I am not some freak that woke up one day and thought “hey I’m gonna be a runner!” and was magically good at it. For the people that I’ve met in the past couple years…
- There was a time when I thought my 8:30 timed mile was so incredible
- There was a time when I thought running a mile without stopping was amazing – and going on a 4 mile run/walk was super amazing. FOUR WHOLE MILES!!
- There was a time when I thought the kids doing cross country were off their rockers. Seriously though why would you want to run that far?
Lets bring it back to high school. I joined the JV track team in 10th grade to get out of PE because it was super boring. Now, I believe my last timed mile at PE prior to joining the track team was around 8:30. When I was on the team I only did the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay…in non-scoring heats. Basically I was NOT GOOD and only ran super short distances. After that season of track I started gymnastics and running was over – unless it was full speed towards the vault.
The rest of high school went by. College went by. Any “running” was limited to a 10-11 min mile warm-up on the treadmill before strength training. Oh and by the way in college I tore both of my ACLs and medial meniscus on separate occasions, and re-tore a meniscus they had tried to repair, resulting in THREE separate knee surgeries. Still went back to gymnastics every time becuase I am a glutton for punishment.
After moving to SD for work I would occasionally (read: once every 6 months) go on a run/walk outdoors…mostly 3 miles or less averaging 11-13 min miles. It’s all in my RunKeeper history. This was circa 2010/2011. On one occasion I proudly told my uncle I could run a 35 min 5K as if that was the shit Olympians were made of. He looked at me funny.
Fast forward to 2013. They had personal training specials going on at 24 Hour Fitness and I was like “eff it” and signed up because, let’s be real, I was sick of being a little butterball. I would show up a little early to my sessions and jog a mile on the dreadmill as my warmup. Every time I would try to go a little faster. Over the course of the year the 10 min mile turned to 9…8:30 (back at my high school time! SCORE!)…8:00…omg under 8!…and so on until I was running sub 7 min miles. My trainer was like “Why don’t you try running more than one mile?” and I was all “pssshhh why? That would make my knee hurt.” But then one day I did it. Two miles. That wasn’t so bad. Two became three. Then 5 and 6 and so on. At around an 8 min mile pace! I was tempted to sign up for a half marathon, but then I remembered Boston and was like hmmmm no thanks. I don’t know what changed late that year, but I ended up signing up for my first half marathon: lululemon’s SeaWheeze 2014. It was a solid 9 months away and I was already up to 10 miles. Then my friend convinced me to sign up for a half that was only 5 months away. I ran 13 miles a couple weeks before the race. Race day came and I was FLYING. Yesss racing is the best! RUNNING IS THE BEST! I LOVE EVERYTHING…and then My IT Band tightened up so bad that I couldn’t even WALK. I got a ride in the ambulance to near the finish line and hobbled through. I was so upset that I spent the next few hours crying on and off.
Anyway, my point is I wasn’t always “fast” (whatever that means anyway). I didn’t even finish my first half marathon. I am not a magical unicorn.