Friday, September 9, 2011

Why I Run

Over at the Another Mother Runner blog they have been running (pun intended) a feature everyday of a really cool mother runner, and in their words, why they run.  While I will probably not be featured over there anytime soon (no, I've never met SBS or Dimity or have ever done anything noteworthy in the running community)... I decided to write my own " Why I Run" essay.

I didn't start running until I was 32 years old.  I was never known as the athletic kid by any stretch of the imagination.  Sure my parents kicked us out the door every night after dinner to go outside and play, but I was not the kid that ever got picked first for any team.  Freshman girls PE is one of my worst memories.  The teacher only had sympathy for those girls on the softball team she coached.  And since I had two left feet and couldn't throw a ball, I wasn't on the list.  At all.  Everyday we had to run around the track at the beginning of class.  Most girls walked.  I ran.  At the end of the year, a list went up of who had run the most laps that year.  My name was at the top of the list.  It really didn't mean anything to me at that point because I knew knew I was not athletic.  If there was anything I learned from that class, it was that athletic was something I couldn't be.  I was just happy my high school PE requirement was out of the way.  Looking back, I wonder why my teacher never encouraged me to run for the school.  Or told me that running so many laps was exceptional. 

Skip ahead a few years... one husband, two kids, 3 dogs, and a new job.  I still ate like I was a teenager.  Weight had never been a problem for me.  All of a sudden it was.  I was at the doctor one day and found myself only 8 pounds away from my delivery day weight.  I felt sick.  There was a reason that my husband had asked me to consider losing some weight.  I wasn't huge, but I wasn't the tiny girl I imagined myself as.

My husband had been running for a couple of years already.  He had lost weight.  I liked the idea of running because I knew I could walk out the door and do it.  No fancy equipment or driving anywhere.  So I started.  I ran around my block a couple of times.  It's interesting to me that I ever tried again since my regular (not sports) bra rubbed a hole under my arm and I came home with a large blister on my heel from the pair of cheap shoes I had.  The sweaty mess that finished the run that day wanted to go back and try again.  And after a few runs and a new bra and shoes, I found out that this was something I could do.  No one was judging me or telling me that I had no coordination.  The eyes of the world were not on me.  In fact, the people in my neighborhood that saw me didn't really seem to care that I was not even going fast.

My first race ever with my friend Debbie - a survivor who I ran the race in honor of.

I kept plodding on.  Not far.  Not fast.  But more than I believed I was ever capable of doing.  About a year later, I ran in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K.  I was scared.  I had run the 3 miles required just once.  I just didn't want to be last.  And I wasn't.  I came in at 28:47.  I was thrilled beyond belief.  The high that came from that race lasted for weeks. 

I was hooked.  I had found myself in my journey to run.  I wasn't the uncoordinated, dorky 15 year old that my PE teacher labeled me as.  I was beginning to find that I was a person capable of so much more.  And now I continue to run to find out how much.  I constantly surprise myself all the time.

If you're joining me for Fitness Friday - welcome!  Make sure to leave a comment so that I can go and visit your blog as well!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]


  1. So glad you wrote this! I love hearing how people came to running. And that was a super-fast 5K debut...but you know that now. :^)

  2. I love this story. I am glad you finally realized that you are athletic, but that there are just many different ways of being so. Your gym teacher sounds like a person that should not be in charge of children. Our gym teacher also favored the people who played sports, but would recognize if you had any athletic ability.

    Coming over from FF!

  3. Amazing time. Sheesh, very impressive!

    Nice to read how you came to running.

  4. I love your story. I started running even later than you and find the same joy.

  5. I'm so glad to hear your story! I'm 33 and just starting out so it's good to hear of others who started when they're close to my age. I still haven't run my first race yet, the thought of it makes me nervous, but I think I'll do one in May. We don't have races year round where I live so there really aren't many between November and May. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. What a great story! I started running in my early 30s too. And love it for so many reasons. I'm a fan of AMR and they have great podcasts that I listen to on long runs. I was even featured on their blog :)

    I'm adding your words to my quote collection. Love this "I was beginning to find that I was a person capable of so much more."

    My latest giveaway is posted. 5 Moeben Arm Sleeves!
    Giveaway Details

    Have a great weekend!

  7. It was a great story, brought back memories of my own PE classes, not a pretty thought ;)
    I have a goal of running one day, after my muscle building stage of 8-12 weeks. I'm hoping running will help me lean out and in the process, maybe i'll fall in love with it! :)
    Coming from Friday Fitness!