Monday, November 22, 2010

A Running History


In the past few months my life has quickly been consumed by running.
I guess I traded one addiction for another... but at least this one is healthy... right?
I've always hated running... I've never been fast and it's always been one of those things that has intimidated me. When friends would say things like, "Oh, we should go for a run sometime!"
I would immediately cringe and become borderline angry. "eeww I HATE running... I don't understand people who say they like to run... that is honestly just not possible!"

I reacted that way because I knew if I was to run with anyone they would quickly realize that I literally could not run for more than 3 minutes straight without wanting to puke... seriously... not how I wanted to be portrayed in front of anyone. I also knew that if anyone would try to push me along, "Come on, Andi! You can do it, run a little faster" I would feel even more anxious and cornered and would probably end up losing a friend in the process.
Yeah. Not good times... at all. Hence me never being a runner.

Until.... a few years back when Lent was coming up and I was trying to think of what I was going to "give up" for the 40 days. I decided that I was going to do something unusual and instead of giving up something like watching TV or eating chocolate... I decided that I was going to go to a local state park and hike every day. It was more a sacrifice of time and energy than anything else but I also knew it would be a good opportunity to pray and have some good quiet time to reflect. It was a difficult time in my life and I knew the conscious act of getting away to process things was going to be very needed at that time.

So... I started hiking every. single. day. 
Eventually, I got a little bored walking the same trails over and over again and the hills started really tiring me out... so every few yards or so I'd jog for a little bit and sometimes I'd run up the hills just to get them over with more quickly. Maybe I'd even run a couple minutes at a time... then when I was tired I would resume walking. By the end of the 40 days I was up to running almost an entire 5 mile trail every. single. day. Sometimes I'd even go twice!
It became my sanity... my sacred place and the one part of my day that made complete sense.

Eventually, after the 40 days were over, life sort of got in the way... vacations came up... my class schedule changed and I stopped running.   

Until...
six months ago I put out my last cigarette and traded my smoking breaks for gym breaks...
and very quickly... the treadmill and I became very good friends.

Now... after months of training, building endurance and a half marathon later... I think I can safely call myself a runner. The only books I read are ones about running and training programs. My favorite magazine is runner's world... it's the only one I will read cover to cover in one sitting. My future vacations are mostly planned around my future races and the money I once spent on cancer sticks, now goes to various types of running gear.

If you would have told me seven months ago that I would be signed up to run a full marathon the following year... I would have laughed... 
Now I am signed up for a bunch of half marathons on the west coast and a full marathon in San Diego next June! I might even be doing a full marathon in Seattle that very same month!
Yes... I have become that girl... the running maniac...

If you haven't ever run a race in your lifetime... I would highly recommend it! Even if its a 5k walk/run... it's truly amazing to see everyone come out and cheer you on... even though they have no idea who you are. Seriously... turkey trots are just around the corner friends! :)

So... as of now I am starting the Jeff Galloway training method and in seven months will be a marathon running machine! I'll be posting regular updates on here about my training triumphs and struggles... and of course my races. :)
I hope you all will enjoy coming along for the ride and maybe will be inspired to get active with me!

Finally got my finisher's medal in the mail from my half marathon in October! :)


6 comments :

  1. Go Andi! Go Andi! Go Andi! (That's me and the kids cheering for you again!)

    Andi, you totally kick ass, chica! First of all, I know from my patients who have tried to quit smoking--that is NO JOKE. So, so proud of you. . . and the running!!! I TOTALLY resonated with that part about not being able to run more than. . .ohh. . .half a block. Uggh! So inspired by you. . . . keep doing your thang!

    Yay YOU!

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  2. Wow, that's really cool. I'm hoping your running habits rub off on me, too! I would love to be addicted like you!

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  3. Woohoo! Way to go lady! I've kind of fallen off the running wagon again. I should try to get back to it! Come run a marathon/half in Van!

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  4. wow... i am totally one of those peeps that if you asked me to go running i'd completely freak out! you are totally awesome & inspiring. back in nursing school, when things got hard, i'd say to myself, "if all those people out there could do it, i can too!" thanks for the motivation and inspiration!

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  5. Just popped in from another blog you commented on :)
    AMAZING work! And inspiring. I am seriously unable to run. I don't know what it is but I am terrible at it. My whole family/extended family can all run like crazy people but I just didn't get the gene!
    Can't wait to hear how the halfs and full marathon go!

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  6. congrats on switching addictions...I'm trying to get in the right mind set and your story has definitely given me some great perspective. just do it every. single. day. I like that! thanks and can't wait to read more!!! :) come to phoenix and do the pf chang half marathon-it's pretty nice out here in January

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