Three years ago, I was really into running. I would finish up with classes, hang out with friends while we did homework, and then before work I would head outside to do some running. I was training for my first 5k. Sometimes, it was the best part of my day: putting on my pump-up music and going out to run while the sun went down. I was a basketball player in high school and distance running was never fun for me. So the fact that I was once at a point where I could run a mile without stopping was truly amazing for me.
Why Did I Stop?
Well… my relationship with running and exercise in general was not the healthiest back then. That was when I was fighting a major battle with depression and had relapsed into an eating disorder. But it progressed even worse for me to develop a small bout of exercise bulimia. I would not eat unless I ran or burned the same amount of calories at the gym. I felt like I needed to have permission to eat. Everything was very calculated.
I became so judgmental of myself. One night I didn’t make the time I wanted, so I inadvertently ran pretty much another 5k. In the time I had left my dorm, the temperature had plummeted from in the high 40s to the low 30s and I was only wearing a long sleeve shirt and shorts. My knees were burning and throbbing, and yet I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t let myself. My best friends had to force me to take an off day so I wouldn’t injure myself.
Once I ran the 5k, I had become so wrapped up in school that I quit running completely, and never picked it back up… until now.
Why Start Again?
Well, I want that feeling back. Going back to the very beginning, the slightly (but also healthy) competitive nature of “if I could just knock a few more seconds off my mile” and checking out the scenery as I run. I miss dropping everything and shutting the world off for about an hour while I went out to run. I just want to have a fun outlet that can also help keep my weight in check that isn’t just weights and cycling. Basically, I need something else.
What Will Be Different?
There are several reasons why my relationship with running will be healthy this time around. The first and most important being, I have a much better support network around me. When I ran the first time, my entire support network lived far away from me. The one close “friend” I had at the time (future boyfriend) treated me like garbage. NOW, I have a loving and supportive family right around me, my loving and supporting boyfriend, and TWO friends who are running experts. I’m also not super overwhelmed with school or work, so running is not viewed as a coping mechanism.
What Are My Goals?
I don’t have any extreme goals when it comes to running. I don’t want it to become a self-destructive habit again. Therefore, I will keep it casual and run because I want to. I will be running races around where I live, but I’m not going to say I want to run a specific time. That is what makes training miserable. Essentially, my goals are to be able to finish a 5k without stopping, get back to a 10-minute mile, and MAYBE run a half marathon down the road. I won’t be putting pressure on myself to do it if I really don’t want to, though.
So… if you are also wanting to get back into running, shoot me an email or a message on IG if you’re wanting a support network! Let’s put in our earbuds and lace up our sneakers, and get to work!