Sunday, October 13, 2013

Guest Post: Going from Spectator to Runner

I remember when I hated running. I knew it would never be me, I just knew it. But look at me now. I'm a runner. I also remember when I started running. I thought, "what the hell, I need to change things up" and I ran. For like two minutes, but I ran. And I haven't stopped since. I even have medals to prove my running status. If you aren't a runner, you'll love hearing from Nicole of Live Laugh Eat Run. She used to be a spectator. Now she's a runner. And you can be, too.

I haven’t been running that long. I was one of those people in high school that faked an injury to get out of running the mile.


I started dating my boyfriend in 2006 and on our first date he told me that he did off-road triathlons. I thought: That's cool, I’d love to see one. At the time, I had NO idea what a triathlon was. I had no idea he and hundreds of his closest friends would do an open lake/ocean swim, a mountain bike ride and a trail run. I also had no idea how much stamina it takes for someone to finish that!

I began going to his races to support him and cheer him on! I’ve been to A LOT now. As a spectator, I started to realize how awesome it was to see these people do what they do. I would see men and women competing at the same level. Husbands and wives with their kids there cheering them on or even crossing the finish line with them—there really is nothing cuter than a person meeting their 4- and 5-year-old right before the finish line and holding their hand while they cross together. And I would also see physically challenged athletes crossing the finish line before many able-bodied athletes! It’s incredible to watch and so inspiring.

So I made a commitment to myself. I wanted to do something with a finish line. Not a triathlon, of course, I can only doggy paddle and I am terrible on a bike. (Maybe someday, when I overcome my bike fear and learn how to swim.) I told my boyfriend and he was so supportive. He started me off on an easy jog with some walking, and he signed me up for my first 5k. It was a Turkey Trot. There were hills, so I walked a bit—but I finished!

Then came the 10k. He said, "you’ll be out there for over an hour!"  I said, "I can totally do it."
DONE! Plus I got a cute first one ever!

I came across a Disneyland Half Marathon. I decided that I wasn't ready yet so I did the Disneyland 5k and my boyfriend did the Half. When he finished and I saw his medal, I was so jealous. I absolutely NEEDED that medal. So naturally, along came the half marathon. The Disneyworld Half Marathon—Holy moly that was hard. But, I did it!

Sometimes when I think about not training and sitting at home doing nothing, I think about those triathletes that I have seen crossing the finish line. The ones that can make time for training, even though they have four kids or maybe only one leg. If they can find the time and the motivation to train, then so can I!

I’m thinking about doing a full marathon for my 35th birthday…two years from now. I know I can do it. I know it’ll hurt, but I know I can do it.

Now, go...get out there and run happy!

Question: When did you start running? How did you do it and what made you do it? Or maybe it was swimming or biking. Regardless, I want to hear your story.

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