I was just thinking yesterday that I need to do a running-based post, because my blog is called Lizard Runs, but all I’ve been talking about is triathlon training, and then I realized today is National Running Day! It’s kismet!
If you go to the National Running Day website, you’ll see that they talk about running for just 5 minutes. And it’s so so so true. I used to ask my friend how she ran 2 miles at a time because it was so boring. I used to hate the 10k, because it took forever. I swore I would never do a marathon. I swore I would never do a triathlon. Three marathons and two triathlon training seasons later, here I am to say that all it takes is that first step. Where you go from there is totally up to you.
If you start out just running around the block (oversized maroon sweatshirt and Discman optional), your co-worker might ask you to run the fun run with her son while she and her husband do a race. And you might have a great time, but let running fall by the wayside, until your rugby teammate asks you to sign up for a 5k on your campus, benefiting Habitat for Humanity. So you might do it, just because it’s there, just to see if you can finish. And it might be really hilly and really hard, but you and another friend just might gut it out and get through it.
Then you might just stick with this running thing, because it’s a good way to stay in shape for rugby, and you might enter some other 5ks and then try a 10k (and hate it) because your friend is doing them. And you might join a running group and try track workouts, and begin to understand the idea of pushing yourself, but then you might get debilitating shin splints that keep you up at night and hurt when you walk, and you might get to a point where the thought of running fills you with dread. So you might stop.
And then, two years later, because you’ve had to stop playing rugby to fit in graduate school and a full-time job, you might start running again with the school’s 10 mile training program. You might have no intention of doing a 10-mile race. You just want to be in shape, to be able to say that you could run 10 miles. So you might go through the training and sign up for a race after all, because you’ve put in the work. And you might get out there and run that race and find yourself on hilly but beautiful country roads out in Annapolis, where you work harder than you ever have but somehow pull out a 7:30 last mile and catch that woman you’d been running behind all along and finally fall absolutely in love with running.
You and running might just go on to have a wild, tumultuous love affair, one in which you both say things you don’t mean, and oh boy, running might hurt you, but you still always forgive each other. You spend more and more time together, because no one gets you quite like running.
But you might not. You’ll never know until you take that first step.
So happy running day! I’m celebrating by going for a bike ride. I know.