Friday, March 23, 2012

My Running Story or Why it's Never too Crazy or too Late

I was not an athletic child...I didn't do any sports and prayed for rain to get out of doing PE.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I started to exercise regularly.  I became a devoted gym member with occasional forays into jogging but never with much conviction.  I always tried to run, mostly because it is such an efficient use of exercise time and you can run with your baby in a stroller but my running never amounted to much. I lacked stamina and had knee aches almost every time I ran.  I was content with a fitness routine that didn't include serious running.

I started doing Bikram Yoga the year I turned 40.  I don't know if it was the stretching or building muscle holding poses but after a while I noticed that I could run without knee pain.  In the summer of 2010 became friends with Krista.  Soon we started to run a little together and next thing I knew she convinced me to sign up for a 10k.  I was skeptical...I had never been a strong runner and was not convinced that I could ever run 10k but we ran together every Saturday morning gradually increasing our distance.

10k finish, yeah, kinda slow but I don't care

After the 10k I felt a little lost without a goal so I decided to try for a half marathon.  It sounded completely crazy but then, so had 10k!  If I could work up to a 10k I was pretty sure I could work up to a half marathon.  I suffered from Achilles tendinitis while training for the half marathon.  Luckily it didn't stop me.

Waiting for the Wine Country 1/2 Marathon to start with my friend Maggie

I put my medal to good use!
After the 1/2 marathon my tendinitis became so bad that I had to stop running.  I concentrated on healing and strengthening, gradually adding the running back in.  It's been touch and go for the last 10 months and it's been hard to put running on the back burner.  Although I have been working out for years nothing ever made me feel as strong as running longer distances.  Nothing ever made me really feel like an ATHLETE until I started running.

Running in the Sierra last summer
Today I ran almost 5 miles with no pain, not even tightness or soreness.  I try not to get excited when I have pain free runs and over do it.  My fitness routine these days is 2 or 3 days of Bikram yoga, 2 or 3 days at the gym and 1 or 2 days running, walking or hiking each week.  I try to work out every day and run when it feels good. 

I don't know what my future holds as far as running but I do know this.  I didn't start serious running until I was 40.  I ran my first half marathon at 41.  If you had told me 10 years earlier or even 1 year earlier that I would run a half marathon I would have told you you were crazy.  It's never too late and no goal is ever too crazy.

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