How I Got Into This Mess

15 Oct

And by ‘this mess’ I mean running.

When I lived in NY, I went to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. My gym was only a block away from my Astoria, Queens apartment so it was really hard to talk myself out of going. I usually spent my time alternating between the bike, the stair climber, the elliptical and the weights. I stayed as far away from the treadmill as possible. To me running was the devil.

But when I moved back to Florida, I lived in Tampa for 10 months and money was tight. Plus my hours at the office were long and the thought of coming home and working out within more walls made me cringe. So I started to walk along Bayshore Blvd. And then I started running ‘until the next light post’ or ‘until I passed those people walking their dog.’

Not long after, I moved back to Orlando and continued setting short term running goals:

  • Run around the block
  • Run around Lake Eola one time
  • Run 2 miles
  • Run 3 miles
  • Run the Turkey Trot 5k

I met a lot of these first goals with the help of my boyfriend Donnie’s support. He would run to Lake Eola (I would drive there) and he would run laps with me. He would tell me to dig deeper and push harder when I needed to hear it (and sometimes when I didn’t care to hear it). And he bought me my first pair of running shoes. Up until that point I had been running in old cross-trainers and had started to feel some pain in my ankles. Without his help, I would’ve given up early on.

Shortly before that first 5k I started to run with some ladies from my job and after running a few 5k’s we started talking about running a longer distance. Our friend Tim, who was also a co-worker, got tired of hearing us ladies talk about it, but never actually do anything about it. So he picked a small half marathon held in Baldwin Park in November 2009 and told us we were training for it. From then on we called him “Coach.”

Running with this group of friends was an incredible motivator. Together we ran, we laughed, we got lost on runs and we commiserated. We dragged ourselves out of bed on weekend mornings, we struggled, we got injured and we learned the importance of listening to our bodies. We encouraged each other and we pushed each other. By the time the half marathon came around, two of our ladies were injured and had to run the 5k instead. But we all showed up that morning ready to run:

Before the Baldwin Park Half. I am the one feeling strong. Donnie is the one tying is shoe. Roxy is waving and Tim is trying not to look nervous. Both Roxy and Tim placed in their age groups!

Donnie, Me, Tim (aka “Coach”), Roxy (all Half Marathon) and our 5k runners Theresa and Amy. Both Donnie and Tim smell like sweaty boys, which is why I’m keeping my distance.

Because we all have different paces and jobs now, we no longer run together. But occasionally you’ll still see us at the finish line cheering on our old running buddies.

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One Response to “How I Got Into This Mess”

  1. Roxy October 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    “It’s a whole new world.” Get it? Get it? Because next up we are running the DISNEY marathon!

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