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Running is for Crazy People

I do not run fast.  I do not run far (especially since I am only 14 weeks into recovery from a broken foot).

Tybee Half Marathon with Mountain Goat

But before I broke my foot, I was running faster and farther than I had ever run in my life.  I had finished a half marathon, and I had finished a half marathon in a half Ironman.

I have not always been a runner.  In fact, my running was so bad growing up that my Dad tried to correct my form and then eventually gave up .  My Dad was a big shot runner in high school and college, so he wanted to get me straight. He never meant any malice by it, but years later in conversation, he would say, “Well, you never were a good runner.” 

Now it’s a joke in our house between the Expert and myself.  Because Dad can’t really say that any more. I may not be a “great” runner – but I can say that even though I am slow, finishing a half Ironman certainly qualifies me for  a “good runner.”  I think.

My point: I was no natural born runner.

And it had gotten bad.  I was apparently a natural born couch slug. I woke up in 2009 (after giving birth to two children, fourteen months apart) and I could not run for five minutes. 

It was 9:30 in the evening. I had fed the youngest monkey and cleaned the breastpump and went to the gym.  Quiet.  I went to the gym in my old sneakers and I ran for four minutes on the treadmill, slogging around my baby weight, jiggling all over creation.  Four minutes. I was at a 3.8 pace on the treadmill. And I was sucking wind like someone had tried to suffocate me and I finally succeeded in knocking them away. 

The next day, I could not move. I couldn’t walk my baby up the stairs without crying because I had “stone bruises” on the bottoms of my feet. I was depressed and heartbroken.

Who can’t run for four minutes??? I remember saying into the mirror with tears. Who???  The answer was: Me. This girl. This girl can’t run for four minutes.

But I am not her anymore.  I am not that girl.  Over the course of the next few years, I kept plodding along. I walked. I ran. I jogged. I slogged. I quit and declared I wouldn’t do it again. But I ran some more.

I started with a 5k.  I did some more. I did some triathlons.  I did some 10ks.  I did some more triathlons. Then the half Ironman, then the half marathon.  I had even signed up for a full marathon for this fall.. but then broke my foot

So the progress has slowed.  But I’m up to 2 miles now, and ready (begging) for the foot to feel 100%.

When I ran my first 5k, my pace was a 12:38 mile.  For 3.1 miles.

May 2011

When I ran my half marathon in February, I ran an 11:08 pace. For 13.1 miles.

August 2011

And in case you haven’t been around long, I am not skinny.  I am not even what you could call thin. Hell, I’m not even “average.”  I am a size 14 (on a good day) …and I run.

To all of you just starting out – to all of you who feel like absolutely crap about yourself – to those of you who want to cry every single morning because of the shape you are in…. choose today to run. 

Because today is National Running Day! Get on the treadmill and jog for 2 minutes.  Then next time, jog for four.  You will be astounded if you keep moving forward – because someday, you will love to run too.  

Then you will be one of those crazy people who love to run.  I can call you crazy because I am one of you. I LOVE TO RUN. My name is Meredith and I love to run.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Words the Expert and my Dad never thought I would say. And words they are so proud to now hear me utter.

People change. Learn to love who you are becoming.  Learn to appreciate the process, the journey. Every day will get better.  Each day YOU will get better, inside and out.

Every day will not be a victory. But some days will!  Begin to move, celebrate your victories, push aside the bad days – and always keep your head up and your feet forward. 

Run the Vineyard, 3rd Place, AG

You can do it.  Today is the day.

Here’s a great post from my girl, Christie, at Average Moms Wear Capes about how running has changed her.  She writes, “I learned how to be nice to my body and myself. And I finally started to feel like something. It’s not about the weight. It’s about living life. It’s about toeing the line. And giving it all you got when the gun goes off.”

How has running changed you? How WILL it change you?  Happy National Running Day!

23 Comments

  • Connie

    June 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    LOL. I am where you were at the beginning. I’ve done several 5ks and the tri! BUT I still hate running!!!! I’m trying to learn to at least like it, but I don’t : )

    Reply
  • Carolyn @HealthKitten

    June 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Figures my rest day would fall on National Running Day! LOL!

    Last night I had the UGLIEST run I’ve had in a long time. I struggled, panted, wheezed, and sweated my way through 3 miles in 32 minutes. I felt like ass the rest of the night and today I still have a headache (a tension headache, whee!).

    But I can’t wait to run more. I’m doing that half marathon this October. Keep moving forward, amirite? 😉

    Reply
  • Stefanie Swanger

    June 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Reading your story is like reading my own. We are so much a like at times it cracks me up.
    My first 5k was in 2007 at a 13:42 pace at a size 14ish.
    My first half marathon was a month later at a 15:27 pace (much slower than you):) Then I got tendonitis in my foot.
    Done a few marathons, lost some weight.
    I have finished Augusta 70.3 twice in 6:43:31 and 6:42:58

    And yes, I am a runner as well. Biggest difference, I am just now having a kid… well in a few months anyways. And so I did what any logical new mom would do… I signed up to volunteer at IMFL in November. You know exactly the purpose!

    Keep it up! For you never know who you are inspiring!

    Reply
  • Sarah Ongiri

    June 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I love your posts. I too am not a natural runner but get out there and do it. Yay National running day! 4 Miles done for me!

    Reply
  • Julie

    June 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I ran my first marathon 10 years ago… 10 years and three kids later, I ran my most recent marathon a year ago. And yet when people ask me if I’m a runner, I STILL feel the need to qualify my affirmative answer with, “Well, I’m a jogger.” I needed this post! We’re out there,we’re crazy? AND WE’RE RUNNERS! 🙂

    Reply
  • Christie

    June 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Great post. I, too, used to hate running. I was athletic – having been a swimmer most of my life – but running was something that never agreed with me. Slowly, but surely, I gave it a try. One mile became two became three. And now I just love it. Keep running!

    Reply
  • Gen Matchette

    June 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Love this post, Meredith! My SIL is just starting her running journey & I hope she is inspired by your story!! Me, I’ve been one of those crazy running people for years, but like you, I’m not super fast. Oh well. I do it because I love it! Keep running, Sunshine! :0)

    Reply
    • Becky Drost

      June 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      I am that SIL & just started running again about 1.5 months ago. I used to “jog” on & off and the last few years I would try to start a walking/running program using our treadmill and I couldn’t stick with it. I was recently talked into signing up for a half marathon & I decided to do the running outside to train for it. I am loving it and look forward to going. Looking forward to following your blog! Your story really resonates with me as I am not a skinny-minny and I am REALLY slow but also really trying not to over-do it so I don’t injure myself. (I’ve had 3 knee surgeries already and I really DON’T want any more!)

      Reply
  • Helen

    June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    You are such an inspiration! I cannot wait to get back to running myself. You can read my story here: http://trifitmom.com/hello-world/. The short of it, after I gave birth to my twin boys, I was 230 lbs. I worked my butt off and lost almost 100 lbs in a year, ran some 5ks, started triathlon training… and got pregnant with my third. When I deliver in August, I plan to get back to training and finally fulfill my triathlon, marathon, and other life goals!

    Reply
  • Heather Harrison

    June 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Hooyah!!! I love this post. You have inspired me for the last few months (since I found you) thank you… I just ran my first 13.1 on Sunday and I have to say it was one of the most exciting and wonderful things I have done!

    Reply
  • Susan A

    June 7, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Great post, Meredith! I did run yesterday–2.08 miles! I was tired of getting frustrated with my running progress (or lack of). So I signed up for a Half that us this October! Nothing like a little pressure to get you going! I am finally now tracking my running so now I can see that I am *slowly* but very surely making progress. And I feel great!

    Reply
  • Rebecca

    June 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for this post. It’s really nice to see that other people struggle with the same things I’m struggling with. I’m slow, too. Dreadfully slow. So slow my husband can run backwards and still talk to me while I’m running. But that hasn’t stopped me from moving. I enjoy your blog. It makes me think that one day I can do a tri. I’m just trying to focus on this half marathon I’ve got in September before I do anything crazy like a tri!

    Reply
  • Linzie

    June 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    What a lovely post. It’s one I hope to be writing in the years to come as I’m about 4 months into running and loving it (or just trying to love it somedays.) Thanks so much for some great inspiration!

    Reply
  • Jessie

    June 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I have yet to get my feet and body on the treadmill. I admit that I’m not living a healthy lifestyle: junk food, staring back at my laptop for hours because it’s part of my job, being a couch potato and not eating fruits. My husband would try and let me get on the treadmill but I was bored to do it. Then, I realized where I went wrong, after reading this.

    I don’t take simple and small steps. Whenever I turn the treadmill on, I would set it to 15 minutes. Wrong move, right? I’ll take your advice, jog for 2 minutes, then 4 and so on until I realize that I can do more than that. Thank you so much.

    Reply

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