On the long list of things that I am (wife, mother, writer, business analyst, chief cook and bottle washer), I never thought I’d add the words runner. Or athlete.
Until I did.
But let’s start at the beginning.
I’ve been in a near constant, bare knuckles, back alley brawl with my weight for the last twenty four years. I’ve fought dirty (starvation diets in high school, South Beach) and obesity has fought dirtier (Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter World). And I’m sure to the outside world, it looks like my weight has this in the bag, that it’s kicking my butt, but that’s so far from the truth.
Because I’m still here. And I’m squaring up for an epic showdown.
After talking to Meri about running for a while, I started my first attempt at Couch to 5K last year. It was brutal. It took me a few weeks just to be able to do a full Week 1, Day 1. And progress was slow. My bad knee hurt. My lungs hurt. My feet hurt. My pace sucked.
And my pride was fucking killing me.
This is a NEWBIE runner program. How could it be so hard??? And then, one day, it wasn’t quite as hard. And my feet hurt less. And my pace improved. And my pride healed a little.
I was doing Zumba two times a week, training three days a week, eating right, juicing (of the fresh fruit/veg variety, not the steroid variety). I felt better than I had in years. The picture above was taken the weekend of my very first race.
I ran a 7K. Okay, let’s amend that. I ran one full minute of a 7K and walked the rest. Even though the week before I had run a full mile, running in front of other people was horrifying and crippling.
I will tell you, this is normally where I would have given up.
Three weeks later, I ran about three minutes of a 5K. It was almost as bad as the first one, but not quite. I booked more races. FUN RACES, because I would focus on the fun and not the paralyzing anxiety that I get on race day, right?
At Color Me Rad in July, I barely ran. At The Color Run a few weeks later, I hurt my foot at the starting line and limped the entire course.
I almost gave up here. In retrospect, this is actually where I did give up.
I basically stopped training, blaming the heat and my schedule and anything else I could think of as to why I couldn’t run. By the time Diva Dash came around in September, I was the girl that got pulled aside by the medics because I looked like I was going to die. And I hadn’t run at all.
And then, I quit. For real. But not for good.
Even if the last year was a bust in terms of numbers (I weighed the same at the end as I did at the beginning, which is the product of losing and gaining back 33 pounds) and physical fitness (my first Zumba class of 2013 was worse than my first Zumba class ever), I’m still here, ready to fight.
I could choose to go a different route this time. I could think ‘running didn’t get me anywhere’ and scrap it. I could just give up and let obesity win, once and for all. I could… but I’m not going to.
Because last year, I added the words athlete and runner to the list of things I am. And I really like the way they look.
So here I am, starting over. Again. I’ll be the newbie runner. Somedays, I’ll be the whiny runner. I’ll be the slow runner. I’ll be the runner who isn’t booking a single race until she finishes, completely, Couch to 5K training. But still…
I’m a runner.
More about Bec here in our Chick on Chick series.