Once again I'm back on the running bandwagon.
I've been running, on and off, since 1998. Before then, I never ran. Not for pleasure, that is. I have a long history of non-athleticism. Never played a sport, team or solo. As a child, I was never encouraged to, and as a teenager and young adult, I never felt a draw to do so. Starting my senior year in high school, I joined a gym (and have been a member of one pretty much ever since) and enjoy going and lifting weights, etc (although that, too, is off and on!) but I don't consider going to the gym a sport. I would NEVER have considered running...in fact, my running was such a joke that as a child my father would have me run ahead of the family so that they could laugh at my form!
In 1998 I started to jog, and signed up to do my first race, a 5K. In the years following that first race, I did countless races...mostly 5Ks, but a smattering of 8Ks, 10Ks, a half-marathon, and in 2003 I ran and completed my first full marathon (the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon). It took me forever....I am not really a "runner", you see, I'm more of a jogger/walker....but I did it and was really proud.
After the marathon, I got pregnant with D, and stopped running. And save for a few runs here and there, I haven't done much since.
This year I decided to change that. I have a lot of reasons for doing so: I have a long history of heart disease on BOTH sides of my family, I was recently diagnosed with osteopenia (bone density loss), and while I am at my ideal weight and clothing size, I am almost 40 and know that weight can creep on if I don't watch it. So running (ok, jogging/walking!) is the answer to all of these issues: it helps keep me heart healthy, gives me the weight-bearing exercise I need to jostle my bone cells, and it has the aerobic activity to keep my weight great.
I do best with a goal in mind, so in the fall I signed up for a local half-marathon. I even got my step-mother to sign up with me! However, soon after starting to train, I broke a toe, and was in a walking boot for 2 months. A few weeks after I got the go-ahead to train again, I sprained the ankle in the other foot. I needed to drop out of the race, as there was no way I'd have time to train safely for it. I was bummed, and especially sad as I saw the finishers at the race (I went to meet my step-mother at the finish line).
We are signed up to do another half-marathon, this time in August (my step-mother is coming out again to do it, too!). I have almost 7 months to train. I know I can do this, if I keep myself from being injured again. I bought new shoes today (the ones I had before, while new, were apparently not the appropriate ones for my high arched and pronating left foot!) and am ready to train.
Running gives me a lot. First of all, I feel so virtuous doing it (I'm heart healthy! I'm bone healthy!). Second, I love the adrenaline rush that kicks in after a few miles; it feels goooood! Third, I love how I feel AFTER the run (even if it's not the best run ever, I always feel good and proud of myself). And lastly, I love the alone time, the time to think, listen to music, observe the environment around me.
Here's hoping that I remain injury-free (fingers and toes are crossed!) and I look forward to reporting on some great runs and training.
Ambassador Spotlight: Sheri Carey
3 hours ago