Sunday, June 29, 2008

Again with the running?

There have been a few times in my life when I have turned to running for various reasons. 

 The first time was when I was in high school and was trying to lose weight.  HS is a hard enough time in your life- but even harder when you have a few extra pounds.  Even though I had been a swimmer for many years I still always felt like the "fat kid".  I remember baby-sitting for some kids in the neighborhood and there was a book about running on their living room bookshelf.  After the kids went to sleep I picked it up and was intrigued by it.  The book was from 1977 and  called "Running for Health and Beauty" by Kathryn Lance.  After the parents got home the mom saw that I had been looking at the book and said I could have it.  I still have that book today.  I began running around the reservoir near our neighborhood and really liked it- especially how fast I felt I was making progress and getting in shape.  I ran off and on throughout HS but never became a hardcore everyday runner.

The second time I started running was in college when I went to a meeting for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I had heard of them before and wanted to get involved somehow since I had a cousin who had passed away from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  I signed up to run a marathon (I know- what the heck was I thinking?) and agreed to raise at least $3000 for the Society.  That money would cover my race registration for the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, my airfare and hotel, and still have money for a donation.  I did a huge mail campaign sending requests to tons of people from church and basically everyone in my mother's address book...and ended up raising over $4000!  The training program was great.  It was specifically designed for beginning runners.  When I started training for the marathon in January I could barely run a mile without stopping.  I met with the team and our coach weekly, sometimes twice and we would run together- which made it much easier.  I ran the Charlotte half-marathon in April as part of the training- and actually did fairly well.  My longest training run was 16 miles, and the marathon itself in June.......well I finished.  It was hard, I've done it, and I don't ever want to do it again.  After the marathon the only thing I ever wanted to do was 5-Ks (3.1 miles).  However, my Ex's family was full of runners so I was more or less pressured into running many different of which was the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll half-marathon which is what I'm training for now!  You probably aren't surprised to hear that when the relationship did the running (on my part- he's probably still out there pounding the pavement next to his Dad and Sister).

I don't know what is so different about running this time.  Maybe it is because I have a baby now and she comes along with me a lot of the time.  Luckily for me Mdx loves riding in the jogging stroller, and even sometimes leaves her sunglasses on instead of chewing on them.  Maybe it is because this time I'm choosing to get out there and do it- for myself only.  I'm not running to make anyone else happy or to raise money, or to lose weight (although that is a nice side-effect)- I'm doing it because I want to.  Part of me thinks "hell- I've given birth, I can run a damn half-marathon!" and part of me thinks "what kind of idiot do you think you are signing up for a race that long during one of the hottest weekends of the year in one of the hottest places on the East coast?".  Hahaha!  

My goal is just to finish and to have fun.  I've done it before, I know I can do it again.  I signed up for a free online training program called Active Trainer that emails me my workout everyday including cross-training and pace workouts.  Marshall has been great about keeping the baby if I want to go to the gym instead of running around the neighborhood- and there has been really bad air quality recently because the Great Dismal Swamp is on fire.  (I didn't know swamps could burn!)  Today my run was 5 miles- and I have NO soreness!  Crazy!  I remember walking funny after long runs when I was training for the marathon.  Anyway, I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Happy trails!


Em said...

Wonderful Mary! I've been thinking about starting running too, because you had been so successful at it, and it kind of gives me some little 'push' that I can do it too maybe! Good luck with the half marathon! I need to find a training program so maybe someday we can run together!

Tina said...

That is so great that you are doing this. I've always admired you bc when you want something you go get it. I love your attitude about since you've given birth you can run. I'm really hoping that in the next year or so I can get a breast reduction and would love to start running. It's something I've always wanted to do, but man those suckers hurt when I run! lol!! Keep up the great work. You're an inspiration!