When I first moved to Florida, Jeff was in month one of his first deployment. I had two friends that I knew in the area, was preparing to start my new teaching job, and needed a hobby…badly.
The day I moved down, one of my (two) friends gave me a heads up that we were running a 5K…in 8 days!
To say I’m not a runner is an understatement. My body just doesn’t work well with running. Sand volleyball, golf, long walks; all great! Running…not so much.
But in the name of not losing friends, I started training. And the more I ran (or jogged….and walked…), the better I felt and the longer I could go.
My first 5K I ran in 39 minutes. And felt awful afterwards. I had to walk nearly two-thirds of it and I felt like crap because of it; I got passed by moms with strollers!! STROLLERS people! How humiliating! But a part of of me felt exhilarated and I got a free t-shirt! Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt!
I ran about 6 races that year and my times got better with every race. I never became very fast, but I liked the idea of donating to great causes and being apart of something bigger than myself while giving my body a great workout.
The two races I enjoyed most were the Wounded Warrior 8K and the Gator Bowl 5K. The Wounded Warrior 8K benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and it happened to fall on the 4 month mark of Jeff’s deployment. I missed him dearly and vowed to run the first two miles without stopping, something I hadn’t done previously.
The Gator Bowl 5K was in honor of our Ohio State Buckeyes making it to the Gator Bowl in 2011. Jeff was home by this time and was able to run it with me. Running with a full necklace of buckeyes probably wasn’t my best idea, but it had to be known where our loyalties were, especially since it was the year that Urban Meyer announced his leaving Florida to come coach at OSU!
2012 came and I got really busy with life and preparing for our wedding. I stopped running and making excuses for not getting out and being active after the wedding as well. I didn’t gain a whole bunch of weight, so I figured it was fine, but now I miss that feeling that came with running the 5Ks. I miss the causes, the people, and my Saturday tradition of running 5Ks and then getting Bagels-R-Us.
Today is the day that I vow to get back into it. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but with the help of a great Couch to 5K program like this one from The Color Run, I hope to be back in 5Ks as soon as I get to Cali in June! Here’s the a healthy mind, body, and soul!
Who’s with me?!