16 January 2012

the year of the runner: personal

2011 began with stepping onto a treadmill for the first time EVER and resolving to finally, once and for all, get healthy. If my grandparents could embark on a new, thinner phase of life at 70+, I could as a twenty-something. So there I was, not really sure what I was getting into, but my brother assured that "a 5K is only 3 miles, Syd, you could totally do that."

So I started out slowly, then increasing speed and time week by week until a week before the first 5K in June. Having never run outside before, I decided I should probably test out the environment so I ran 3+ miles around my neighborhood two nights before the race in a record-breaking 50 minutes. When I finished, I felt so accomplished! I knew I could do the race then, it might just take me a while. My brother (in all his athletic prowess) assured me that "you'll totally surprise yourself, you'll probably get like 30 minutes." Yeah. Right.

Walking up to the starting line, I was so nervous! All these people around me, looking like pros, and then there's me. Yikes. So the starting gun goes off and we're starting! We're running! Eeek! Before I know it, I'm rounding the second mile and thinking, "what the heck, how long have I been out here for? It feels like we just started!" I get closer and closer to the end and glance at the time clock - 33 minutes. WHAT?! I couldn't believe it. Crossed the finish line at 34 minutes exactly - and the adrenaline rush? Wow. I decided right there and then that this would not be the last time I crossed a finish line.

I proceeded to research 5Ks around the Mpls/St. Paul area and signed up for a race every month until October 2011. 7 races, most of which benefitted a local non-profit. Sweet! At the end of each race, my time was progressively better than the time before. I can't seem to break 30 minutes, but that's what 2012 resolutions are for ;)

Every time I laced up my sneakers, I felt that adrenaline rush and running became "my thing" in 2011. I'm not sure if it was the satisfaction of making a goal and achieving it or the neighbor down the street who yelled "dang girl! You be looking finer than Beyonce by the end of summer!" every time I passed his house (okay, creepy, but motivating, right?!), but there wasn't a night that went by that I didn't run.

I ran alone, with people, with music, without. In rain, wind, heat, humidity and a little fall breeze too. I accomplished my goal (and then some!) and I am a better woman, daughter, sister, friend and photographer because of it.

Let's all cross our fingers collectively that 2012 brings a half-marathon medal :)

HeartBeat 5000 - June 2011
American Cancer Society - August 2011
Torchlight 5K - August 2011 (should have been in July - rescheduled due to HEAT!)
Harmon Trails 5 mile - September 2011
Twin Cities 10K - October 2011
Runnin' with the Law - October 2011
Monster Dash - October 2011 - this medal doesn't count ;) 

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