Then and Now.

You know, I  went for a run yesterday before work and I realized something: I’ve come a long way since I started in High School.  So to enjoy my revelation (that’s what I’m going to call it) I’m going to talk about it today.  Back in High School I started running as a way to keep in shape for soccer (this was my main sport) and when I got cut during try-outs my sophomore year my friend Tirzah spent the whole year convincing me to do cross-country the following fall.  And well she won the convincing.  I ran in High school, always finishing last or second to last for my team at races and usually at the back of the pack for the entire race.  I don’t believe I know my time never went below 27:56 for a 5k in high school and that was during senior year.  Despite the fact that I never ran any fast races, and let’s be honest didn’t really try that hard I had fun.   Me at my homecoming parade —>

It was a fun time and I quickly fell in love with running.  Then came my freshman year of college and boy was I in for an awakening.  Preseason was full of 2 a days and long miles.  I quickly realized this wasn’t the same as high school.  But I still wasn’t serious yet about my running, sure I loved it and I loved being on the team, but I wasn’t quite ready to go out and run 5 miles everyday.  Heck some days if I ran 12 minute miles that was perfectly fine with me.  Often I wouldn’t even run everyday, and that was perfectly fine with me.  Mind you, I didn’t like coming in last every race, but I didn’t have enough drive to really do anything.

Then something happened that woke me up…..Regionals.  At Regionals I wasn’t able to race due to the fact that we could only have 6 women run and I was the 7th with the slowest time.  Naturally, as he should, my coach let the 6 fastest girls run.  I didn’t run in Regionals. 

Me and the ladies on my team freshman year ———–>

Needless to say, I was very upset.  My mom had come to watch me run and I cried because of it.  Then one of the girls who ran faster times than I did dropped out before a mile into the race, for in my perspective, no real good reason.  It was after that race that I decided I was going to train my butt off and never not be able to run in a race again.

So I did, I started running everyday, even cross training.  I entered race after race and did my own workouts both on and off the track.  That year following the season I ran a 10k, my first half-marathon with Hollikins and Justin.

These races just added to my motivation.  Especially when I came home ran a 5k for the first time since season and had cut 4 minutes off my time. That just showed me that my hard work was paying off so I pushed myself harder.  I ran my first triathlon with my Uncle Danny towards the end of the summer.

And soon after, I learned I had a stress fracture.  Once the boot was on I went home and cried… it seems like I do a lot of that.  I’d been working my butt off all year in preparation for the cross-country season and it all went to waste in my eyes with my fracture.  I couldn’t believe it, 2x I would have running races taken away from me.

Luckily, I followed Dr.’s orders and kept the boot on and healed quickly.  And I came back into the season after missing only 2 meets.  And you know what? My times were where they were when I came home and ran the first 5k of the summer. 

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to drop more time, but being able to run was a the best thing.  Compared to the season before where I finished every race last on my team and last overall I was now 4th sometimes 3rd out of the women on my team to finish. I was in heaven, and this year I ran at Regionals.

I’ve come a long way since high school, just this past April I ran that same half-marathon again and PR’d by 15 minutes.  All with no long run over 5 miles.

Since high school I’ve grown as a runner, not just cutting my times down from before but I’ve also learned how to listen to my body and how to train.  Running isn’t just a sport a I love, it’s my sanctuary.  And now in a week and a half I will be running my first marathon.  (Family issues might cause this to be a no go).  Who would’ve thought that the slow ass girl who always finished last in High School would turn her running around and progress to run half-marathons and marathons?  Certainly not me.

I’d be lying if I said I was happy where I am now and didn’t have higher goals for myself.  But I think every runner does so I’m not too worried.  I’ve learned a lot over the past few years and I hope to keep learning with my running. 

So that’s all for now, Until later TTFN.

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