Thursday, March 28, 2013

why I run

Living in the present has been a difficult concept for me.  In the past, I always needed to be at the next step in my life.  I needed more.  I was so focused on where I thought I wanted to be that I couldn’t be happy with where I was.  Turns out, the grass is not always greener on the other side. 

This grass is pretty green though.

Now I try to focus on what’s actually in front of me.  I try not to think about what could maybe someday happen in the future if this and that go exactly as planned.  Some people are probably capable of going through life that way, but I’ve learned from experience that I am not. 

Focusing on my own needs and wants has also been quite the challenge.  I tend to try to please others and make sure they’re content before I consider myself.  Of course, it’s good to think of others.  It’s not so good when you do so because you feel as though your own feelings don’t matter as much.  Yeah, that kind of sucks.  I’m also working on that.

This is why running means so much to me.  Running is something that I do for me.  No one else.  When I lace up my sneakers and head out the door it’s because I want to.  It’s not because I have to.  It’s not for someone else’s benefit.  No one else will be affected if I do or don’t go for a run that day.  Well, maybe that’s not entirely true.  If I don’t run for a couple of days, I may acquire quite the attitude without warning.  Sorry about that.  But for the most part it’s entirely for me.

So far, this is what I have ran this week:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 4.5 miles with 2 friends, 3 kids (not my own), and a dog + 1.5 miles on my own.  Pushing a stroller full of children is quite the challenge. 
Wednesday: unplanned 35 min easy run with a friend
Thursday: 8 miles on my own

It’s been a great week so far.  After today’s run I finally feel like I’m making some progress.  My miles ranged from 8:13 to 8:38 and I’m happy with that.

9 days away from my first 10k. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

this is me

Where do I begin?  Starting a blog is something I have thought of for quite a while.  However, writing is something I am terrible at, and sharing my thoughts and feelings are things that terrify me.  These are two key ingredients to writing a blog, right?  But I think they're also the reasons I want to do it.  I don't want to be afraid of myself anymore.  I don't want to keep my words for myself; I want to let them out.  This is my attempt to do so.  

Ok here's the cliff note's version of my life.  My parent's divorced when I was 3.  Both parents remarried around the time I was 7.  My dad married my step mom who had two boys.  Yay, stepbrothers.  They moved to RI.  We moved to NH.  My mom and the jerk she married adopted my brother when I was 14.  My mom got divorced again when my brother was 3.  My childhood was spent bouncing around like a pinball.  I didn't know where I belonged.  I did gymnastics for 15 years.  I played soccer, and softball in high school.  I had amazing friends.  I could handle this.  Time for college.  Why did everyone know what they wanted to do...but me?  I went.  I was miserable.  I became depressed.  I had an eating disorder.  Good times.  I stopped going to college.  I went to therapy.  I don't think it helped much.  I got a job.  I moved to Boston.  I tried to figure out my life.  I moved back home to NH.  I started running.  Still not a clue.  I attempted to go back to school.  I didn't care.  I was confused.  I ran some more.  I liked running.  I went back to school again.  I decided I wanted to be a nurse.  I loved it.  I kept running.  I met a boy.  I graduated and got a job.  I was meant to do this.   I love being a nurse.  I love running.  I love life.  Wait...what?  Did I really just say that?  Yeah, I think I did.  I think I really mean it too.  Holy crap. 

There are too many days that I still don't like what I see in the mirror.  I hate that.  It's a battle that I continue to fight.  But I am starting to appreciate and enjoy who I am as a person.  That's something I never thought I would be able to say.  What changed?  I'm not exactly sure I can pinpoint it.  It's probably a combination of many factors.  Of the many, my career is one of them.  Running is another.  

Over the past 6 years my love for running has grown tremendously.  I ran a little when I was younger.  I ran down the vault runway in gymnastics.  I ran across the soccer field.  I ran around the bases.  I never ran any kind of long distance and I didn't want to.  In 2007, a few of my friends were training to run a marathon.  They had run one before and their stories and triumphs intrigued me.  Before signing up I ran a couple of longer runs to make sure my body could handle it.  The longest run I had done prior to this was probably 7 miles.  I decided to give it a shot and I registered for the Manchester Marathon in NH.  I almost couldn’t believe it, but I was excited.  I didn’t have any expectations except to finish.  I did finish, 4hrs and 40min after I started.  Certainly not a time to write home about, but I finished.  I was hooked.

Since then, I have ran 5 half marathons.  My first half I finished in 2:14:xx.  My PR is now is 1:55:xx.  I did not race at all last year because I was busy trying to graduate from nursing school and life in general got in the way.  However, over the past 6 months or so, my love for running has continued to grow.  Running gives me hope and confidence and a feeling that I don’t get from anything else.  So far this year I have signed up for my first 10k on April 7, a half marathon on May 26 and a marathon on October 13.  I am so excited to try to get stronger and faster and cross each one of those finish lines.  I have recently been inspired by so many in this sport and for that I am truly grateful.

This is my attempt to be happy with myself.  To believe I am good enough.  This is my story.