From Chaps to LuLu: How I became a runner…revised

 Morning!!  Several of you have asked how I became a runner.  This was my second post after I started this blog this summer and I want to share it with you again.  I made a few revisions but here it is in all it’s glory ya’ll…how this crazy running thing happened….

I thought it would be appropriate to share with ya’ll how I became a runner. Lord knows I was not born with this gene.  I was a tom boy growing up.  I wore hats, collared shirts and white wash jeans.  I did tease my bangs but other than that, I hated all things girly.  I wanted to ride bikes, get dirty and be a kid forever.  Literally.  However, I knew one thing about myself, I LOVED horses.  I was a horse girl.  Fortunately I grew up in a town with a cute little barn on every corner so it was an easy sport to get into.  I started riding when I was 8 and had my own horse by the time I was 10.  I rode every day after school and on the weekends.  I trained really hard and this naturally just became my sport. I started competing and that was the life I knew until I graduated high school.  I sold my horse, got a cute little 92′ beamer and left home for college.

I went to a small school in Oklahoma City called Southern Nazarene University for my freshman year on an equestrian scholarship.  I loved it and got to ride every day and hang out with family that lived in town.  But, I was dating this cutie(since high school by the way) who was going to SMU.  He proposed after our freshman year(if my kids ever do this, I’ll kill them) which threw an amazingly wonderful yet giant wrench in my plans.  His proposal meant getting married and moving to Dallas.

Once we got married (I’m trying to sum this up nicely without putting you to sleep) we moved to Dallas and I got certified to be a therapeutic riding instructor.  I worked as a trainer at a large therapeutic facility in the Dallas area while we both finished school. I loved it.  Then, the unexpected happened and oops, pregnant with our first son.  It was about a year earlier than we expected but hey, he’s amazing and clearly God knew what He was doing.  I “retired” as a trainer and focused on getting chubbier and more swollen with each passing month.  I achieved this goal with raging success.

yes this is a running pic..not one of me chubby and swollen.  Wait for it….

   I had really stopped working out after we got married.  After 4 years of very little exercise and way too many Wendy’s dinners on the couch, I knew it was time for a change.  I had my first son and found myself with a good 75 lbs to lose. Part of that was pregnancy weight but the rest had just crept up on me since getting married.  With all the frosties I can’t image why.

my goodness.  Here it is in all it’s glory.  I get really swollen though in my defense.  This was leftover fluid….mmm k?

I had always been active so finding myself in this position was frustrating.  I knew I needed to change so after Jake was born I joined the local YMCA and got to work. That was 8 years ago.  I HATED to run. Like, hated it.  I played basketball through jr high and was always the girl who wanted to throw up after every ladder.  I hated those suckers.  Who invented that kind of torture anyway?  I knew to get that much weight off I had to do something drastic, so I started running and totally changed my nutrition(more on that later…get excited).  At first it was a walk/run then I gradually shifted my ration so I was running more than walking.  That’s when it began.  My love of running.  It was born from a weight loss journey and has continued far after the lbs were lost and through two more pregnancies(both of which were much more active and healthy than the first).  I lost the 75lbs and have kept it off.

    I have since run 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, one full marathon and triathlons and am currently training for my second full marathon.  I just flat love it.  I think the racing took the place of the riding and competing.  Really that’s all I had known all my life. When I became a mom and realized those little competitive tendencies were still there, I needed a place to stash them.  It’s like these juices started flowing and needed a place to go.

I started out as an 11+ min miler and have worked my behiney off to bring that pace down.  I can now run a pretty decent 8:49 10k on a good day, but its still something that takes work for me and something I want to improve. Speed isn’t my natural bent.  Since my marathon in March I have been working and training on my 5k pace(I’ll post about speed work soon), something that is stinking hard for me.  I tend to warm up around mile 4, which does me zero good in a 5k.  I can’t be the only one who feels like I’m going to strangle myself that first mile right??  I’ll never be a 6 min mile.  Not because I don’t work hard but because I don’t think I’m mechanically built to be that fast.  I have thighs ok, and hips.  Hello babies.  I’ll keep working and if I get there, awesome. But, I’ve learned that running is for me.  It’s a time I can think, pray, reflect, escape and sweat regardless of what my pace is that day.

running has brought a lot of adventure into my life

it’s brought me even closer to this guy

it’s taken me to some amazing places

and it’s been work.  A lot of work and sweat and tears…and a TON of joy

For me, running is a gift.  It allows me to be competitive with myself.  It became fun, which is something I swore it would never be to me.  I can push myself and set new goals ahead that are fun to strive for.  It doesn’t matter how fast I am, or you are.  Just find something you love to do and go do it.  Chase after that thing and don’t be afraid to work for it….because sweating for it makes it so much sweeter.

If you are just starting out in this crazy sport, can I please BEG you to be patient?  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Choose a smart program(Couch2 5k for example) that will start you out slow and smart.  Go from there.  It is something I believe anyone can do.  Anyone.  Even you. 

2 comments on “From Chaps to LuLu: How I became a runner…revised

  1. I love this! My little running journey started out very similar after gaining the ‘freshman 15+’ during my first semester in grad school haha. It is so hard to stay patient sometimes but your 8:49 10k is huge motivation! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

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