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Why Running Is My Valentine

Hi everyone!   My husband and I want to thank you for all of your love and support with Wednesday’s post!  We loved hearing about all of your support systems.  Us runners are seriously a lucky bunch!  If you missed my husband’s amazing tear-jerker post, check it out here!

Now onto today’s love post – and it’s filled with so much love because it’s VALENTINE’S DAY!  While I’ve got a lot of loves in my life, there’s one thing that I love doing more than anything else.  And that thing is running.  Me and running weren’t always this close – in fact, this time last year I was taking a break from running!  But lately we’ve been getting really close and things have been going well.  So today I was to ask the big question:

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When I first started running, I got butterflies in my stomach and I couldn’t stop smiling.  Each run was exciting and kind of scary – could I actually run an entire mile without stopping?  What about 1.1 miles?  Each run was a chance for me to fall more in love with the sport and the inner competition that I loved doing.  Me and running took it slow for a while, but once I was up to 3 miles on a consistent basis I decided to take it to the next level.  I registered for my first 5k!  I was so nervous because to me, this was the true test of our relationship – could I run in public and not die?  Would I come in last place?  During the race I swore a million times that I would never do another race again, only to find myself signing up for a race that was only a few weeks later!  I was hooked and I couldn’t get enough of it!  We were in our honeymoon stage for sure, but I was loving every run and looking forward to the next one I could sign up for.

20140213-230645.jpgAfter my first 5k!

In the winter, running and I took a little break.  I tried to run, but it hurt breathing in that cold air and I wasn’t motivated enough.  I didn’t have the right gear and the right mindset for running in the winter, so I gave up.  I ran a Valentine’s day 5k and the only part about it that I liked was the heart shaped donuts at the finish line!  Determined to get back into running, I signed up for the Hershey 10k in April.  I knew it would be warmer and if chocolate won’t motivate me to run again then nothing will.  I didn’t train enough to feel comfortable going into the race, but I ended up finishing much faster than I planned and I had the best experience running through Hershey Park!  I felt like a “real” runner for the first time ever and I knew that even with our ups and downs, running was my true love.

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After my wedding, me and running took another break, but this one was more painful.  I ran my worst 5k ever in August and the embarrassment of crossing that finish line with my slowest time ever AND feeling like I was going to throw up made me vow to never give up on running again.  I knew then that if I wanted to get through the Disney Princess Half Marathon that I’d have to make running a big priority in my life.  And I did.  Now that I knew what my life was like without running, I realized that I had to stick with it no matter how hard it was.  I began doing more runs per week and adding in longer runs to prepare for my upcoming fall 10ks.  I PRed on both of them, and finally made my goal of running a sub-30 5k!  As I had more running successes my love for running became deeper and deeper.  I realized that sticking to a training plan made a huge difference.  I also realized how much I love running when I get a chance to do it frequently, and in November I began the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak.  This was my big test with running, and while it wasn’t easy we came out stronger than ever!  Now I’m running 3 runs per week as specified by my training plan and one of them is reeeeeeally long.  I didn’t know if I would enjoy running for such long periods of time, but I’ve learned that the ability to push through the tough long runs makes me a stronger runner overall.  And I love getting new distance PRs!  Next weekend I’m running my first half marathon ever, and I’m so excited to get to that level!  I think it’s safe to say that me and running are doing pretty well right now!

So what have I learned from my relationship with running?  Not surprisingly, you get out of it what you put into it, just like any other relationship.  When I’m following a training plan I’m much stronger and much less nervous about my races.  It’s so much less stressful than it was when I was skipping my training runs!  I’ve also learned that running is my favorite way to manage stress and stay positive.  You can’t be in a bad mood when you’re running this trail, can you?

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It also helps keep me healthy and motivated.  Without running, I’d be laying on the couch every night being lazy!  And finally, running has introduced me to so many amazing people and places.  In the past year and a half I’ve run in cornfields, through snow, and across the Ben Franklin Bridge.  I’ve also met so many awesome bloggers out there who love running just as much as I do, and then teach me pretty cool stuff that helps my relationship with running!  Like foam rolling.  That needs to be part of every runner’s daily routine!

So running, I want to let you know that we’ve had some good times and some bad times, but right now we’re stronger than ever.  And I want to keep it that way.  Thanks for everything you’ve done to make me a better person!  And thanks for burning enough of my calories today to make sure I can have an extra piece of Valentine’s candy  🙂

iamarunner

Is running your Valentine this year?   When was the moment where you first fell in love with running?

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12 thoughts on “Why Running Is My Valentine

  1. Great post! I loved hearing about your journey! I started running just because I felt like I needed to exercise. Then, I signed up for a 5k with cupcakes with a friend. Next, thing I know I am running ten milers and half marathons. I think joining a running club completely changed running for me. Now it isn’t just exercise. Its my social time with friends and it is just plain fun. We go out for coffee and lunch after races. Also, I feel like I am more connected to nature!

    1. Thanks! Ummm that 5k with cupcakes sounds awesome, where can I sign up? And I still really need to join a running club! It’s kind of been impossible to run outside for the last few month, especially now, and all of the group runs I was thinking about doing were cancelled 😦 But in March I definitely plan on doing this!

  2. You are killing it this week with your posts! My Valentine this year is my little love baby who’s celebrating her 4th birthday today, but running is always in my heart. I think I really fell in love with running after my second half marathon, which happened to be Disney Princess. That race was so much fun and there was so much entertainment on the course that those 13.1 miles flew by. I loved all the hours I put into training for this race and the reward of a strong finish with some Disney bling.

    1. Awwww happy birthday to your baby! So awesome! I’m so happy you said that about Disney Princess, I’m super nervous about it right now (ahhhh almost a week away!) but I’m crazy excited too! I already love running but I think doing a half marathon will take it to the next level.

  3. I love this post! I love reading about how others started running. You can never go wrong with running as your valentine. It’s been about a week since I got a good run in and I can’t wait until Sunday when I can get a run in! I think I first fell in love with running when I realized how happy it made me when I would get outside and get some fresh air and just move my body.

    1. Me too, I was hoping everyone would share their stories with me! it’s so much fun! I agree with you, running outside is the best! I really miss doing that, all of the running trails around here are snowed in and all the sidewalks are super icy 😦

  4. I love this post… And your husbands. Will be showing to my fiancée tonight 🙂 happy valentines day and GOOD LUCK with your half! Can’t wait to read about it!

  5. I have a few Valentines…my husband, my 1 year old, and my dog. 🙂 I truly fell in love with running and racing when I was standing and waiting for my first half marathon to start. Such a great memory.

    1. My husband and my dog are my other valentines too 🙂 That sounds like such an awesome moment! It’s cool that you were able to feel like a runner even before the race started!

  6. Great post! It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly I fell in love with running, but I think it was when I trained for my first half marathon (two years after I started running). Before then I’m not sure I LOVED it. Something about long runs though, I just can’t resist. I hope you love your first half as much as I loved mine!

    1. I agree! I think that’s where all my sappy running posts have been coming from lately – training my body to run farther than I ever thought possible is so crazy! I can’t wait until next weekend when I can finally do the race!

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