Monday, March 17, 2014

The First Run

If you used to follow this blog back in 2013, you'd know me as a pretty serious runner. Serious about my mileage  - not so serious about entering races, PR'ing or even seeing any improvement. As long as I met the mile quota, my work was done and there was nothing more to gain from it.

It all started in the fall of 2009 once I realized that being an ex-collegiate athlete would mean I'd have to fill the void of the workouts I wasn't forced to do getting anymore. I was tired of lifting weights and "bulking", so my sweat of choice became running. I'd always enjoyed running because it was a great way to escape from my own mind and was also an opportunity to explore the beautiful city that I lived in.

When I decide on something, I've been known to go all out with it. So starting in November of 2009 I set a goal of running 100 miles a month. Crazy, right? Well I was flawless with that goal for nearly four years up until September of 2013.

If you hate math like I do, pretend I ran 10 minutes per mile on average meant 1,000 minutes on the road PER MONTH. This investment of 17 hours per month easily turned into a solid day after you also factored in the time it was taking to change, stretch, shower and of course stop mid-run to take the necessary instagram selfies of my right leg in running tights.

 photo Running2013.pngWhen I look back at the amount of time I put into running, preparing to run and thinking about running - I wonder what all I missed out on. I know for a fact now that my body responds better to weight lifting, but never gave it the chance. I know now that I hurt relationships because I placed running on a higher level of importance than people. I also know that I spent a lot of money on all things running and that was even after a huge discount because of the company I work for.



When I missed my goal by 16 miles in September of 2013 it was a huge relief. The pressure was off and it was much like the first 'B' I got in a college course I slacked off in my freshman year.

From that point on I decided that I'd cut my goal in half. Only 50 miles a month and focus more on weight training and keeping my body healthy. It was three quick months of that regimen before we entered 2014. I found myself opening up my schedule for living.

Surprisingly, I didn't run a single mile in January or February, and just laced up for my first run of the year on Saturday. The beautiful thing about the run on Saturday is that there was no "plan" in mind. It was to get out in the sunshine and start my lifting workout with a shake-out.  It was also strategic that I chose to run a route I'd never done before so that I wouldn't be able to count the mileage.

The experience was blissful.


I think I'm okay with being a recreational and fair-weather Portland runner. It looked good on me.

17 comments

Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre said...

I felt that way about spinning girl. Such an investment in time, money and energy. Once I laid off it I could actually go back to enjoying it again. Oh and the other day I couldn't believe it I actually felt like going for a run..I took advantage because those days like never happen! Puppy treadmill gif = pure gold. xoxoxo
~Amanda~Meet @ the Barre

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

i feel that way about cardio in general. hate it but do it because i have to. but stick me on trails, and i can run those forever. so i'm a fairweather trail runner even though i'm so passionate about it. i won't run in the snow/ice (hello, falling down cliffs and breaking shit) and i won't go alone (hello, rapists/muggers/who else knows what else is out there). the best is when you just do things for the love of doing them; sometimes a hardcore goal can burn you out.

-kathy | Vodka and Soda

Alex[andra] said...

First, I think it's pretty fabulous that you were able to run that much to begin with! The fact that you were able to make a goal and meet it says a lot about your integrity and how much of a hard worker you are! Not having to meet a goal is even nicer though!

Ashley said...

Woah, you go girl! Seriously. I am definitely the recreational, fair-weather runner... And that's okay! I'm sure it will suit you, too. :)

Tracey said...

I am jealous of your ability to run. It's one of my goals. I can barely make it 5KM without dying!

BLovedBoston said...

It's so hard to run in the winter here in New England...you feel like everything you've attained in the other months is a wash and running on the treadmill is so hard! Hoping to be running my first 5K in may...if i get chosen from the lottery!! I think you did the right thing by making it more enjoyable for yourself!!

Lauren said...

Before sounds hard and torturous and now your running life sounds fun! Yay for balance!

Anna said...

Sometimes it can feel good to let go of things we've held on to so tightly!! Everything has it's season... just as long as youre healthy and happy that's what matters!! :)

Helene in Between said...

wow, 100 miles a month?!?!! but i think you're right, i am this way too. i used to burn 1,000 calories every day no matter what. but now i focus on just being more well rounded (well i took a couple years off and ate a lot too)

Melissa Suggitt said...

I wish i enjoyed running. i get so bored.

teach me your wayyyyyys.

brooke lyn said...

welcome to the unplanned running world!

Meg {henninglove} said...

nothing wrong with being a recreational runner, that is what i am and my husband is a college cross country coach and people always assume i ran in college, just like he did and i am like oh no i am not that serious of a runner, i do it for fun and for exercise and that why the pressure is off of me to "perform" if you know what i mean

Kayla Moothart said...

Having no parameters at all and just running is such a great thing. I LOVE those runs! Balance is so important (ha - that coming from me!) and I admire you for finding that with your working out!

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

I wish I could get into running... I've tried and failed several times! haha

his little lady said...

Oh gosh, I miss running! I used to run up to 10 miles every day and then I stopped. Now I can barely make it up to 1 mile without having to stop. Getting myself back into shape to run those 10 miles will take some time again.
xo TJ

http://www.hislittlelady.com

MacKensie said...

d'awwww. I haven't been running either. Been trying to the whole strength training deal. It is a lot less daunting. Although I will need you to take me running at least once when I come visit.

Kenzie S said...

I've always wanted to start running.. but I am a horrible runner. My body hates me when I run. Teach me your ways!