If you would have told me two months ago that I would be training for my first 5K race, I would have told you “yeah, maybe in another world!” Looking back, I know that I was far away from where I wanted to be, and I had no idea how to get there. I had many goals, but none of them seemed to be achievable…they were just too big for what my mind could handle. I have always wanted to get down to my goal weight of 155 and I want to complete a full marathon. But when you are 110 pounds from your goal weight and you haven’t run in the past 2 years (like, at all), those goals are crazy! Your mind can’t handle something like that, so your goals just sit in the back of your mind, just waiting until you are finally ready to face them again.
My goals sprung back to life one day when I was catching up on Facebook after a long day at work. I was scrolling down the page, reading my friends status updates when I came across one that made me wake up. “Just did my second 20 mile run:)” It was written by my cousin’s sister in law. Normally I would have kept scrolling down the page, but I just couldn’t get that out of my head. Twenty miles is a lot…the most I have ever run at one time was two miles, and I was tired and out of breath and my legs shook the rest of the night. My thought process went like this, “20 miles…how long would it take to run 20 miles? If you set a pace of 5-6 MPH, that is four hours!! But why would any sane human being ever want to run 20 miles? Where is she running? Is she on a treadmill?, cause that would get boring. Maybe she runs 10 miles away from home, then runs back…yeah, she probably does that.” For the next couple of days, I kept coming back to that in my head…I couldn’t stop thinking about it! And I started to think about it differently, from critical thoughts to those of admiration because 20 miles is something impressive! Then I started thinking about that long lost goal I had of one day running a marathon, and here was someone who was getting ready to do it! And just like that, something clicked and all I wanted to do was run. My pre-hospital frame of mind was back, and I felt ready to start running again, but was worried about those darn shin splints that seem to like the Fat Andrea. I sent a message to my cousin in law, figuring that she of all people, would have some experience dealing with them. Within an hour, she replied back with oodles of great advice, from getting my feet tested (am I a neutral runner or do I pronate or supernate? (huh?)) to the correct running shoes, and how to treat shin splints since I already have them. After spending time on Wikipedia to figure out what the heck pronate and supernate was, I dragged my husband and son to the local sports store and promply found the correct shoe for my slightly deformed feet. (I pronate and I’m mildly flat-footed, which makes me think of a hobbit, so it was quite a feat to find the right shoe!) Then my husband surprised me with an improptu shopping trip for the MP3 player I have been hinting towards for about a month, complete with an arm band for my new running regimen.
I have since followed my cousin on Facebook loyally, and when she posted the pictures of her first marathon, I literally clapped my hands, grabbed my husband, and we sat side by side looking at all the pictures and talking about how neat it is that I actually knew someone who can do that. Even though she is someone who I havn’t had the opportunity to get close to, she’s had a big hand in giving me back the drive to do something that I haven’t felt was possible until recently. My running goals are something that I believe are achievable. In the fall, I am going to run my first 5K. (3.1 miles) I would like to run at least a couple of them before I start training for a 10K (6.2 miles) that I will do next spring. A year from now I will do my first 1/2 marathon. (13.1 miles) I would love to say that I will do a full marathon the year after, but I’m not there mentally yet…just give me some time and I’ll eventually get there.