Christina from Lazy Bones Running asked the following question this morning: "How or when did you know you caught the running bug?"
At first, I considered commenting. But then I realized that I can be kind of long winded (shocker, I know) and this question really deserved a post. So, here it goes.
I first started running when Doodle was four months old. I saw it as a way to drop the baby weight without obsessing over the scale. I knew that running would help me fit into my old clothes and if that happened, the number on the scale didn't really matter. And you know what? It worked. I dropped every last pound I had put on during my pregnancy and was actually wearing a size smaller than I did before having children (two years and another kid later, I'm even smaller than that.) But (and this is a big but) I pretty much HATED every minute of it. Running was not something I enjoyed. It was something I did. I ran to fight the "fat demons." I trained for my first marathon with this mentality. Whenever I was asked my opinion on running, I would reply with a big resounding "I run, but I still hate it."
I was in a negative running place. I couldn't see the joy in just running. It was a constant competition for me. I hated that I wasn't faster. I hated that I wasn't able to beat my friends. I hated how I trained and trained and didn't get the results that I wanted (I think all of this has contributed to my horrible racing techniques). But then something changed. I found out I was pregnant with Dilly. Instantly, I could run without worrying who I was faster than or hitting another PR. No one expected a pregnant woman to run. And they definitely didn't expect a pregnant woman to run fast. I started to take pride in the fact that I was a runner. A runner who was determined to show people that you can be strong and fit and pregnant at the same time.
Speed began to matter less to me. Beating my friends lost it's importance. I learned to love running for what it is. I began to enjoy the run, not just the satisfaction of finishing. Sure, I'm still competitive (we all know that) and it's fun to go against my teammates, but now I focus on beating me. The me I used to be. I'm constantly striving to become a stronger runner. To go longer and faster. And I know that with time and training that will happen.
How did you catch the bug?
And in case you wanted to see what a pregnant runner who has caught the bug looks like. Here you go:
17 weeks at Rock and Roll Half Marathon
34 weeks after a 4 mile training run (yeah, I was huge)
35 weeks before the New Year's Day 10K