Saturday, March 15, 2014

A thousand miles later

My running life has come and gone a few times over the years, but one thing has always remained, my love of lacing up my shoes and moving forward with a finish line to reach.  My love for this sport was revived during the last 12 months. 

Don't get me wrong, I never quit loving the run at all, I just lost the passion and drive it takes to technically be "a runner" (even though I never quit calling myself one).  I got married, moved away, went to nursing school, had babies, and did very little running from 2005-2008, and again took a break from 2011-2012. My sister asked me to run a 5K with her last March, so we signed up, froze our butts off and ran the race.  An old high school teammate was at the race and mentioned a sprint triathlon that she thought we should sign up for.  It was the perfect race to motivate me and get me training harder than I had in years. 

The year started out slow as I slowly got back into shape and my legs remembered their love for running as well.  I had injuries, took breaks, ran lots of races: 5k's, 10k's, 10 milers, half marathons, tried new things by racing in triathlons, made lots of new running friends, ran through 100 degree days and 12 degree days, rain, horrendous wind, snow, ice, and sleet, in the dark mornings before work, (note: today's 15 miler started at 0430!) as the sun went down after work, pushing a stroller with 80+ pounds of kid in it, with friends, and many many solo miles, 4 pairs of shoes, tons of Gu, training for another crazy marathon, began running for my sweet Josee Hope in Australia, and over 1000 miles logged in my online running log book.  Through it all I've become so much stronger, mentally and physically.  A 10 mile run once seemed like the longest run ever, now it's a mid week run that I can't wait to conquer. 2 hours of running alone used to seem like torture (who am I kidding, sometimes it still is) and now I log 2 hour long runs almost every week.  A mile under 7 minutes was a figment of my imagination a year ago, now I can run a 5K in 7 minute pace!  Hard work and stubbornness has contributed to most of my success, but the one thing that has gotten me through it all is my love for running.

I LOVE meeting runners, talking about running, visiting running stores, racing and seeing all the other funny, quirky, speedy runners from all around the area.  The fall of 1997 started my journey as I went out for cross country for the first time in 7th grade. Now, almost 17 years later, I can't imagine giving up this sport ever again.  It has always been a part of my past and who I am.  As I begin my 30th year of life tomorrow, I hope that running will always be a part of my future. 

I hope all of you awesome people find what you love and never stop doing whatever it is that makes you happy and makes you feel alive. 
"I don't run because I love the feeling of running. I run because it makes me love the feeling of living."  (and I love the feeling of running too!)  :) 

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