'I Hate Running' No More

I never enjoyed running laps around the fields or on the track in high school. I remember being told once that I had a slight case of asthma when I was a kid. I convinced myself that was the reason as to why I am a slow runner. Excuses, excuses. When I ran, I would get a cramp right under my rib cage on my right side and the only thing that would ease the pain would be to apply pressure and rest. Completing a mile under a certain time wasn’t a goal of mine and I had an incredible metabolism. I didn’t need to lose weight.

Fast forward almost 20 years and just over a week since beginning to jog on a regular basis, I am at 2 miles and under 12 minutes per mile. The metabolism I once gloated about is gone but a competitive side of me is very well present. I can see how running can be addicting. I am constantly pushing myself to go farther and be faster. Without even trying to run on a regular basis, I said I hated running. I would get sharp pains in my knees, my feet and my shins. I haven’t felt those pains in days.

This new running passion began after a recent trip to Santa Cruz with my best friend, Christy, and her family. She had signed up for the SF Giants 10K with our girlfriend, Christina, but Christina forgot that she had another obligation that day or weekend. Christy was already committed but dropped down to do a 5K. Christy has always wanted to become a cop and she is in the process. She wasn’t thrilled with her fit test results and wanted to improve. With working full time and with two young kids, it’s hard to make time for herself and go for a run or fast-paced walk. So I said I would wake up early on Sunday morning and run with her from my girlfriend’s house where we were staying to the beach, which wasn’t too far. But getting out there, being physical and with a friend’s encouragement, you can’t say no. Christy doesn’t ever want to displease or disappoint anyone. We agreed to do this before we left for Santa Cruz and she knows I typically work out at least 5 days a week and I was going to make her stick with it. And we did. We were a bit behind schedule with the babies and all, but her boyfriend, Cesar, was supportive and we got out there.

The beach was less than a mile away and the sun came out just in time to make the jog just a little bit more challenging. We stuck with it. We stopped at the one stop light and stretched and kept moving. We jogged at the perfect pace together. We reached the corner of the beach, stopped, caught our breath and made our way back. I honestly was surprised that I didn’t stop. I didn’t want to tell her that because I know she’d say that we could stop if I wanted to. I didn’t want to. I tried to push myself more as we got closer to the house. Home stretch! I lengthened my strides and unclenched my fists to allow air to hit my sweaty palms and cool me down just a tad. We stopped at the beginning of the street of my girlfriend’s house. I challenged Christy to a race to sprint to her minivan at the house. She rolled her eyes and I said ‘C’mon!” I told her to count it off. I jokingly tried to get in position like I was a track star. 3, 2, 1, GO! And I was completely out of gas. She was way ahead of me before I took five strides. All I felt were the beads of sweat coming down my forehead and the side of my face and I just laughed to myself. Loser. She won even after she let off the gas.

That was 1.4 miles and for a few minutes, I was still sweating like crazy in the house. Cesar was laughing at me. I was not a runner. The next day, my entire body felt sore. It may partially be because I was carrying my niece and nephew anytime they wanted around The Boardwalk but I like to think it was because of the run. And I love that soreness.

My girlfriend, Megan, told me that she’s starting to run as well as she’s been working with a personal trainer. She uses the app, RunKeeper, so I downloaded it as well. It does a great job of tracking your time, distance and progress. It will track your hikes, walks, cycling, etc. I walk Bevo 2-3 times a day so I definitely add that to my steps taken in a day, however he does stop to smell the roses and almost everything else so my times aren’t that great. It could also track your heart rate but you need a special device for that.

I am enjoying pushing myself to keep going, to not even allow myself think “I can’t” for a moment and reach my goal. Next goal is 2.5 miles. At 3 miles, I plan rewarding myself with some new work out gear.

Are you a runner/jogger?

When did you start?

What is the most rewarding thing about running to you?

Update 7/14/14
haven't ran since Thursday morning. Apparently I have a case of runner's knee already. There's a pain below both knee caps. I jogged alongside my nephew this weekend at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA and felt some discomfort and even feel it walking today. It's very disappointing that this is happening because I really enjoyed jogging and taking advantage of this great weather. I guess I should rest and get some appropriate shoes. I was waiting to reach 3 miles to get a new pair of running shoes but I might have to spend some money today. Time to go shopping!
Article: Beating Runner's Knee


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