I hate running. Scratch that. I detest and loathe running from the deepest part of my soul. It brings me no joy. It makes me hurt. It's not fun. AND it makes me gain weight.
So no one was more surprised than me when I signed up for our Run Club session this past spring. I blame COVID. It's making us do crazy things. Like bake bread (no offense to the bread bakers out there).
My hatred of running began at a very young age. Never the athlete, I frequently would feign stomach pains to get out of running in PE. All the other kids seemed so fast and they seemed to love it. Me? I was slower than a turtle stuck in molasses and I hated it. Since I didn't miraculously turn into an athlete as a teenager, I entered adulthood continuing my life long vitriol for running.
The I joined Stroller Strides. And we ran! Why on earth I signed up for a membership that first day I will never know. What I didn't realize then, is I didn't have to run at Stroller Strides...I absolutely could have power walked and no one would have blinked...but I wanted to prove I could hang with the other mothers, who apparently, were professional runners and athletes. It's important to note here that they weren't. The haze of new motherhood had me convinced that anyone who was upright was an athlete.
At some point a group of these women decided to sign up for a marathon and asked me if I wanted to join them . SURE! WHY NOT! It sounds totally miserable and not at all like something I would want to do but I'll give it a whirl. Clearly the fact that I had recently given birth standing up after being yanked out of car by my midwife had deluded me into thinking I was capable of running a full marathon with no prior running experience and also no training. Mamas...don't do this. It's a bad idea. I spent zero weeks training and then joined these ladies for a long training run. I got barely a mile down the road, started barfing and had to be picked up by car. Not a good look. Nor did it feel great.
Since then, I have dabbled in running. I'll run/walk to my daughter to school, jog down to the mailbox, or do speed runs in my driveway for a cardio workout. But I really have never tried (successfully) to train for running. And even if you don't plan on running a race, you actually do have to learn to run. Running is a sport and it requires a game plan, game face, and lots of practice.
Which brings me back to me signing up for Spring Run Club. I'll be honest, COVID did make me go a little crazy. I'm a need to get out of the house kind of girl and, like all of us, I had been spending a little too much quality time with the four people who live in my house. I needed an outlet. I also wanted a cute shirt. What I didn't know, was that run club would be one of my defining moments of 2020.
After 8 weeks of training...but really for me it was more like 14 because I wasn't able to get all of training runs in within the scheduled weeks, I learned to love running. I'm still slower than a turtle in molasses, but I'm consistently run/walking an 11 minute mile which is HUGE for someone who has never run. My cardiovascular strength has improved overall and I'm able to push myself in all my other workouts. But most notably, my mental health is better. After we started Run Club, I experience an upheaval in my personal life that I wasn't quite sure I would make it through. Running (and wine if I'm being totally honest) kept me sane. Everyday that I could, I laced up my sneaks, put on my "songs that make me want to kick butt" playlist, and ran. Sometimes I cried while I ran, sometimes I was really slow, sometimes I felt like Usain Bolt. When I finished I always came home feeling stronger, both in mind and in body. Signing up for Run Club with Allison was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Maybe you are like me....never a runner. Or maybe you ARE a runner and you want to be stronger/better/faster runner. Maybe you are a mom and just need to get away from your family and if running is the mechanism then you are all for it. Whatever your reason, I hope you join me for Fall Run Club. I'm hoping to get my 11 min walk/run down to 10 ;)