My Running Journey

If you would've talked to me about a month and a half ago, I would have told you with confidence how much I utterly despised running. Despised isn't even strong enough to describe the sheer hatred I felt toward running. I just wasn't good at it and it was painful and embarrassing. This isn't to say that I never wanted to like running. Of course I wanted to! I sincerely admire those who can run more than a mile and enjoy it. I've always wanted to know what that "runner's high" felt like. I watched as many of my friends signed up for 5-10K's and half-marathons and wished I had the courage and strength to do that. But then The Color Run came to Penn State and I knew I had to do it. Have you heard of the Color Run? It's advertised as "The Happiest 5K on the Planet" and I do have admit it is pretty freaking happy. The Color Run was announced about 6 weeks in advance, so that didn't give me or my friends much time to train, but we signed up anyway!

The Color Run 1

I used the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone to train and it was great. I only made it through five weeks of it, but it was long enough for me to feel like a decent runner.

Emotionally, it has been a journey. When I first began training, life was good. Everything seemed to be coming together and finding its place; as a result, my runs were fairly easy and I often finished in high spirits. I battled some side stitches quite frequently, but I was always able to complete the interval training with ease. It helped to build my confidence and gradually challenged me.

But then I took a two week hiatus when my life was in limbo and falling apart. I could hardly eat or sleep during that time and my running was placed on the back burner. The good thing about signing up for a 5K, however, was that it provided constant motivation for me to keep going. If I had set the goal for myself, I'm not sure I would've picked it up again, but I did, and for that, I am proud.

When I started to run again, I was in a new location and with each step on the pavement, I could measure how far I had come. However, my first run was not easy. In fact, I almost collapsed. I sobbed during that run and had to sit on the curb to regain my strength. I could have easily given up after that point.

But I kept going. And I managed to have a good mix of awesome and challenging runs. It was amazing to see how emotionally I had grown between each run. When I run in the neighborhood next to my apartment complex, I think how I once cried and sat and now I keep going.

The Color Run 2

I feel so blessed to be physically able to run when so many cannot. I am so beyond proud of my growth and look forward to where I will continue to go.

I wish I could tell you that my Color Run experience was everything I had hoped for and more. I wish I could tell you that all of my running had paid off and that I ran the whole thing. Unfortunately, I battled the worst knife in my side for the majority of the race and ended up walking most of it. I was so frustrated because I had worked so hard and it was the ONE thing in my life I felt I had control over. I had even done research and tried to do everything to avoid cramps. I knew that I could have ran the whole thing without the pain.

But instead of focusing on the negatives and being frustrated, I am determined to recognize the positives. The fact that I signed up, that I trained, that I ran at least 15 times before the race, that I ran longer and further than I ever had before in my life is AMAZING to me! And getting colored cornstarch thrown on me with 12,000 other runners was a pretty cool experience.

And I don't want to stop here :)

The Color Run 3

Excepttttt for the fact that I definitely hurt my hip--thinking it's Piriformis Syndrome-- and I already have arthritis in my foot and I need to take a break and figure this out before I start running again....Really life?

How do YOU feel about running? What is something that challenges you but you're still determined to do?