5 Miles!

26 Nov

Yesterday we upped the mileage on the group run to five miles! This is the farthest I have ever run, so I was a little nervous, but it was not hard at all! (I mean, it’s still running, so it’s still a little hard, but it wasn’t the physical feat I was afraid it would be.)

I mentioned in a previous post, that since we can’t use headphones for the half marathon, I would have to do something extremely embarrassing the day before to have something to mull over and make the time go by. Well, this weekend I did something embarrassing, so I can say from experience that my (joke of a) strategy works pretty well.

If I were reading this blog, I would want the juicy details of the embarrassing thing. In order to protect the innocent (me?) I will just keep it short and say that I confessed having feelings to a boy that did not exactly feel the same way about me. Which was kind of a bummer, except that it happened at a great time because the miles just flew by. On second thought, maybe I should have saved that for the 10-miler that comes in a few months!

Anyway, today I thought I would share the (brief) history of my interest in running. I grew up dancing, so I did absolutely no running except at P.E. when we would have to run the dreaded mile. (In blue jeans of course.) I always hated running that mile. All of my friends would race one another and brag about who was the fastest. I was more middle-of-the-pack. I wasn’t the girl in the back walking the whole way, but I definitely wasn’t in the race. My dance teachers supported my lack of running talent by telling us how horrible running was for our finely tuned dancer bodies.

In high school I traded in studio dancing for the school’s dance team. At dance team practice we ran a mile every day before practice to warm up and increase our endurance. I actually was finishing first during these miles, but I hated them. I ran them as quickly as possible just to get them over with. (Plus, the faster I finished, the longer I had to sit around and gossip while waiting on everyone else to finish.) Our dance team coach told us that we needed to run a mile every day during the summer break so that we would be prepared for dance camp mid-summer. She told us that we would be in trouble if we came back for practice and couldn’t run the whole thing. I have always been extremely obedient, so I ran every day my first summer on dance team. And I hated every minute of it. It never got easy or pleasant. In fact, after that first year, I realized that I could run a mile without having to practice it, so I gave up the daily mile in the off-season. I did love dance practice though. I loved the feeling of getting so worn out that I felt like I couldn’t do another run-through and then finding that extra energy deep down to catch a second wind and keep going.

In college I became the elliptical trainer’s best friend at our school’s rec center. I read in a magazine around that time that the Amish are able to eat high fat food and remain slim because they walk an average of eight miles a day, so I strove to do that. The rec center was a mile from my dorm room, so I would walk there, do 3 miles on the elliptical, and walk home. The remaining three miles came from walking to class. It worked. My freshman year of college I was the smallest I have ever been. That lasted until about my junior year, when I started taking a more lackadaisical approach to exercising. I would do it off and on in spurts, but never with the discipline I had before, and it rarely involved running.

It was my roommate my second year of grad school who made me actually enjoy running. She would ask me to go on “walks” with her, and I quickly learned that her version of going for a walk involved a lot more jogging than I was comfortable with. We went for a jog just about every day on a two mile loop near our house (that involved a killer hill, by the way.) She is the one who taught me about form and replacing shoes and that sort of thing. I got back down to my pre-late-college weight and stayed that way throughout the time that we lived together. I will do a post on my eating habits another day, but I’ll just say for now that prior to living with her my diet involved a lot of beer, a lot of cheese, and a lot of “fourth meals” from my beloved Taco Bell. I still ate these things from time to time, but she is one of those (crazy) people who thinks that fast food is “gross” and who has always known what a proper portion size is.

Somewhere during my time living with her I dated a boy who convinced me to train with him for a local half marathon. The half marathon was going to be in February. We started training in late October, and I dropped out of training in December. Now that I am training for this half marathon with the help of the program I joined, I realize we had no idea what we were doing. We followed a Couch to 5k program we found online, and then too quickly moved into a half marathon training program we found online that was apparently not for beginners.

When the training got to where we were supposed to be running four miles four times a week I just couldn’t keep doing it. I dreaded each and every run, and then I got behind in the training, and then I just quit altogether. I went back to my pleasant jogs with my roommate and decided that I just didn’t love running enough.

My first year living alone, post-grad school, I just completely stopped exercising for a good six months. I would go on a two mile run here and there, but I didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods, and my 9-5 job on top of eating extremely heavy lunches just left me too wiped to exercise. I was out of shape, and unhappy because I was really missing my exercise endorphins.

Last spring, I was fed up with being out of shape. I googled personal trainers in my area and found the boot camp class that I still attend now. That class made me much stronger, but the scale didn’t budge a bit. This past summer I started adding in afternoon to supplement my boot camping, I got my eating back on track (somewhat), and I got a dog, which guilts me into getting out the door even when I don’t want to. This half training so far (it’s early yet) has been sooooo much better than the last time. I think because I already had a strong running base when I started it, and I am in a stronger place mentally to handle the challenges that have come along.

I’m still not where I’d like to be with my weight, eating, or love of running. But I know that I am on the right track this time.

I’d like to know, if you are a runner, how did you get started?    


One Response to “5 Miles!”

  1. Brittany November 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Yahoo great job!! I remember the first time I ran 5miles I cried..no joke. It was awful and I hated life at that moment in time. What I hated even more was the fact that I cried..so I ran that same 5 mile route a few days later and conquered it. It was ALL in my head.

    I got starting running 3-5miles..and then took the plunge and signed up for a half marathon. That was THE best race I have ever done and I can’t wait to run more halfs! Keep running!

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