Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I was never a runner

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.

That runner.

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!!


Mayan_Love_Goddess said...

So very proud of you J.Rube! You are an inspiration.

I loved cardio throughout my high school & university years, but once those babies came, I put myself on the back burner.

I think as mother's that is one of our biggest mistakes.

Anyhow, the transformation has begun. You are awesome and truly an inspiration to me. Thank you!! xoxo

R said...

Yes you are an inspiration Jodi! I love seeing you in the mornings pre-run & excited to get out there! :)

Brenda said...

So, you've mastered the running thing. Any way you'll start swimming and biking and join me in a triathlon?
I know, I know...you're not a swimmer or cyclist, but you weren't a runner either, right?

Nan said...

It was not because you couldn't run, it was because you did not want to run. Anyway, job well done!
Love ya

J.Rube said...

Thanks for the words of praise and encouragement, girls!
Brenda, my dear, (whom I could/would NEVER have done all of this without), you're right.....
I don't swim or cycle. ;o)
But, let's keep running, k?
I wouldn't mind attempting a duathlon at some point in the next year or two. I'd have to get a bike first. I don't like swimming enough to have to train in the pool.

J.Rube said...

oh, and "mastered" is a pretty strong word. lol
I don't know that I'd jump from having just accepted myself as a runner to having mastered the running thing, in a matter of minutes.
My next goal, I think, is to run at least four more half marathons this year and to continuously improve my time.

Renee said...

It's been so, SO cool to watch (read?) you go from non-runner to gym runner to outdoors runner to race runner! Inspiring!


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