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The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step

November 16, 2010

Most runners know exactly when and where their relationship when running started. For me, this isn’t exactly true. My rehearsed answer that I tell anyone that asks is that I started walking not long after joing Weight Watchers on a crusade to lost over 100 pounds. In the midst of my newfound walking, I walked in a 5k (more for the silver charm that I would get from Weight Watchers to put on my keychain than for the race itself). After walking the 5k, I was determined to run in one, and I eventually did.

It’s a good story right? Girl sets goal for herself and succeeds! The truth is, however, it was not my first run-in with a 5k, or my first pledge to myself to run in one. A few years prior to this, I did a mile fun walk and watched my cousin complete a 5k. I set a goal for myself to run in that very 5k the next year. A few weeks and some spotty treadmill runs later, I had forgotten about that goal…or at least pushed it to the back of my mind.

Okay, so the second story isn’t inspiring at all. Well, it gets worse. I hated running growing up. I played basketball and softball, but absolutely loathed any part of it that involved running. The worse, by far, were “triangles” we would run in softball (think suicides a la basketball, but homeplate and both foul poles were involved). Running triangles in August heat in Oklahoma was no fun at all. One practice, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, so I had to compe up with a plan to get out of it. I was a contact wearer, and you need to be able to see to run, right? A quick pluck of a contact later and I had “lost” a contact. I only did it once, and I felt horribly guilty afterwards, but it got me out of running, right?

So how did the hatred of running turn into love? “Girl sets goal for herself and succeeds!” Remember? As I tell people, I made the decision after walking a 5k to train to run in one. I did the Couch to 5k program ( almost to completion before injuring my knee. A few months and several Physical Therapy sessions later, I did the Couch to 5k program again. The first 5k I ran in? It was the one I had watched my cousin run in a few years before. While I may not have met my original goal of running it a year later, I got there eventually. I followed it with several more 5ks, the Route 66 Quarter Marathon, and the Tulsa Run.

As for those triangles? Maybe I will attempt to conquer them someday-head held high-with 20/20 vision.


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