Three years ago today, I ran my first “race”. I say “race” because, like many people, my first foray into running was taking part in a fun run. Mine was Color Me Rad.
You see, I was never an active person. I hated gym class. I never took part in any organized sports as a child. I remember I started “running” when I was about 21, which consisted of running like 10 times, a few with a boy who I was trying to feel out if I liked or not. He was a giant runner (like over a foot taller than my tiny 5’1) so running with him was a chore. Drinking and partying and sleeping and reading were my hobbies. Physical activity was something I was feeling out as well.
Fast forward to my mid 20s. I meet a dude who’s super active and incredibly fit. Luckily for me, my metabolism was still rocking and I didn’t have to worry too much about my nutritional and physical activity levels. As time wore on, my metabolism slowed down and my anxiety increased. My partner (the same super fit dude) started running religiously and decided to run his first marathon. Around the same time, one of my friends started swimming competitively with a university swim team. I remember going out for dinner with them both, and being incredibly jealous of their accomplishments… and their ability to eat whatever they want and not look like a potato.
After watching my partner run two more marathons, I became determined. The environment at a race is like nothing I have every experienced before. The crowds were buzzing with excitement. The runners who crossed the finish line wore faces painted with excruciating pain and pride. Seeing these people who had trained and lived that running life for weeks, months, and years finally culminating at that finish line made me feel something I had not felt in the longest time. It made me feel inspired.
Enter the beginning of my running career. I decided that I wanted to run a 5k. If my partner could run marathons and my friend could swim competitively, I could easily run 5k. Right?
WRONG. So wrong.
I kicked off my training with the nine week Couch to 5k program. I remember feeling incredibly defeated after not being able to complete the first few days of 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking. On top of being the laziest, least active person in the world, I also have asthma which was an additional hurtle.
But, after much crying and anger, I finished the nine weeks. I also ran MOST of my Colour Me Rad, which was awesome considering I had to dodge powder being thrown directly in my face and slow walkers ambling along the path.
But, after crossing the finish line and taking the mandatory finish line photos with my fellow runners, I was hooked.
That afternoon, I signed up for my first 10k race.