Monday, January 23, 2012
So somehow in the last six months, I turned into a runner. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but yesterday I found myself cruising along through mile 4 of my 5.4 mile run feeling like I could go forever, and trying to work out a new, 7 mile route. And this was the day after a ski trip, when my legs weren't at their best. OK, so I didn't feel like I could keep going forever during Mile 5, but a Mile 6 would have been doable.
Even as a skinny highschool student, I despised running and only did it to get gym class over faster (we had to do so many laps, whether we ran or walked was our choice). When I went to the gym regularly in grad school, I'd run on the treadmill for 20 minutes to supplement my cardio, but even when I was in great shape, going for a 5 mile run outside seemed unfathomable.
I started walking in August, then in September started tentatively jogging short intervals. By Halloween, I was able to run 3.7 miles at 10 minute miles, and added in a 5.4 mile run on weekends. Now, 5.4 miles is my regular weekday run, and I'm planning to add a 7 mile weekend run next month. I'm also trying to crack 9 minute miles on my 5.4 mile route.
I still can't say I love running. It's more of a stress relief and mental toughness exercise for me. It's difficult and monotonous and dreary, but it's teaching me to push more just when my brain wants to stop whether or not my legs have more to give. A run makes a hard day at work fade away, gets fresh air into my lungs, exercises my dog, zaps calories, and I can do it almost anywhere. So I'm a non-runner, but I can run, and I'm going to keep on doing it.