And sometimes I think about...
I wondered, what is it that makes me get out of bed at ungodly hours in the morning to make sure I get a run in? I wondered, what is it that makes my stomach churn when I think about getting out for a run. Honestly, I think the ungodly hours bit keeps me from thinking myself out of runs...I just get up, get dressed, brush my teeth and go. It's when I lounge around on a Sunday morning and have time to contemplate what I'm about to do that gets me all messed up.
I didn't grow up loving running. I was a swimmer. I rode my 10-speed bike to and from my 2-a-day practices in the summer. I liked biking and swimming. Honestly, I think I liked swimming because it got me out of the house on a regular basis -- didn't like being at home much growing up. But, if running was ever in the cards for practice, I was not game. I hated the idea. Thankfully it was only one or two practices a summer they'd have us run a mile or two before morning workout.
After swimming, there was basketball and volleyball. for those two sports, running was a means to an end. I ran faster dribbling a basketball "coast to coast" than I did any other time in my life. I could play basketball for hours without needing a rest and my favorite way to play was fast-paced up and down the floor. Volleyball didn't require distance, just footwork and speed and agility. I didn't mind that much either. Sure, we ran 12 laps around the court for warm up, but that was the extent of it.
When I went to college, I rowed on the Crew at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. I had strong legs and athletic build and found another sport I was good at. Again, running was a part of our spring break workouts (we'd run to the river for our warm-up -- about 2.4 miles or so), but hardly the main part of our workouts.
I didn't start running until about a year after Sarah was born. I had gone on a doctor-supervised quick weight loss program and lost 65 pounds and knew I needed to do something to keep it off. It's hard to get pool time around here, so regular swimming was out, so I grabbed some running shoes and off I went.
I will say something for those early days -- I attributed my ability to stick with it to the fact I weighed lighter than I had in probably 10-12 years. It helps when running if you don't have a lot of extra weight, I still believe that. But over the years, I gained weight (with pregnancies and other things) and I still kept running. As a matter of fact, I was about 20 pounds heavier in 2007 (when Helen was 15 months old) when I ran my marathon. In hindsight, I wished I had eaten better leading up to the marathon so I could have been about 10 pounds lighter, but I still finished that marathon. The summer after that I went on to train specifically to run a half-marathon in sub-2hours. And in October 2007, I ran the Kansas City half marathon in 1:54. I ran another one 4 months later (in Houston) in 1:56.
But when I think back, I remember how I still kind of dreaded my runs. I think that's just part of running. Knowing how much better I will feel AFTERWARDS helps me get out there to do it even though I really don't want to.
I don't run any distance with ease very often. Sure, there's the odd time when I feel like I'm killing it out there and could run and run forever. But those really only come along every once in awhile.
I think that's why I keep running though.
I continue to get up at ungodly hours on weekdays, and I keep getting out there on a Sunday when I don't really feel like it because there's the chance.
There is that CHANCE that this next run is going to IT.
MAYBE this next run I will feel like I am going to fly out of my shoes and I will feel like I can run 2 extra miles just because I can't bear the thought of stopping.