when i tell you i wasn’t a runner prior to 2011, i’m not exaggerating. i have always loved a good long walk, and i am a huge fan of hiking, but until i moved to little rock for grad school the thought of running never really crossed my mind. i am a pretty slow and plodding runner; i always had an image in my head of what a “real runner” looked like, and it wasn’t me. to be completely honest it still isn’t. to this day i continue to describe myself as a “pretend runner”.
but then i went back to school and was looking for ways to keep myself active when i knew i would be spending most of my days sitting in class and most of my evenings reading. i heard about little rock’s marathon weekend pretty soon after moving there and decided to sign myself up for a 10k, figuring i had about six months to get myself ready for it.
and then something interesting happened: i found i kind of enjoyed running. i was still slow [some things never change], but i didn’t care. i wasn’t running for other people, i was running for myself, and every time i headed out for a jog it was time i was taking for myself to be active and to think through things that were going on in my life. it was guaranteed alone time away from emails and readings and papers and being forever reachable, something i have always struggled with. and with each run i learned more about my body and how it works, and both my mind and body became stronger.
i completed that 10k in march 2012 and decided i was going to stick with running even though that race was over, and while i’ve had some ups and downs in the intervening years, i mostly have. i’ve run in bombay and bangalore. i’ve run in budapest and barcelona. i’ve run in malaysia and in memphis. it hasn’t been as consistent as i would like, but that’s ok.
in the years since i started running i’ve completed some 5ks, a few 10ks, and three half marathons, each of which has been the most challenging and most fulfilling physical activity i’ve ever undertaken. i don’t know that i have another half in me [definitely not with my current work schedule, at least], but i am pretty happy managing a few short runs each week.
and slowly but surely, that mileage has added up. i have used the nike run club app to track my miles from the very beginning, and just recently [on my birthday!] i crossed 1,000 miles run. it’s more than some and less than many, but it is a huge accomplishment nonetheless. i often say i get easily distracted and don’t always follow through on things, but somehow this is something that has stuck. i am very proud of hitting this milestone, and i am going to take this moment to congratulate myself for doing something i never thought i would do.
there are always more miles to be run and more milestones to hit, but for today i am going to sit back and revel in this one for a little while longer.