If you were to tell me back when I was in high school that 12 years later I would be addicted to running, I would have most likely suggested you get on some type of medication. I was that girl who would get out of running track in PE with a note from my Choreographer saying:
To whom it may concern, Alisyn will be unable to run track today due to a dance recital she is performing in. Please contact me should you have any questions. Signed, Dance Choreographer xxxx
Whether I had a dance recital or not, I would submit this note on a weekly basis. Looking back at it now, I wonder why my dance teacher always succumbed to getting me out of running that mile....?
A mile! How far I have come from dreading that grueling task of running one whole mile.
I did run one or two miles in my 20's, but hated every minute of it. I didn't know what I was doing really. I would start out too fast, I didn't wear the right kind of shoes, not to mention I would run these miles on a track. I have nothing against running track mind you, especially now that I know what I am doing, but running around in a constant circle is not my idea of fun.
When I was unemployed a couple of years back, instead of sitting on my arse, I really took an active approach to focusing on my health. I was in the gym constantly. I mean what else was I to do? I met some great folks through the gym industry and even got certified to teach group exercise classes. One gal that I went hiking with frequently, suggested that I come and run with her and a group of women who were planning on running six miles. I dismissed the idea almost immediately. I had never ran that many miles in the entirety of my life and thought the idea to be absurd.
Wouldn't you know it was boredom that brought me out of my comfort zone. I ended up running with the gals the next morning on a paved trail and to my surprise ran 6 miles with ease and grace. Mind you, it was not the fastest run to put down in the history books, but I did it and then I did it again the next day, and then the next. I was hooked. At first I would run just to run. It's amazing what the body can endure really. I never thought I would accomplish so much while running. Well, I never thought I would be running period (but with the use of an exclamation point)!
I am constantly defying the very words that come out of my mouth. Here are a few examples:
"I will never run a race." - Ended up running a 10k two months after I started running in October 2009. My first race was the Palo Alto Moonlight Run.
"I can't run trails, too many steep hills." - Some of my favorite runs to date have indeed been on trails, conquering hills to boot.
"I can't run more than six miles." - Ran my first half marathon in April 2010.
"I will never win a race." - Placed 1st in my Age Group for two different 5k races and placed 2nd overall (1st female) in the Gold Rush Poker 5k Run out in Placerville, Ca. October 2010.
"I will never run a marathon." -Still haven't yet, but am currently training for the Oceanfront Maui Marathon in January 2011.
It's a wonderful feeling to see how much I have accomplished in such a short period of time. I run with a team who are my foundation on a daily basis and I run by myself which is test of my will. I love getting out into the fresh air, the wind in my hair, and the healthy competition that goes along with it. I am fortunate enough to have met some amazing runner's personally and electronically who inspire and motivate me. What a great community that I am honored to be a part of!