Running used to suck. Running used to reeeeaaaaallly suck.
I didn’t start running until high school and that was only because I was forced to in order to play field hockey. I absolutely loved playing field hockey and some of my best memories are on the field–however, the regular old running part was just plain terrible. If I knew we had a conditioning practice that day I would spend every minute bemoaning my existence and complaining to just about every person I saw (what a joy I was!). I only ran because the end result was playing field hockey–so it’s only natural that once high school ended my running career ended with it. Sure, I still went to the gym, but spinning and ellipticalling (it’s a word, shhh) was the extent of my exercising. I ran from time to time, but it definitely wasn’t something I loved or did often.
College came and went and I spent 8 months post-university living on a farm with a few of my friends (which is a story unto itself!). We lived in a beautiful area with miles of cornfields, cowherds, hiking trails, and streams. I felt bad going to the gym knowing that I was missing out on all the natural beauty around me. So, after years of parting ways, I decided to rekindle my relationship with running.
At first, all I could think about was how much this still sucked. I would run for 2 minutes and have to stop to catch my breath. It didn’t matter how beautiful my surroundings were, I was totally defeated and absolutely hated everything about what was happening. For about a month this ridiculousness continued–I would run and hate it, run and hate it, run and hate it. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I got to workout outside and my workouts were shorter than the gym sessions. Gradually, however, I started to notice improvements. Hills that I once had to stop on, I now powered up without stopping. Instead of running for 2 minutes I could now run for 20, 30, and even 40 minutes without stopping. I fell in love with my improvements and slowly, but surely running became not a chore, but rather something I actually looked forward to. I completed my first triathlon that summer and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of an accomplishment!
After life on the farm, I continued running in Israel (its not so bad with the Mediterranean as your backdrop) and I picked it back up again in New York City. My friend Katie Rose and I decided to sign up for our first half marathon and now the girl who hated running is going to cross the finish line of a 13.1 mile race in less than a week. Of course, we did pick the Disney Princess Half Marathon, which I think is the perfect non-serious first race (not to mention, I get to go to Disneyworld–Minnie Mouse here I come!).
My training runs in New York City have been pretty great–8, 10, and 12 mile runs are definitely not easy, but running along the Hudson River isn’t so bad! Especially when the view looks like this:
Oh hey there Freedom Tower.
In just 11 days I’ll cross the finish line of my first half-marathon with my best friend–something I never even thought was possible. We’ll also be wearing tiaras and tutus, which is totally normal–and we’ll most likely be creating mayhem in the parks afterwards. See you in a few days Mickey!!