I am ecstatic to continue to share with you a series on running.
To start things off I wanted to share with you my running journey.
Although now it is my go to #1 hobby, it wasn’t always my favorite. In fact, I used to dread it in school. When I received my first C in P.E in 5th grade, it was because I wasn’t fast enough while running a mile. I would volunteer for extra-curricular activities ever since to help my grades and avoid P.E. However, in high school like most teens, I became more aware of health and fitness. I began attending the gym regularly, mostly doing some cardio and a bit of weights. It wasn’t until I did my study abroad where I really began running and loving it.
In France, the weather was pleasant and conveniently there was a park right outside of our dorms where I would do my runs. Getting a gym membership wasn’t very convenient due to my budget but running was free! I began by doing 1-3 miles. Over the course of 4 months I was able to do 5 miles to about an hour of steady running. At the time, I wasn’t focused on times or speed. I just liked to clear my head, distract myself, enjoy the weather, and get a workout.
When I returned home I didn’t want to lose the endurance I had built. I would sneak a couple of runs and went back to the gym. Florida weather is very hot and humid almost all year long so, running wasn’t as pleasing. However, as my schedules became tighter I realized running was one thing that really helped me release stress. Unlike the gym, where I felt so insecure, unable to lift heavy and being watched just isn’t my thing. Whereas with running, no one is watching you the whole time. It is a time for you alone, to explore new routes, to challenge your limits, to think and to relax. (To non-runners, this may seem odd, RELAX? Yes, running is a cheap form of therapy.)
I met a professor who ran marathons and races routinely in one of my university courses. He even had a blog too! So, I became curious, I already loved running why not challenge myself? I was very hesitant, I had never kept track of how fast I was, or how good I could become. I mainly did it for me. But seeing his drive and blog, made me look into races. I tried following a couple of simple training guides found online to see if I could last. I gradually became a tad bit faster, and increased mileage.
I still had a lot to figure out though, it is amazing how simple the sport is and yet how many factors really help determine success. Things including, breathing, hydration, time-keeping, music, shoes, form, even socks!
I set my eyes on the runDisney races, I have always loved Disney so the idea was fascinating. I had looked into the themes and they seemed so much fun, so I began training with a “goal” in mind. Around a year went by of me being hesitant and a bit turned off by the prices for races. I mean to be fair, I had started running precisely because it was free, and now I was expected to pay for something I wasn’t even sure I could finish. This is why I kept running more, to make sure I’d be able to finish the thing!
The rest you guys can find out in my last post. But to recap, Ben was generous enough to gift me my first race entrance for my birthday to none other than The Dark Side Half Marathon! I mean, common, Star Wars, running, Disney, I felt like a kid again.
It was such an amazing race and enjoyed it incredibly. Now I am prepping for my second race this November. And finally, we are all caught up on how running became “my thing”. I had always been a bit jealous of people who had a “thing”, and I loved doing a lot of different things, but now I know what it means to truly have a hobby that fills you up. It is difficult to explain to friends and family, why even when sore, tired, sleep-deprived, at 6 a.m., on the weekends, when it is freezing outside, or when it is like 100 degrees out, why do you do it? The short response would be something like, because without running I have all the wrong feelings lol.
Now that I’ve shared my journey , I hope you join me through my next training adventure!