GUEST POST, Jen
Today I am happy to bring to you my first guest post for this site. I am even more happy to say that it is from a fellow Maine-uh who I have yet to meet in person, (we will take care of that once her busy racing season has finished and life slows down!) but I feel like I’ve known her for years! She has quite a story to tell here, and it certainly is very close to mine. Without further adieu, may I present to you, “Jen” from “Runningwiththegirls.com“.
Finding My Mojo
Believe me when I say this, running has not always been a friend of mine. Actually, would you believe this when I tell you, that in high school that I was on the track team but I DID NOT RUN? I flat out refused to run. So, what did I do on the track team? I tanned, I mean, I was a thrower. I was a very lazy thrower at that. Getting a tan was far more important to me at that point in my life. Oh and spending time with my high school boyfriend was important too. He was on the track team, so being on the team meant more time with him. Yep. The things you do for love. (by the way, Ward was not my high school boyfriend – he was a trackstar at a neighboring high school and I had no idea who he was back then)
Back to the mojo story.
It’s really foggy as to when I really started running. I used to jog with Ward around Bath in the early years of our marriage. But I hated it. I hated it a lot. He used to say – “now, look up and push it to that stop sign/pole/bush/whatever” and I would usually spout back – “I can’t breath! I have asthma!”. I know, silly me. If I really couldn’t breath, I wouldn’t have been shouting at him.
Then we decided to go for it and have a baby. I stopped exercising all together – and ate and ate and ate, and then ate some more. I tipped the scales around 210 lbs near the end of the pregnancy. I remember crying on the scale when I saw the numbers going past 200.
I was even more disappointed that the weight didn’t just disappear after having Tucker. Why couldn’t I be one of those skinny girls who wear their skinny jeans home the day after giving birth? Ha. I guess you’d have to be a skinny girl prior to the pregnancy and NOT eat at McDonalds for a majority of the pregnancy.
A little over a year after Tucker was born, I was still holding onto to those pounds and not feeling very good about myself or healthy.
My lovely sister-in-law started working out at a gym and started losing weight. Being quite envious of her success, I joined the gym and started using the stationary bike and elliptical machine. Slowly but surely I started to see some results. We then incorporated Weight Watchers into our regime and then the weight really started coming off. Success!!!
In the meantime, my trackstar, running loving husband is still running and looking absolutely THE SAME. He suggested that I start running and then said the magical words – that I would burn calories faster if I ran. I was sold.
For a long time, I would only jog on the treadmill at the gym and only if there were not a lot people were there. But I still didn’t love running. I liked that I saw the weight dropping and my body changing and how I felt, but I still didn’t love it.
Then we started doing some 5ks. They were good enough. 3.1 miles was far enough. I thought those people who ran more than that were just crazy. I wasn’t fast at all and I did a lot of run/walk combinations. I would even finish a race, barely winded and tell Ward all about the gorgeous houses and ask him what he thought about them. He would get mad at me and tell me that I obviously had more left in the tank if I was barely winded and I was checking out houses.
Then we heard about the LL Bean 10K and if you signed up, you’d get a FREE pair of New Balance running shoes. 6.2 MILES? Really? That was far. But for FREE shoes, sure thing! We all signed up. Jill, Wade, Ward and myself. I remember for our training, Jill and I thought it would be such a huge task if we drove a car to the Augusta end of the Rail Trail and run the entire way to Gardiner. That was a huge step for us. When we finished that run, I remember feeling incredible but sick. I had just found out that I was pregnant and was sick all of the time. I still did that LL Bean 10K.
Fast forward to the next year, and we took on the LL Bean 10K again. I ran with our friend’s Jess and Dan and we chatted most of the way. But then with a mile left, something completely clicked in me and I took off for the finish line. I still don’t understand what happened, but I would say that it was when I started to feel the runners high. A month later, I ran the Beach to Beacon, didn’t run with any friends and took 7 minutes off my 10k time! That was it. I was hooked on running. That was back in 2009.
It took me years from the time I started running for me to really fall in love with it. Now I cannot imagine my life without it. I am thankful for each day when I can run. I hope I will have many, many more years of enjoying running.
This article was originally posted by Louise Cunningham on Runnersramblings.com.