I didn't set out to become a runner. It just happened. In the beginning there were no thoughts of marathons or ultras. In fact the idea that I “might” be able to run 3 miles one day was dreaming big. To think that running would become not only a passion but a lifestyle for me would have been laughable. It was definitely a case of one day at a time and not looking any further than the next run.
Running was the only reasonable way that I knew of to drop a few pounds and that was my goal, to lose some weight. Why? For my health or to look better in a swimsuit? Nope. Money. Plain and simple, it was greed for the cash that got me up off the couch and out the door that first rainy day in 2006. I had entered a “Biggest Loser” type contest and wanted to win. I weighed around 230 lbs and knew that I needed to lose some weight and this seemed like a great opportunity to try. With the cash as motivation, I set out on January 16, 2006 in the early afternoon to run 1 mile. No problem, easy as can be, just a mile- how hard could it be?
I couldn't hardly breathe, my heart felt like it might explode and my legs were dead tired. I had covered almost 1/3 of a mile. Luckily, I am hard-headed and a little stubborn, so I continued running for the entire mile. It took a lot longer and much more energy than I had thought it would. It seemed like 30 minutes before I could breathe normal again and left me wondering how I was going to be able to do this again. I really had doubts about doing it again but for some reason there I was the next day, ready to torture myself again.
It didn't take long to lose a couple of lbs and that helped to fuel my motivation. Soon I was stretching the distance to 2 miles and shortly after, 3. Secure in the knowledge that I could run the entire distance, I registered for a 5k run in May. Wandering aimlessly with butterflies before the race an older runner asked if it was my first one. Replying yes, he just smiled and said, “You're going to love it. After this one you'll want to run more.” Yeah right, that was my thought. He was right. By the end of that first year I had run several 5 and 10k's along with two ½ marathons.
The running has brought me to a new place in my life and a realization that motivation comes through passion. I love to run. Plain and simple. Some days are harder than others but EVERYDAY that I run is rewarding. The weight loss may have served as a catalyst for my motivation but has become more of an added benefit than anything and I guess I have become a runner. This week I will cross my 6000th mile since that first day 4 years ago and I have learned a lot about myself in this time. There is still a lot more to learn and I look forward to the next 6000 miles......still just one run at a time.
This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........