I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as the temps in Texas soar over 100 degrees each afternoon (and are still near 80 at 6am, ugh). Back in high school, I started running distance because 1) no one else wanted to, which meant I would be on the varsity track team as a freshman, and 2) running was really the only sport I was good at. I played other sports, I was even decent at some of them, but running I could do well.
(I was going to put my HS track picture here, but I can’t find it in the house…. maybe I’ll add it later, lol!)
By my senior year, though, the pressure to perform at a certain level got to be too much, and running was no longer fun for me. I basically quit running altogether for a long time. I’d occasionally run a little bit when I felt like my weight was getting to be too high, since it’s always been a good weight-loss activity for me, but mostly I just didn’t run because I wasn’t enjoying it.
After my son was born in January 2011, I started C25K with some friends, but soon found myself “too busy” to keep up with the runs. I still managed to train for, and complete, a half marathon in February 2012 while pregnant with my daughter, but I still wasn’t really enjoying running. I said I’d keep running throughout my pregnancy, but the reality is that it still wasn’t fun, so I just didn’t bother.
After my daughter was born, I was at the highest weight I’d ever been at in my adult life. I wasn’t healthy, and I wasn’t happy.
(family picture, Oct. 2012, about 1 week after baby girl was born)
Photo Credit: Photography By Herrington
On January 1, I dedicated myself to getting healthy again. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but still a long way from a healthy weight.
(sorry for the missing heads, I don’t know what happened when we took these pictures)
I started tracking every.single.calorie I ate in MyFitnessPal (MFP), and I started running again. Slow, short distances at first, then gradually longer, but running. And something happened. I started to enjoy running again. By myself, it was 20-30 minutes of alone time that I desperately needed after having 2 kids in less than 2 years, time to think, time to decompress. With my MRTT sole sisters, it was time to socialize, to encourage each other, to challenge myself so I didn’t get left behind.
I registered for another half marathon, and while I didn’t really give myself time to train properly, I blasted my PR. Even with the hills and heat.
And I registered for more races.
And I’m still running.
For the exercise.
For the camaraderie.
For the alone time when I need it most.
For the support and encouragement.
For the bling.
(Yeah, yeah, i still haven’t made my medal display, so sue me)
For the progress I’m seeing.
But mostly, because it’s fun again.
I guess that means it’s time to fill out my fall race calendar.
Why do you run? What does your fall calendar look like?