I made it just shy of 1/10 of a mile.
My lungs were on fire, and I was gasping for air. And this was after I had just lost 73 pounds (I weighed 180 at the time I started running). I thought to myself, "There is NO WAY IN HELL I will be able to run a 5K... ever." But that short, 1/10 of a mile changed my life. I was determined to go a little farther the next time. And I did. Just 11 days after my first run, I managed to run a whole mile (albeit very slowly!).
My confidence increased with each run, and I started to feel like maybe I could do it after all. Somewhere along the way, I got hooked on running. I hated it with every cell in my body, but I loved the way I felt afterward, which is what kept me going. Eventually, I started calling myself a runner, which sounded so foreign to me. But I was so excited to be part of that "elite" group of people that I'd always been in awe of.
So today I am celebrating two years of being a runner. The past two years of running can be summed up in a small bar graph like this:
- I've run a grand total of 1,320.6 miles in 216:40:38 (hours).
- Those miles were split into a total of 337 separate runs.
- The most I've run in one month was 106.2 miles.
- The most I've run in one week was 27.3 miles.
- The most calories burned in a month was 11,646. That's the equivalent of over 55 Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies.
- The most calories burned in a single run was 1,437, at the Indy Mini-Marathon in 2011.
- The longest distance I've run to date is 13.1 miles.
- My fastest mile was run in 7:45 on the dreadmill.
- I've run nine races: two 5K's, one 4-miler, one 8K, three 10K's, one half-marathon, and one Ragnar Relay.
- My current PR's: 5K- 26:57; 10K- 55:05, HM- 2:10:40
- I've run a minimum of three times per week, every single week, with the exception of my post-surgery recovery (in Nov. 2010 and Nov. 2011).
- Of the 1,320.6 miles that I've run, 301.8 were run on the dreadmill.
- The longest run on the dreadmill was 10 miles.
Things I've learned over the past two years about running:
- It is MUCH more comfortable to run in moisture-wicking clothes rather than cotton. And it looks better, because you don't look drenched in sweat.
- Running doesn't have to be taken so seriously. The first year I ran, I thought any sort of break during the run meant that the run "didn't count". Now I realize that it's totally fine to stop for some water, to tie a shoe, to take a picture, etc.
- No matter how prepared I am, I will always be nervous before a race.
- Finding the right running shoes is critical to being a runner.
- Oatmeal is my pre-race breakfast of choice.
- Running with friends makes the mileage fly by so much faster.
- If I want to get faster, I have to do some runs alone.
- Runner's trots are a fact of running life.
- The longer I am a runner, the more I actually enjoy running. Dare I say I actually like it? ;) (Nah, we won't go that far! Yet...)