Oh hey there, Friday. So nice of you to show up 😉
There sure are a lot of running blogs out there and tons of bloggers who love to run–this is very cool. You’ve probably noticed my lack of blogging about running (or maybe not), despite my race recaps/stories of several marathons and half-marathons and HIIT work on the treadmill.
So I thought it’d be fun to share with you my running story. It is a crazy one, and quite funny (and sort of long, sorry), but I am sure several of you can relate.
My Running Story
I grew up a dancer and gymnast <—gymnast until I broke my toe on a beam and quit. I mostly danced ballet but I also did hip hop, jazz, and tap. And I actually began college as a ballet major (random trivia for ya!)
During high school I became quite serious in my dancing and would dance all afternoon and evening (literally). I totally loved it! However, during the Fall season I would play field hockey and a few Spring seasons I played lacrosse. This was quite a contradictory thing in my head : I’d go to field hockey practice and play my heart out –running around and being feisty, and then I’d race over to ballet and dance my dainty self across the floor. Totally weird, I know.
During field hockey preseason we would have to run. A lot. And I HATED it. I loathed it actually. I would get butterflies in my stomach as we drove up to the early a.m. practices, knowing we would have to do 3 or 4 miles before we even could touch the sticks and the balls. Boo.
My junior year in HS we had to be able to run a sub 8:00 mile to stay on the Varsity team (I had made Varsity sophomore year), and this seriously worried me. I had to practice running all Summer so I could go in that first day of practice and do it. I did it in 7:57. Whew!
My hate for pure running continued through high school (I thought it totally pointless and stupid to run — it was fine if you ran after a ball, but pure running with only times as a goal? Totally bbbbooorrrriiinnngggg in my eyes.) I did however become seriously hooked on the elliptical machines during gym time in HS because I could read the enthralling Harry Potter series…..and I could ellipticize away for half hours at a time without even blinking an eye!
My senior year my family got a pass to a gym that had ellipticals (duh!) so I went a few times a week, and loved my time there. Then I headed to college as a dance major. I danced 3-4 hours per day and started going through some emotional/binge eating cycles…..I switched my major a few months in to Exercise Sciences, fell in love with my nutrition classes, and then added a Minor in Nutritional Science.
I joined the group exercise classes my university had to offer, and sort of liked them. The lady who taught was fun, but she did the same thing every week, which I felt was totally boring.
I tried out for a pageant where I had been a dancer previously, was accepted, and was told that we all had to be in better shape. Uh oh. So during that Summer I ran on a treadmill. I knew this was a great way to get in shape, so I did it. And you know what, it was not THAT bad. I was definitely not as in shape as I should’ve been, p.s.!
After that pageant and some other personal issues happened, I started restricting my eating, and logging more miles on the elliptical machine and treadmill. I definitely ran on the treadmill because I knew that I would burn a lot of calories on it, not necessarily because I wanted to be there.
And then, something weird happened, my forcing myself to stay on the treadmill for certain periods of time (or for certain calorie counts) during my disordered eating and exercise addiction time, actually turned into my liking running even more! After a year or so of living abroad (and running there as my form of exercise–which I totally NEEDED and loved!), I signed up for a half-marathon.
A half-marathon was my first ever race. Crazy, yes I ran the thing during finals week of my final undergrad semester at college without a watch, time goal, or even any sort of goal. I think I just wanted to finish. Hah.
And then I had a BLAST, ran a pretty good time (1:44), and was totally hooked on races. But I said I would never run a marathon. Haha.
I trained for 1 more half marathon and 2 marathons on the elliptical, the treadmill (highest ever -16 miles on that thing!), and outside (all over the course of 1.5 years). I preferred running outdoors, but I did not mind the treadmill because I could watch TV, read (crazy!!), or just zone out. And I love the gym. I love gym atmospheres!
And then, I was done. I was sick of running after that 2nd marathon. I think I had totally burned out on the treadmill. I had started hating doing the training for marathons, I started hating the long run days, and I really started avoiding running altogether.
I did not run for about 5 months, and I was totally fine with that! I found Zumba, got into weight lifting more, and enjoyed group exercise classes. I got a different ‘high’ from those things, but they made me super happy! And of course, now I teach fitness classes 6-7x per week <—obviously a love of mine!
I now run at least 1 time per week (usually on a treadmill to do some sort of HIIT workout), and I have not run over 6 miles in quite some time. And I am okay with that.
I guess you could say I broke up with running for awhile there –not because of injury, but because I did NOT like it anymore.
But now I am back. I have realized I really do like running-for the pure enjoyment of moving my body in that way. But if I am going to be on a treadmill, I SO prefer a movie, really good music, or SOME thing to entertain me. But I do love running outside when it is perfect weather (not too hot, humid, or rainy!)
So I guess that is my story.
Oh, and I had better get my running butt in gear if I am going to do that Half Ironman I am about to sign up for…..the running part (a half marathon) is double the distance I’ve run in quite some time. Yikes.
Thanks for reading this epic novel
Have a lovely Friday!!
What is YOUR running story?? Any fun plans for Friday night for YOU??