I realize that my strong need to gush about running all the time in my real life (as opposed to this virtual life) is because I still can't believe that I run. It's like I'm surprised about it myself, and need that validation that it is, in fact, true.
I was never a runner. In fact, one of my regular responses to conversations about running, or cardio in general, has always been "I can't run. I only run if someone's chasing me, and even then, it wouldn't get me very far. I couldn't run to the end of our driveway, let alone the corner."
I used to have this recurring dream about my inability to run; where I just couldn't get my legs and feet going, despite all efforts. ( I know there's way more subconscious analysis needed for that one, but still....). I hated running when I was a kid. I remember in high school that I got a note from my doctor telling the phys.ed. department that I had asthma and was to be exempt from running. The fact that I couldn't run probably had more to do with the fact that I weighed 80 pounds and was eating just enough to barely survive, let alone run around the track at school. I was great on the top of a cheerleading pyramid, and enjoyed downhill skiing and water skiing regularly while in season. None of which required a lot of energy.
Through my 20's, I took up smoking and drinking, and did start weight lifting and circuit training a bit. But, avoided cardio at all costs!
At some point a couple of years ago, still unable to lose that last 10 pounds of excess baby weight, I resolved that strength training and a proper diet alone was not going to achieve it. I needed to start burning calories. So, I hopped on the treadmill at the gym instead of weight lifting one morning. And I walked, then ran for a minute, then walked, then ran. And I continued to do that 3-4 days a week, slowly increasing my distances and the time spent, until I reached the point where I was running for an hour.
That was a year ago.
And my runner friends started to bug me about running on a treadmill and told me that I had to get my ass outside on the pavement. At the same time, I started fantasizing about running a race. But, it couldn't be any old race. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it big. So, I picked one of my top two cities in the world (Whistler being the other one) and registered online for the Las Vegas Marathon/Half Marathon in December. Straight up and down Las Vegas Blvd; a street very familiar to me. To have the opportunity to run it would be exhilirating! That was in March. and I started to prepare, running 3 days a week through the summer, and then fully submersed myself in a training program that started in September.
Through rain, sleet, snow and hail (and the very occasional sunny day) I ran into October, and all of November. It was on the days when the conditions outside were the worst, and I had runs of 2+ hours in duration, where I felt the best. Every time a car passed me, I imagined the warm and dry people inside commenting on how crazy I was. And it made me run harder and faster and higher. I was that crazy committed girl out running in the freezing cold torrential rain. And I soon became that dedicated athlete that people driving by imagined I was.
The same runner who clocked 16 km today underneath the brilliant sunshine with Mt.Baker in view and the lambs hopping in the fields that I ran by.
54 days til Oregon!!