I don't normally tell this story when people ask me why I run. I don't want to think back to those days. I don't want to relive the moments that caused me to escape my house so I could be alone. But, sometimes it is good to reflect and see how far you've come.
Around the winter of 2008-2009, my marriage was in shambles. Some my fault, a lot his fault. But when something ends, its easy to play the blame game. It got to the point where I did not want to be in the house when he was home. As soon as the kids went to bed, I was out the door to walk if he was home. I started calling my friends and talking to them while I was walking. They all gave me various advice on my life and a distraction from what was really going on. I played the game well, that nothing was wrong with marriage, that I was happy, that I was in love still. None of that was true. I was depressed. I hated my life. I loved my kids, but I hated that this was ruining their childhood. I am thankful they were all still little and most likely would have no remembrance of the situation.
So I started walking. I walked a lot. I did the Shamrock Shuffle 3k in March 2009, which was part way through my first time of Couch to 5k. I finished in 33:39, I ran a short part of it with my friend Jodi.
I finished Couch to 5k and did my first 5k on May 23, 2009. I finished in 45:53, I was disappointed in my time, but happy that I finished. It was one of those May days where it was around 80 degrees at 8am when the race started. I had not run much in hot weather, since I usually stuck to running after 8-9pm at night. I walked more than ran, but I did it. I had reached my goal. Here is a picture of me from that day (ironically, I'm wearing the same shirt today).
I stopped running after that. I had gone back to school and didn't really "make" the time to run. I was still walking a lot though. I took a year off from running. In this time, ex-husband left. I was on my own. I went back to work. Between working full time, school full time, and kids full time? there wasn't much time for anything else.
I did the Shamrock Shuffle 3k again in 2010 with a time of 38:11. I had gotten sick the night before and wasn't going to go, but a friend had asked me to pick up their packet. I went into Lexington and decided I might as well walk it. I was the last person in. As soon as I got home, I promptly threw up.
I tried to start back running after the 2010 race. I had a knee injury in 2004, that causes my patella (knee cap) to sublux (pop out, then back in). It still does on occasion. Right after I started running, I had it happen and I could barely get off the floor, this was in June 2010. I gave myself two weeks to recover from that, then I sprained my foot at work and was put on light duty for almost two months. When I was finally able to run again, I went out too fast and pulled my piriformis. I gave up for the winter and decided I'd start again in the spring.
I did the Shamrock Shuffle again in 2011. This time, I ran it. The whole thing (sure it is only 1.8 miles, but still!), without having run at all. I finished in 25:56.
I think running that whole race really saved me. on June 13th, 2011 I started Couch to 5k again. I completed it. I took the time between when I got off work and when class started and I ran. I never ran a 5k after finishing it. I know, that finding out a friend from high school who was a few weeks ahead of me in C25k really helped me stay with it.
Then I met someone in my nursing class who was a part of this awesome running group (who I'd run with once in spring 2010 I think). She convinced me to come out for a group run. I was the slowest, but it was okay. I found that running with a group was contagious. I finally broke the 3 mile barrier and ran 5 miles on November 12th. On November 19th, I joined a group that was running over the future RunTheBluegrass course. I ran 8.5 miles that day. I hurt horribly the rest of the day. I hadn't run at all in between those runs and jumping from 5 to 8.5 miles? was just too much. I decided around that time to register for my first half marathon. It had been 2.5 years since I'd done any race over a 3k. It was probably crazy. But I registered.
I did the Shamrock Shuffle yet again in 2011. This time I ran it in 22:23, taking 3.5 minutes off my time from 2010. I was stoked, especially since I did it 4 days post-op from wisdom tooth removal.
I completed the half marathon. I did it. Sure, I had problems during it. But...I DID IT. And registered for another.
I guess this all hit me today, its National Running Day. And I cannot
run today. I'm having pain in my right calf and taking it easy. I will
hopefully be running to first base during softball tonight, but anything
longer than that, I'm taking the day off.
I believe that running saved me. It saved me from depression. It saved me from loneliness. Running gave me a whole new group of friends who "get" me and my craziness for needing to run. Running gave me a new lease on life. It allowed me to enjoy all the things I once did: softball, hiking, and in general just being outside. Running helped me to become the me I was before I got married. I can honestly say, that I'm thankful for the bad parts of my life because if they hadn't happened, I wouldn't be where I am now. I wouldn't have graduated from nursing school. I wouldn't have completed a half marathon. I know that for a fact. I love the life that running has given back to me.