I am a runner because I run.
Not because I run fast.
Not because I run far.
I am a runner because I say I am.
-John Bingham, author and runner
Good stuff, huh? Well, I am almost 30 and am just now becoming a runner. Here's a little timeline on how I learned to love running...
3 years old - I entered my first race. Ha! Well, it was a fun-run with my dad's work. My dad did the whole thing with me and carried my baby doll the whole way. I even got a medal after that race. I think I came in 3rd for my age group - out of 3 people I'm sure.
8 years old - My parents signed me up for soccer. I LOVED my team because we were called the Pink Predators (I know...intimidating). I really liked our all-pink uniforms, but I apparently told my parents that soccer involved too much running and didn't want to play another year. Really it was because the other girls were mean to me, but I didn't like the running either. I wasn't very good.
14 years old - It was the summer after middle school and my friend Becca and I went to register for high school together. There were so many tables set up with opportunities for extra curricular activities. It was a little overwhelming, but something drew us to the cross country table. We were both interested as we talked to the coach and some of the runners. We were then handed a summer running schedule and I about died. What? You have to run for how long? Of course, I gave up the idea of becoming a cross country runner because I didn't think I could do it. Becca, on the other hand, became an awesome runner. She ran for miles and miles and continued on with track. Looking back, I wish I had pushed myself to do it.
For the next 15 years, I didn't run. I may have run on the treadmill for the bit at the gym or around my college campus. I was never consistent with running and I never did a race. I have never been the most sports-oriented person. I'm not competitive OR coordinated. I was a cheerleader for 12 years of my life. It suited me just fine. I could be happy and peppy and jump around and wear cute bows in my hair!
28 years old - Isaac was a few months old when I decided to enter my first 5K race. I didn't train at all and had never run more than 2 miles in my LIFE. However, I finished. I didn't run the whole way, but I finished. This race motivated me and I knew that if I had a race to look forward to, I could have the inspiration to train.
29 years old - I discovered the Disney Princess Half Marathon....
So, now I am training for this half marathon and I have worked up to running 5 miles so far. When I first started training, I couldn't even run a whole mile. I looked at my training schedule (that my awesome coach husband created for me) and saw that I should be running 5 miles by November. I thought that once I could run 5 miles, I would officially be a "runner". It's still hard to call myself that. I need to remember the quote above. I am a runner because I run.
I still have a long way to go, but I am proud of myself. It is so fun to see myself improving and getting better at something. It goes against all laws of my nature to get myself out there and run. I am not an athlete by any means. I just want to exercise and be healthy (and get a tiara medal).
I am not really concerned with how long it takes me to finish the Princess Half Marathon. I just want to run across that finish line. Ideally, I want to run the whole race without having to walk. I cannot wait!
I am a runner because I say I am.