Running and I were never friends. I wanted to be friends with running, I used to dream of being friends with running. As I quickly acquired my college weight and the scales tipped at over 230 pounds, I was desperately trying to get running to like me. I would try and I would FAIL. I would make my then-boyfriend, now hubby, be my coach. He could go out and run 7 miles without blinking, (he once even ran 12 miles with a buddy carrying a 100 pound “log” for no other reason than he could) and I thought he could show me how it was done. I thought he could introduce me to running and show her how awesome I was. Nope, still running did not want to hang with me. I would call her up and start running but then quit, telling myself all sorts of good reasons as to why running and I should not be friends.
Once in 2003, I think it was ’03, I ran a 5k. The whole thing without stopping and vowed I would keep contact with running so we could start to like each other. Well I never called her again. Then again, in May of 2008, I decided to do another 5k. This one I did a run/walk combo, then used the preggo excuse to not do it again.
After giving birth and dropping my pregnancy weight and then an extra 20 pounds I decided to give running a call to see if she would be my friend again. I started out small, really small. I ran/walked a 5k in Oct 2009 and did it again in May 2010. In August 2010 I started running with a couple of really cool moms. We would run late at night, in the dark, in the humidity. We started out running not far and then walking, then running again and then walking.
We set a goal of running an Oct. 5k; we RAN THE WHOLE THING! We even came in under what we thought we would. We loved it so much we decided a Nov. 5k needed to be added. We ran that in even less time!!!
You see, I was sticking with this thing called running, not so much because I was better at it than I was in the past, not because it was easier, or the weight was flying off. I stuck with it because I was running away from something. INFERTILITY. It is a big, nasty word and a heart wrenching and emotionally crushing journey. The reason Running and I were so close now was because it was my escape.
We started trying for baby #2 in January of 2010. And month after month of negative pregnancy tests REALLY had me going in a bad place. Infertility round two was even worse than the 18 months the first time took. I thought once you got pregnant the second time would be easy. Nope. It wasn’t – it was worse. The depression set in and the weight started to add back on. Tuesday nights in August of 2010, after 8 months of trying and failing, were my therapy sessions. I could deal with the failure of trying to conceive if I could just run from it all. Run from the doctor appointments, the shots, the multiple negative pregnancy tests. In March of 2011 I decided that I needed a goal other than getting pregnant to focus on and I did something completely unlike me. I signed up for a local road race series. Run 6 races (4 5ks and 2 10ks) and earn a free runners jacket. I also signed up for a few randoms so that I would have at least 10 races on my calendar for the year.
April 23rd was my first race. But on April 15th after 14 months of the hellish nightmare called TTC, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive!!!! I had paid for all of these races so I talked to the doctors got the ok to run and didn’t look back. I ran all season. My last race of the series I was 34 weeks pregnant and I crossed that line running. I had run 12 races while growing my son. I also fell in love with running.
On Jan 2, 2012 just 13 days postpartum I started running again. This time with a half goal in my sites. I ran that half plus a bunch of other races last year. But it wasn’t until a cold, snowy night in January of 2013 that I actually started calling myself a runner. I went out late at night without needing too. No training needed to be done, I had already worked out that day and it was snowing, snowing hard. But I went out. As the snow pelted my face and my feet fought through the unplowed sidewalks I felt a peace and a sense of pure happiness. I loved being out there. I had done it. I had gotten running to like me and I was and AM a runner. Now, because of running I am 103 pounds lighter, and started a running club that meets on Tuesday nights! And the best thing of all is that through running I met a hero and she is ME. I now believe in myself and am more willing to step up to the unknown and get ‘er done!