A friend of mine asked me over email why I started running. My response, below.
I started doing it, honestly, because Will started doing it. At that point, Will hadn't really done anything athletic, so I thought we could do it together. But I sprained my ankle so I thought when I got better he'd be at a point where he'd be in shape enough to run with me.
Except that Will is a natural runner and was not only good but FAST and he zoomed way ahead of me. So when he signed up for his first race (the Redondo Beach 5k on Superbowl Sunday 2011) I thought "well, I could at least walk it."
I ran part and walked part, and finished in around 42 minutes. My next 5k I ran when Will ran his first half-marathon. I believe my time was somewhere around 33 minutes.
Then I ran two 10ks. I walked part of the first one. The second I ran the whole thing. I followed up with the half-marathon, and this past Sunday ran my first trail race, a 6K.
I don't like training much, but I like races. And I found that I don't mind training if it's outside. Then I discovered trail running which I haven't really trained for when I signed up for last week's run and it's basically hiking, but like, fast. And that just seems kind of awesome to me.
I am NOT fast and I am NOT good at it. Which is weird because I'm competitive and if someone can be first at something, I want it to be me.
In every race I've run, I finish consistently in the bottom 50% to bottom 25%.
I was 60 out of 69 people last weekend.
I am not fast. I am not graceful. I am not built like a runner. My boobs are too big and my hips are too wide and I'm still carrying an extra 15 pounds.
I don't care.
I don't care because I know that I'm challenging myself. It's always hard. There hasn't been a single race that I've run where I think "yeah, finally this is easy." The only thing that matters is that I get out there and that I finish.
Every runner I've met at a race has been really supportive. Our friend Billy runs ultra-marathons (he ran a 50K last weekend at the same event! THIRTY MILES THROUGH HILLS) and he is as kind and cheerlead-y. (His legs probably also look good in a skirt.)
I would like to get better at it, but the fact that it's hard is what I like about it the most.
Is that weird? It probably is.