Tomorrow morning, I will be participating in a very soggy (thanks Hurricane Hanna) Annabelle's Angels 5K. An event that marks my one year anniversary of road racing (and really distance running for that matter). Prior to last September, I had never run three miles at any one time. In fact, I had been so opposed to running that I never completed the "mile run" in high school P.E. and as a Division 1 Track and Field athlete, I almost always found a way to get out of any "running" that lasted longer than a lap or two around the track. (Great work ethic, huh?)
But last year (while still pregnant with Doodle), something changed. I wanted to drop the baby weight, get healthy and most importantly, set a good example for my kids. So I decided to change my "anti-runner" ways (a PERMANENT lifestyle change, might I add), and vowed to run a 10K by the end of the year.
So that's what I did. When a group of Stroller Strides moms signed up to run the 2007 Annabelle's Angels 5K, I did too. I trained on my own (mostly to protect my own ego), following a program I saw in a magazine. It was slow going in those first weeks, a walk/run program that helped me build my endurance. But I muscled through and finished the 5K in 31:00 (while pushing Dizzle and Doodle). I felt accomplished and was hooked. Over the next two months, I ran three more races, including that 10K (which was very painful) that I had resolved to complete.
Then on November 26th, just over two months after my first race EVER, I started training for a marathon. Apparently, when I get going, I go big. It was an amazing experience, both mentally and physically. And I recommend that everyone try it, at least once (it will change you forever).
And how have I changed? Well, here's a short list of how my first year of running has affected me:
In my first year of running, I have become healthier than I have ever been.
In my first year of running, I have gained mental strength and self discipline.
In my first year of running, I have learned how to take time for myself and be a role model to my children.
In my first year of running, I have pushed myself farther than I thought I could, faster than I thought I could and harder than I thought I could.
In my first year of running, I met my 10K goal and went beyond it, completing 12 races (three 5K's, two 8K's, three 10K's, a half marathon, a marathon and two sprint triathlons).
In my first year of running, I ran 898 miles. If I averaged 10 minute miles, that equals 6.25 days of running or 150 hours.
In my first year of running, I have formed a bond with a group of amazing women thanks to the countless hours we have spent running together.
Kinda makes you want to lace up your sneakers and start pounding the pavement, doesn't it?