Monday, July 01, 2013
I always liked to walk. As a young child, my grandmother took me along on many walking shopping trips. I knew she preferred taking me because I didn't whine about being tired or about hurting feet like my sister and my cousins did. I grew up walking everwhere.
Running, now that's a different story. Even in high school, I did all I could to avoid having to run. I was quite active - participating in a variety of sports and walking for miles, but run - oh no.
As the years passed and I became busy with my family, my own activity waned, like it does for so many of us.
When I started Weight Watchers more than 5 years ago, I started seriously walking again. About the same time, my youngest sister started running 5K races. I signed up with her and I walked. I learned that it is very difficult to walk at the start of a race when everyone else is running, so I did my best to run slowly as far as I could at the start of a race. That was usually less than one minute. My dear sister would finish the race 15 minutes before me. She would come back and find me with a bottle of water for me and encourage me to run across the finish line.
Three years ago, I was participating in a race and I came upon some women who were doing timed walk/run intervals. I found out that they were part of a free organized Couch to 5K program through Team Luna Chix Buffalo. Since the team's weekly runs were done right in the neighborhood I would soon be moving to, I decided I would make a point of joining them. Unfortunately, it took more than a year for me to do so, but I did.
Late July 2011, I started to C25K program and I remember how difficult it was to run for 30 seconds! I diligently did my homework running with the team on Monday evenings and on my own 2 other times per week. Seven weeks later, before I finished the C25K program, I did a race with my sister and I ran it. Two weeks later, I ran my first 5K under 40 minutes.
Although I still run with my Luna Chix friends occasionally on Monday evenings, I also belong to another local run club. They have a wonderful volunteer who compiles all our race results for us and we don't even have to submit them unless they are done out of town.
In 2012, I did 18 races for a total of 67.78 miles ( 16 5Ks, an 8K and a run/walk half marathon). Well, we just finished the first half of 2013 and I just completed my third half marathon. So far this year - 19 races for a total of 128.85 miles.
Like so many others who start out as overweight and slow I hesitated to call myself a runner. I was a wogger (walk/jogger), a slogger (slow jogger), a turtle, but not a runner.
Saturday, I finished that third half marathon in under 3 hours and I actually felt like I could have kept going. I finally feel that I earned the title of runner!