Friday, June 27, 2014

I am a Runner

Hello, everyone. So...here we are. My first post on this blog.

Hmmm...I don't really know what I should say, so this is probably going to be pretty awkward and embarrassing, which is pretty much the story of my life. In fact, I'll just apologize right now for how awkward things will be from time to time. I can't help it. It is who I am. I'm awkward and riddled with anxiety on my best days. So...yeah...there's that. Okay, now I'm panicking a little because this isn't a very auspicious way to start things. I don't think you are supposed to say you are awkward when you first meet people. I think that people are supposed to find that out naturally over time. Anyway, here we go:

Hello. My name is Rebecca, and I am a runner.

Me looking awkward and embarrassed at my first race.
No, I don't win races. No, I haven't run a marathon...yet. No, I'm not skinny, nor am I fast. But I am a runner.

I am a runner because I run. I run slowly. Sometimes incredibly slowly. But I still run.

I started running last year on April 15, 2013. How do I know the exact date? Because me going for a run was such a tremendous accomplishment that I actually wrote it down. At first, running was hard and terrible and painful. But the more I ran, the easier it became. Before too long, I was actually enjoying running, and I found myself looking forward to my morning runs. Running helped me lose over 20 lbs, lowered my blood pressure, and made me start to feel a little better about myself. Then, in November of that year, I ran my first race - the Grant Park Turkey Trot 5k. No, I didn't win any awards. But I ran the whole race. I finished it. And I felt great! I was officially hooked. I though, "I just ran a 5k! I'm totally a runner now! Running is awesome!" Then...well...then things went downhill. I took a break from running. In fact, I took a break from pretty much everything I enjoyed. I was not in a happy place.

Towards the end of February, I started running again in an effort to regain some control over my own life. Guess what? After only 3 months of no running, running had become hard and terrible and painful again. But I refused to give up. I knew that as long as I kept running on a regular basis, it would start to get easier. And I was right! It still isn't easy, but it is getting easier. It is a slow process, but one I hope to chronicle here in this blog. I've signed up for a number of races to help keep me motivated. Races aren't for everyone, and they fill me with anxiety because I don't do well with crowds. But they also motivate me to get out the door and go for a run because they give me a goal to works toward and a deadline for that goal.

My first race after starting running again - Ravenswood Run 5k. 
Before I started running, I didn't think I could run. I was convinced that running was something that only skinny people did. I had reconciled myself to being one of the first people to die during a zombie apocalypse.

You know what? I was wrong. I can run. I will run. Some days it is a struggle. Sometimes I fail miserably. But I refuse to give up. I am a runner.


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