When I started running, it was completely treacherous. I started out on a small, cheap treadmill that I bought at Walmart 3 years ago (it’s still going, by the way!). I had stopped smoking a year or so before that, and I decided that I didn’t have the crutch of bad lungs anymore to keep me from exercising. I began by running as much as I could and then walking and repeating it. So I’d run a whole minute or so and I’d walk for a few minutes. Then, I’d run another minute and walk. I never thought I’d make it to five whole minutes of running, then ten, and finally a mile. Those were all really big milestones for me. I remember being so excited that I’d hop onto the beginner’s forum at Runner’s World and tell everyone my accomplishments. They seem like nothing now, but I was really proud of myself for pushing forward. I was running at a 15 minute mile, the pace most people can walk. I was determined, though, to get faster.
I got terrible shin splints about a month or so into running. I was running on crappy training shoes that I bought at a discount shoe store. They were Adidas, but they were the wrong pair to be running in. I didn’t know this, so I kept running in them. The shin splints got so bad that I had to quit running for several weeks. I read up on them and wondered if I had caused stress fractures in my shins. That’s how bad it hurt. I was hobbling around in my classroom like an 80 year old woman. It’s comical now, but it wasn’t then. I finally took the advice of everyone on Runner’s World and went to a specialty running shoe store, Fleet Feet in Jackson, where they watched me run and fitted me with good shoes. They were Adidas Supernova Cushion, and I loved those shoes. They fit me like a glove! If there’s one thing about all runners, it’s that we really love our running shoes. It’s our sport’s main equipment, so it has to be good. After an update to the Supernova that didn’t agree with my foot, I switched over to Mizuno Waverider. They are also really great shoes.
In the midst of those treacherous runs on the treadmill and learning to adapt to road running through my neighborhood, I somehow gained a love for running. This is the part of my running that I can’t explain. It just happened. I remember hating running when I first started, but my goal was to lose weight, and I knew that I had to do some vigorous working out, so running it was. I remember balking at the people on the Runner’s World forums that boasted their love for running. Then, one day, I remember not hating it so much, then kinda liking it, and before long, just loving to do it.
Last fall, I completed my first 5K, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Tupelo. It was the most exciting race and a really wonderful experience. I didn’t increase my speed much until I began road training for this race. Up until a month before the race, I had not run over about 2 miles at a time. I was running at about a 14 minute per mile pace. The day I decided to do the race, I had run 2.5 miles, so I knew I could do 3.1 miles. The whole month of October, I trained hard. I ran as much as I could. My chip time for that race was 37:58 , or a little over a 12 minute mile! I couldn’t believe that I had improved my time so much. Since then, I’ve done a few other races and have improved my time even more. I’m running 5K in about 32:30, or a 10:41 minute mile. I’ll run the Komen Race for the Cure 5K again this October, where I hope to have gotten nearer to a 30 minute 5K. Last spring, I had gotten up to over five miles for my long runs. They wore me out, though, so I decreased my long runs but will get back to that distance at some point. I’d like to complete a 10K, which is 6.2 miles. I know I can do it, so that’s my next goal.