me 3 hours and 40 minutes to finish that race. I was a runner.
I still cry when I think about that day.
I. Am. A. Runner!!!
Until the next time