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