The Long Run

 18.8.11

Tonight I'm starting a "Learn to Run" program at our local running store and I'm SO excited!  I kind of feel like I know how to run, but I'm excited to re-learn, refresh my memory, and get active with like-minded people.  

Running isn't new to me though.

I never ran a day in my life up until about five years ago. Running helped me achieve the best shape of my life. I was running 10-15 km per DAY, eating clean foods that helped my training, and I was going to the gym regularly.  This routine had helped me lose 70 lbs and I was thrilled.  I loved running. I was a FAST runner with boundless energy and endurance. I was a machine! I was training for races and thought I could conquer the world.

My first half marathon! The longest distance I had run prior to this race was 10km -- the day before! I figure if I can run 10km, I can surely run 21K!

Running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2005. I had just started a new job earlier that month. I went home after the race, showered and went to work. I'm still a legend in my old office!

Finished the Chicago Marathon in 2006.

Then in November 2006, I ran the Chicago Marathon and it literally changed my running life forever.  I had a bad race. I bonked at 13K, and dug DEEP into my soul to finish the 42 km race. And I mean DEEP. Places in your mind that you don't want to go as a runner, especially during a MARATHON!

Throughout the entire marathon, my mind was racing -- I questioned my sanity running marathons; I kept telling myself that I was fooling myself into thinking that I'm actually a runner; I told myself that I was a joke and that I was the fat runner that everyone was laughing at. It was a dark run, that's for sure.

I finished the 42 km trek {and I wasn't LAST by a long stretch!} -- which is a huge accomplishment -- but all I felt was disappointment and despair. I had failed to meet my target time and I was miserable.

I never really ran again after this race.  It still haunts me.

Recently I started running in the evening alone and sometimes with a friend or two. I'm still haunted by those demons that tell me that I'm not good enough to be a runner.  Logically, I know I've completed two full marathons, a few half marathons, & various 5Ks & 10Ks -- that makes me a runner.

I recently read an amazing article in the current issue of Canadian Running Magazine written from an overweight runner's perspective. It inspired me to just get running, regardless of what anyone thinks or says -- myself included! It's a great article -- be sure to check it out.

I'm not sure what is going to help me to conquer these demons of self-loathing & my pity party low self-esteem. But what I know for sure is that the answer won't be find at the bottom of a bag of chips when I sitting on the couch -- it will be when I'm running. 

I hope this Run Club will help inspire me to find myself again.

3 comments:

Megan August 18, 2011 at 6:16 PM  

That's amazing! You should be so proud of what you have done! I started running a year ago and ran my first half last Feb and it was amazing, but I live in Texas and it's 107 outside everyday and I just can't get that many miles in and it's killing me :( I love running and had a hard time 'feeling' like a runner because I sure don't have a runners body {even after the 100 pounds it helped me lose!} I have no desire to run a full marathon, I felt awesome just after a half :) I just focus on how the exercise boosts my spirits and gives me some alone time away from stress and kids! Good for you for getting back in to it, try to focus on the positives! good luck!

the236.net August 18, 2011 at 8:17 PM  

Good for you Maggie! I did the Learn to Run program last summer and loved it! I was running previously before taking the clinic, so I was at the top of the pack. It helped my confidence and proved to me that I could in fact run, even if I had jiggly bits of my body a-shakin' when I ran! Anyone who gets their butt off the couch and consistently runs is a runner in my eyes.....doesn't matter their size, speed or other stats. For me, running makes me feel good about myself and it helps me de-stress. Yes, I run in races, but I look at them more as group runs with a few thousand friends! Good for you.....keep it up lady!

Arseneault Family November 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

I'm proud of you Maggie! I just saw this post now and found it very inspiring! We all have little dumb demons that try to control us and keep us from being the amazingness that we are. Thanks for opening up and inspiring me to face mine! ;)

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