I am completely new to blogging, and have always loved to write. But, until lately– I haven’t been inspired to write about much–which in itself is a shame. Growing up I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I wrote about everything. Writing was how I coped, expressed myself and how I thought I would eventually make my living. So, to find something that has inspired me to want to write again … well, that is just another positive benefit from running I can add to my list. I have always been pretty active. I was water skiing at 8–up on a single ski easily by 9 years of age. I would swim, ride my bike, Spin, do aerobic classes, etc. But, I never ran. I was the girl who would walk the mile test in P.E. class. It always impressed me to see people who could run 5, 10, 20 miles. It just seemed unbelievable to me. How can anyone run for more than 5 minutes and not want to stop? I have tried a few times in the past to run on the treadmill and I could get to a mile, which I thought at the time was tremendous. And it IS when you have never run before. It’s an accomplishment and does give you the confidence to go further. But, I still had a hard time increasing my distance. This last time, about 7 months ago, I decided I really wanted to try and do this. I found when I listened to a certain style of music (electronic, and a DJ by the name of Carl Cox, specifically) I was able to stay on tempo and make it past my threshold of my usual mile. I was running 30 minutes continuously and I LOVED how I felt afterwards! I felt like superwoman. My endorphins were dancing, and I found I wanted to run everyday!
After about 4 months of doing the treadmill I found I was getting bored. It became a struggle to get to my two miles. My music was getting old. Everyone I knew that ran would tell me.. run outside. I resisted. I again.. didn’t think I could do it. I thought I was only good enough for the treadmill. Running outside would be too hard for me, after all… I am not really a runner. I am a big girl trying to lose weight!
Feeling somewhat more confident though with my 2 mile runs under my belt, I started following another runner on twitter and reading magazines, etc. I ended up having a few conversations on twitter with this runner, who was also a writer doing an article on another runner we both followed. He suggested I download the Nike App and we could run and inspire each other and others on our friend list to keep running. I was thrilled. So, I downloaded the Nike running App and added him as a friend. I think that was when I decided I was going to try running outside.
This app keeps track of my miles, speed, statistics, etc. I can’t lie or cheat my way through it. I have to run it. And I work so hard to keep it real. So, I did it! I started slowly. I decided I would run to a bridge near my house (which I found out afterwards is about half a mile) and run back (another half mile). I did it and was sweating profusely afterwards. I realized it was so much harder outside physically, but mentally it was so much easier! I did this a few times and started increasing my distance. I remember the first time I felt pretty relaxed and ready to venture past my bridge run. I was listening to a variety of music, it no longer had to be a special long song so I don’t lose focus and find myself needing to stop. I was running along the street by the park and I was looking around. My breathing wasn’t labored and it was like an out of body experience. It was as if I was out of my body looking at myself- running. I literally said, “I am doing this”. It’s a very vivid memory and turning point. I was really doing it! That was the moment I KNEW I can run, and I CAN do this. It’s all in our minds. We decide what we can and can’t do sometimes before we even try.