When I was in high school, I made fun of the long distance runners on our track team (who also comprised our cross country team.) True, this was mostly due to the fact that some of them were my closest friends so tearing the mickey out of them came naturally but I did find it ridiculous that anyone would voluntarily run that far, that often, on purpose. Incidentally, I am now married to one of those same long distance runners. (Who knew?!?)
When I started dating Andy he was finishing up training for an Ironman. I believe one of the first questions I was asked by a mutual friend of ours was “Does this mean you are going to start doing triathalons?” To which I replied a firm “No.” I hate swimming for exercise and nothing will ever change that. I also believe that the trainer for the bike was invented by the devil himself. Or at least by some guy who wanted to invent a way to train indoors that was so mindnumbingly torturous it would make you forget about how saddle sore you were becoming. But I digress….
When we started dating I had never run farther than 3 miles and had no desire to explore further distances. However, I recently found myself having a very strange conversation with Andy that involved words like “shot blocks” and “hydration belt.” I had completed my longest run, to date, that morning. It was a laborious 7 miles pushing Lilly in the jogger, in headwinds. I think I burned 2 million calories in the 3 1/2 miles of headwinds alone. But I did it! And I started looking forward to 8, 9, and 10 mile runs, hence the conversation about shot blocks (now on my dresser, ready for next Saturday’s long run!). I have found myself wondering, ‘How did I get here?’ Mid-run nutrition and hydration is for runners. You know, people who RUN. When did that become me? I thought I would catalog a few of the highlights along the way. If nothing else, it might help me gain some clarity of how I ended up here!
- First off, I found myself looking like this after Lilly was born. I HATE this photo! I almost can’t believe I’m posting it on the internet, but it was my motivation to start running. (Trinity was getting over being sick when we brought Lilly home so she had to wear the surgical mask around her!)
- The start of my running is best described by one of my all-time favorite posters I’ve seen on pinterest: Yup. This sums it up!
- About a year after I started running – treadmill only at that point! – Andy tricked me into going for a run outside together. (I had a weird fear of running outside. For more on that see: https://sarahsjoys.com/2011/08/28/overcoming-seeds-of-self-doubt/). Then he tricked me into doing a 10K together. This required running twice as far as I ever had before! Bless his heart, he stayed with me the whole time. Okay…he MAY have been under threat of sleeping outside and cooking for himself if he abandoned me during my first race ever, but it meant a lot that he set his pride aside and ran with me instead of running his own race! He even let me cross the line first:
- I took a hiatus from running for a while. I can’t really say that I missed it at that point. But it turns out that I can’t actually eat every Christmas treat in sight, not workout, and then step on the scale without it giving me a very disapproving look. So…as of February 1st…back to running it was!
- No more excuses. This winter I went running outside in 22 degree weather! I started to wonder WHY I was doing this until I thought to myself: Would I rather live in a day and age when I need to go running to stay healthy, or would I prefer to burn those calories spending hours by a freezing riverbed, beating laundry against rocks? I’ll take the running, thank you! Suddenly it didn’t seem so bad. I think this was a turning point for me.
- Almost every time I go for an outdoor run, I look up at our beautiful mountains and it never fails…I get a tear in my eye for how blessed we are to live in such an amazing place, and how blessed I am to have the time, energy, and health, to get outside and run. Another turning point. Was I actually enjoying this? Here are my mountains, aren’t they beautiful?
- That brings us up to this past week! I ran 7 miles all at once. I know it’s not impressive compared to people who run marathons, or do Ironmans, but for me, it’s pretty great! Do you want to see my view of the world after I completed my 7 mile run? That’s right…I laid down on the ground and stared up at the sky. I’d love to tell you I was just savoring the moment…but I was BEAT! Burning 2,000,997 calories in one run will do that to a girl.
- I still find it hard to “label” myself a runner. But I am doing it, and I am enjoying it, so who’s laughing now? Me I guess…at the irony that I, who made fun of all my distance-running guy friends in high school, am now a runner! There. I said it. Does that make it true? 🙂
Way to go, Sarah! As someone who only runs when she is being chased…literally…I am in awe of you!
“The throwers throw, the jumpers jump, and the runners . . . complain?” Was that how it goes? And oooooooooooooooooo, let me think, who am I quoting? Oh, yes. Sarah Fischer! : ) Ah yes, I’ll bet you never saw that coming back at you! But, no, this didn’t sound like complaining at all, it sounds like you are enjoying the running and justly proud of yourself. Well done you! With love from one of your cheerleaders–always will be!!!!.
Thanks mom! I actually almost put that quote in the post!! It was true…All they did was complain about how much harder their workouts were than ours. And yet, they were doing them by CHOICE! 😉 Ah, well…
Sarah!! Irene from SparkPeople here….
I LOVED your blog!! I’ve written a couple myself, which you can see on my Spark page. (I have blog space somewhere else in cyberspace, but I don’t use it so much…SP is just THERE, and so easy… :))
Anyway, reluctant as you may be, YES, you ARE a runner. You pretty much were a runner from the moment that you decided it was a good form of exercise that you could turn to predictaby. Speed, distance, freqency…those are all incidentals!
YOU ARE A RUNNER!
It won’t surprise me if you start to feel the gnawing yearning that comes with a beautiful weather day, or having barely finished a fantastic run and finding yourself mentally reviewing your schedule to think about when you can get your NEXT one…if those experiences haven’t happened already….! To me, those are the defining moments that spell A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N!! LOL I can’t think of anything I’d rather be addicted TO…!!
Welcome to our world!! Happy to have you! 🙂
Thank you! Andy and I are going shopping today for new running shoes! We’re going for a bike ride today but I have a feeling with new shoes I’ll be chomping at the bit to get out for a run! 😉
I am a treadmill runner 😀 I so totally relate. I am not sure I will graduate though like you did. I love that I am able to exceed my milestones of running continuously 10 mins, then 15 mins then 20 mins…. i still need motivating music to stop myself groaning that the seconds aren’t ticking faster. Short limbs aren’t helpful either.
I thought when people told me it was better to run outside because you have scenery to distract you that it was a conspiracy to get my outside where I would tire much more quickly and be slow as all get out! But it really is better! I do still play mind games when I run on the treadmill but I am enjoying the outdoor running more and more. Good music helps too! If I can do it, you can do it! 🙂