I believe it’s been a year since I found myself running regularly. It all began when I saw myself in a picture that was taken at my husband’s family reunion. I looked frumpy, unhappy and uncomfortable in my own skin. It was after seeing that picture that I forced myself on the treadmill everyday.
I was so out of shape I could barely walk let alone run. The Couch to 5K app on my iPhone helped me to get started slowly. With the program’s walking and running combinations I was able to succeed. Some weeks of the training program I needed to repeat, but eventually I was running 30 minutes without having to take a walking break.
It was at this point that I decided to sign up for a local 5K and run my first race. I was constantly bombarded on facebook with other peoples’ post race photos. In the past when seeing those pictures I would think to myself how long 3 miles was and that it was something I could never do. One day my train of thought changed from self-deprecation to jealousy. Now I wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to run a 5K and pictorially brag about it on facebook. My goal was set. I would run a 5K.
I started my treadmill adventures in June 2010 and ran my first 5K the following October. I pulled myself off the couch and worked hard for 4 months and I was finally ready to run my first race. After arriving at the race I placed myself in the proper spot at the starting line and waited for the horn to signal the start. As I crossed the starting line my throat tightened and tears were slowly making their way down my cheeks. I WAS DOING IT. I was doing something I once thought was never possible. I set a goal and I was at the beginning of making it happen. I ran that 5K race with my whole heart and soul. It was physically and mentally taxing, but it felt good. I couldn’t help but smile and show my appreciation to each race volunteer I passed. I crossed the finish line and I was in disbelief that it was over, that I did it.
As I walked to my car after the race I updated my facebook status to brag about completing the race. I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. When I got in my car I rested my head on the steering wheel and cried. I cried because I set what I once believed was an impossible goal and I accomplished it. My runner’s high lasted for at least a week after that first race. I was hungry for more.
In the midst of all this I had been suffering with postpartum depression. I was at a place in my healing where I was able to function in my everyday life. I realized that running and racing pushed me over the wall between functioning and living. I was living now. Running gave me back myself. It gave me goals, challenges and successes that belonged to only me. I liked the new me.
In the past year I have run six 5Ks, a 10K and a 10 mile race. I will continue to run and race and share my journey with you.
How did you find yourself running?