Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rest assured, I am normal (sort of)

Those of you who knew me before I became a runner probably think I have gone off the deep end. Those of you who didn't know me before probably think I am some sort of fitness nut. Neither are true. Yes, I am a determined person and I work hard for what I want. But what would possess me to train to run 42.2km? Do I actually enjoy getting up early on Sunday morning to run for 3-4 hours? Don't I find it mind-numbingly boring? Don't I have a life?? Hmm, interesting questions. I guess, running is just a part of my lifestyle at the moment. It keeps me going and keeps me pushing towards new goals. Long distance running is something that I have never been able to do. When I was in grade 8, I was one of the better runners in my class (we often ran maybe 1-2km in gym class), and my teacher encouraged me to join the cross-country team. I think they ran 3-4km in their races. Whatever distance it was, I couldn't do it. I would run out of breath, get cramps, and walk the last 1/3 of the race (our team still came in 3rd in the district that year simply because I completed the races, however). I didn't train. I hated running because it made me feel ill. I didn't realize that I was simply trying to run too fast. Fast forward to the present. When I first started exercising regularly, I can remember not being able to run for more than 5 or 10 minutes at once. Oddly enough, it's possible that I am more proud of the progress I have made in my fitness than my university degrees! Yes, my finisher's medals are displayed more prominently in my office than my diploma :P

But I am a normal person. Really. I like to eat. A lot. And one of the benefits of running is that I can eat. A lot. Even donuts once in awhile :) I don't look forward to every run. Today, I dragged myself out for an 8k run and my legs felt like they weighed a ton. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts...it was 15deg today. Some people stared (they were wearing long pants and jackets). I struggled through my run, shuffling along with great effort. I told myself I had to run because I needed to burn the calories. Good thing that I did too, because I ended up eating a few timbits tonight ;)

Maybe I am writing this just to convince myself that I am normal...hehe. I am still surprised when people call me an athlete, and quickly deny it. Yet, I smile when people call me a crazy runner...that, I will admit to. :D


jennifer said...

You are an athlete, anners! And it's great to see you so proud of yourself. I can totally relate to all that you're feeling-- being the huffing/puffing non-athlete in high school (yes, I would try to go too fast), feeling like I have had true success in running, more so than in other pursuits in my life. It's quite amazing, isn't it. :)

It is a bit crazy for us to be going out and running 3-4 hours on sunday, and it's not "nomral" -- if it were, everyone could do it. It's pretty special. :)

p.s. I'm not surprised that your 8K run was hard-- some the effects of a hard long run are felt most intensely two days later. It will feel easier next time.

G said...

I wish I could be there to see you run the marathon!

Well, at least the last 200 metres or so... :)

Snowbride78 said...

Wow, its nice to see someone else who is documenting their journey. You are an inspiration to beginners like me who is only doing 2/1 at this point. Keep it up!