National Running Day: My Running Story

Good morning and Happy National Running Day!

On Basno.com they created a badge that you can fill in that says why you run. Mine is below and you can customize yours here! I would love to hear why you run, so if you fill out the badge, please feel free to share it with me!

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I must be honest that I also run in order to eat more grilled cheese and pretzels, both of which I have not had in a while…..so maybe today is the day for a run and a grilled cheese. Or a pretzel grilled cheese (what?).

Abby Wolfe

While creating the badge, we were also encouraged to share our running story. I got to read some of the stories and here are some of my favorites:

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There are so many more that I like, and frankly I like and respect any reason that everyone has. Whatever gets you running, moving, active….and loving yourself, which I think running can do by making you feel confident, powerful, strong, and on top of the world. Because so many others are sharing their running stories, I figured that I would share my story as well.

Abby’s Running Story

From the age of 5 to the age of 21, I was involved in competitive sports. From 5 to18 I played soccer, and from 12 to 21 I played field hockey. I cannot choose a favorite between the two because they are both so close to my heart. Sports taught me so many things–teamwork, dedication, persistence, and the love of the game no matter what the scoreboard showed at the end. I still have a group of best friends that I met when I was five, through playing soccer, and to this day I would drop everything for these ladies.

Okay, Abby, what does this have to do with running? Good question! I’m getting there. Field hockey and soccer are two amazing and challenging sports–I don’t care what anyone says. Both get a lot of slack (soccer is boring to watch, wah and field hockey is for girls, wah), but the level of athleticism that each requires is top notch. Do sprints as much as I have in the past 20 years and then get back to me. No, I’m not an elite sprinter…sprinting just for the sake of sprinting never truly interested me. Sprinting after a ball or after a person–that got my attention (now I sound like a dog.) But that’s the thing–these sports ingrained sprinting in me, and while each one required us to build endurance through the occasional long run, it was sprinting we focused on during the game and throughout the majority of practice. Our soccer coach always made us run long runs the day after a tough game to get the lactic acid out of our legs and I hated every second of it. Our cross country’s teams t-shirts said on the back “Our team’s sport is your team’s punishment” and I took that to heart. It did feel like a punishment.

Flash forward to college and I really wanted to be ‘a runner.’ One of the first things that instilled this dream in my head was, weirdly enough, the fake commercial from the movie What Women Want (which was well before my college years but that’s not the point). Sometimes when I run, I imagine Mel Gibson narrating it.

I thought that running was an awesome full body workout and that all runners had awesome bodies. Every time a runner passed me I would be jealous but I would also simultaneously think “you crazy.” I would run outside occasionally, but it never stuck. I always made excuses for not running. It’s too hot. It’s too sticky. I don’t have time. Running is boring. I have to watch 16 and Pregnant with Shelby.

In my first year of grad school, I took a class that required us to implement a behavior change into our lives. Mine was to run outside 3 times a week. To track it, I wrote a blog about it (which I can’t find…). It was a hard behavior change, and even though I was doing it for school, it still didn’t stick. Sure, I ran outside more than I did before (I even ran outside once when I went to Miami for Spring Break!), but after the challenge, that habit died. Looking back, I realize that I ran too fast each time, tiring myself out, making it hurt…and I also didn’t focus on my run. I focused on it being over, which made the minutes stretch into what seemed like hours (but were really only seconds).

Then, this year, I got peer pressured into signing up for and paying for a race–The Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon in March. Peer pressure can be a good thing sometimes. Motivated by my fear of not being able to run more than 4 consecutive miles and not crossing the finish line, I followed a plan. I learned more about running. I read about training plans and the reason behind rest days, tempo runs, runs for distance, and runs for speed. I learned how to pace, although I’m still having trouble with that one. And most of all, I focused on my mental training. I took the headphones out and focused on my surroundings. I took new routes that would help me see new things in my city. I focused on my thoughts, every feeling in my body, trying not to disassociate from my run. Sometimes, to pass the time of longer runs, I created plots for books in my head…because one of my bucket list items is to write a book some day (I’ve started about 24 and never gotten past the first page…maybe I’ll just merge them all together.)

And now…well, now I’m a runner. Half marathon 2 is on the schedule for THIS Sunday, and I couldn’t be more excited for it (minus that pesky IT band).

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What’s YOUR story? 

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2 thoughts on “National Running Day: My Running Story

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