Friday, March 18, 2011

How I Became A "Runner"

In high school, I was a "swimmer" and "water polo player".  I put those in quotations because, despite the fact that I was the captain of both teams my junior and senior year, I was one of the worst swimmers on the team.  I am SUPER aggressive in the water thus my alleged prowess in water polo. I also have a knack for remembering swim times, so people think I'm ultra supportive when I tell them how much time they've dropped.  Neither accomplishment had anything to do with real talent.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that the only reason I made the varsity swim team is because captains were elected by the team prior to the first swim meet.

Still, because I spent the better part of my high school years in the pool, I am a better than average swimmer.  I swam at least two miles a day 5 times a week between January and May every year, and was in pretty great shape, despite the fact that I ate curly fries from Arby's every day for lunch.  I could swim at my snail pace for hours, but if anyone asked me to sprint or even speed up a little, they were likely to get the finger.

In college, I'd swim once every few months, but it just wasn't the same. At some point in my relationship with the Dreaded-X, I started doing the couch25k program, but was never consistent and never made it past week 4.  I finally realized that it wasn't swimming that I enjoyed so much in high school and something was less that satisfying about running on the dreadmill.

I was missing a team environment.

I started looking at Team in Training. I wasn't a runner, I hadn't ridden a bike in years, but I knew I could swim.  Somehow, that made me think I could probably do a triathlon if I tried. Quite a leap, I know.

Of course, I was always too chicken to join a team.

In January of 2007, I lost my beloved brown grandmother to multiple myeloma, and all of my reasons for not joining TNT no longer made sense.

DH (DBF at the time) and I had recently relocated, and I didn't know anyone in the area.  I was substitute teaching at different sites everyday, making it nearly impossible to make friends.  It was incredibly lonely and I started to slip back into depression, which had been an ongoing problem for me throughout my childhood, teen years and early twenties.  On top of it, the loss of my grandmother was DEVASTATING.   

TNT was just what the doctor ordered.  I got to be outside, meet people and put my atrophied muscles back to work.

I started "running" the 2.32 mile loop around my neighborhood a few times a week.  I'd start with a 5 minute walk and then try to jog from one light pole to the next without stopping.  I'd rest and then go again.  Each time I went, I tried to jog a little farther before resting until finally I could jog the whole loop.

My current running shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10.  This is my 4th pair... almost time to try out the 11's.

Now, I still consider myself a "runner", not a runner, because I know I'm slow and I haven't yet gotten to the point where I want to take it too seriously.  My PR in a 5K is 35 minutes exactly.  Its not exactly a break-neck pace.

But... it would be nice to set a new PR.

I continued to run because its convenient.  I only need a pair of running shoes, and I can go as long as I want.  When we got Daisy Dog, she had so much fun that it was hard to schedule a rest day... I felt like I was torturing her.  Now, this is one of the only workouts I can do with Bug in tow.  She, Daisy Dog and I love the opportunity to get out of the house.

Now if it would just stop raining.  Babies don't like rain. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?