I remember running in high school for PE. We had to run a mile in 10 minutes and 3 miles in 35 minutes. It was pure torture. I hated every single minute of those dreaded runs, especially the 3 mile one. After high school, when I didn’t “have to” run anymore I just knew it wasn’t in my future. I hated running and wasn’t going to run anymore.
In August of 2009 we were just getting settled into our new home in Arizona. I had two small children aged, 3 and 18 months. I had been giving all of my time and energy to my family and I was feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. I didn’t know what was missing in my life but I knew that if I continued on the path I was traveling I was going to be a bitter person. Something had to change. I had some friends who were running and I thought, why not me?
I remember my first run was on a treadmill at the gym on base. They had a small room for parents who were working out with kids. The room had a partition and the kids could play and watch TV as you worked out and watched them at the same time. My first mile was in an old pair of Nikes that I’d had for probably 6 years. Something about that run sparked something in me that I hand’t felt before.
For the first time in forever I was doing something for just me and it felt amazing. I felt proud of myself for doing something that I once hated and I was starting to love it. I signed up for my first 5k and tackled that in October, in November I did a 10k. I got really gutsy and signed up for a half in January. I went on to run several more half marathons before getting pregnant with my son in August of 2010.
I was running 4 times a week, usually at night after my kids were in bed. My body was changing but most importantly my soul was changing. I’d head out for a run and I would come home at peace. Running truly helps me cope through the chaos of life. I exercise a lot but there is nothing that feeds my soul like a good run.
It’s been 4 years now since that first run and I’ve run 2,458 miles. I’ve run short runs and long runs. I’ve gone fast and I’ve gone slow. I’ve battled injuries and running funks. I’ve had amazing runs and awful ones. I’ve run solo and I’ve run with friends. I’ve stopped for pregnancy and started up again when it seemed impossible. I accomplished a life long dream of running a marathon and had to let go of other race dreams. But through it all, running has always been my soul food. Running never takes more than it gives back.