Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Run? Me?

Allow me to introduce you to my new running shoes (in "lightning/paradise pink/lemon!" yes, I'm sporty and I'm stylish... was there ever any doubt?) My feet are so happy now, after months of running in shoes that were well over a year old, and not the best to begin with. I feel light as a feather. These shoes are going to take me places! They're going to see me through my first ever 10K race this coming weekend. I can't even believe it.

via asics

Tonight was the last session of my "First Steps" beginners' running clinic. I have gone from running just 3o seconds at a time to running for 2o minutes straight, several times over. I am amazed. And pretty damned proud of myself too. I went to every training run for 14 weeks (with the exception of that one week where I stayed home to celebrate my baby's fifth birthday!) I stuck it out and made it all the way to the end, with just 5 other girls. 5 out of 30. I ran in the dark, in the wind and the rain, sometimes with tears streaming down my cheeks. It was hard and sometimes it was just plain awful, but I kept on running (and slowly, it got easier).

Why though? That's what my mom keeps asking me every Tuesday night when I drop the boys off at her house and head out to meet my running group (and when I come back an hour later, beet-red and more than a little bit sweaty). Why? I thought you hated running. Doesn't it hurt? Isn't it hard? Wouldn't you rather do something else?

It's true. I did used to hate running. I grew up hating it. I was the girl at school who was just not good at sports. I was always one of the last ones picked for the team. I dreaded gym class. I would do anything to get out of it. It was just an opportunity to fail, as far as I was concerned. To look foolish and feel fat. And with the exception maybe of volleyball, running is what I was the worst at. I had no stamina. My skinny little ankles hurt more and more with every step. I got stitches in my side. Everyone was faster than me. Once in a while I even threw up. It was that bad.

And now, here I am, a runner (a beginning runner, but a runner all the same)! I'm a girl who thinks about running, and doesn't feel sick to her stomach anymore. A girl who can run and have a conversation at the same time. A girl who actually kind of likes running. Talk about a transformation.

So, why do I do it? So many reasons. The first is because I want to run for the cure again in October, and actually run the whole way. (If Em can beat cancer, I can run 5K no problem, right?) Why else? It's hard work. And when I do hard work, I feel a real sense of accomplishment. It's great exercise. And when I exercise, I feel strong. It's good for my usually slow metabolism. I can eat that chocolatey dessert now and not really worry about it (me and food... another complicated relationship). I like exercise better than I like dieting. It's made me believe in myself and the things that I can do if I put my mind to it (the negative voice in my head can be quite loud when it wants to be... I have loved telling it to shush up!)

And on Sunday, if I happen to pass any of those girls on the sidelines, the ones who didn't want to pick me for their team, the ones who snickered at me when I was crying in the change room... I can just smile and run right past them. I'm leaving those girls behind. I'm not going to give them one more thought. And that has been a long time coming.

10 comments:

  1. Oh Erin I am so proud of you! So much drive and determination and you have reached your goal. Goodluck on the weekend.

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  2. Erin you are so focused - well done for overcoming your past fears and doing something that makes you feel good. You are a lovely person - you shouldn't have any doubts about that. xoxo

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  3. It's really wonderful that you have become a runner. I'm trying to get back into running to and my body is feeling the results.

    Oh and I'm so glad you're a Narnia fan!! And you're little boy's middle name is Digory! That is so sweet! And you wrote to C.S. Lewis. I think that is lovely.

    Well my next post will be about the Dawn Treader filming :)

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  4. Erin I hope you realise that your post was truly inspiring! Even though I have never actually met you I feel so proud of you - as if I have physically seen all the hard work you have put in!

    If I could give you one of my teacher gold star stickers I certainly would!!

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  5. OMG you make me cry! I will be there cheering for you like crazy. So super proud of you! That makes me cry too. I'll be a mess. What's new?

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
    xo

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  6. You go girl! I admire you for sticking to it. Now I just feel bad, I hardly can remember the last time I went to the gym! Keep up to good work!

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  7. Bravo Erin....
    I think you've done a wonderful job with your training....sticking to it! Now you just enjoy your run on the weekend.
    Congrats you are a runner.
    Erin

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  8. Fill us in, what is with the run this weekend?? Somehting special??? Good luck and good on you for sticking with it.

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  9. I started REALLY running seriously in January and I love it. There are some days I need to take off, so that I'm doing it for me and not because I feel like I have to. It feels really good to run distances I always said I'd never be able to run.

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  10. that is so inspirational! i was always that girl too - the not sporty kind, who was a terrible runner and got exhausted after a mere mile. other people would talk about how it was a struggle for them to run too, but would then easily run 6-7 miles. ugh, i hated them. but i've also wanted to adopt the life of a runner. i used to actually like running in high school, even though i was horrible at it. it just felt so amazing afterward. and has been shown to prevent so many illnesses later in life. over the past few years i've grown to really hate it, but i want to change that.

    mostly i think it's amazing that you took something you weren't good at and didn't even like, and dedicated yourself to it. i think that's a really amazing inner growth exercise that most of us should be doing more of.

    so thanks for sharing your story and your weekly victories in running. it truly is inspiring!!

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