|I’m not one for selfies – I’d rather be in group photos so here are my lovely kicks.|
I ran long distances in middle and high school and I was pretty good at it.
Let’s not confuse the above statement for “I love running” because that is inaccurate.
Being good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you love it, which is why after I graduated high school I stopped running long distances for an entire decade.
Fast-forward to 2014 and a lifestyle that no longer had me riding two horses a day, practicing for basketball/volleyball/track/cheerleading/roping, walking all over campus or working 20 hours a week doing manual labor at a nursery (that’s a tree nursery, not a kid one) and Buzzard was looking kind of frumpy. Picture that – a frumpy Buzzard.
I have some really smart, beautiful and talented friends who run and one of them, Kylee, unintentionally motivated me to run a half marathon. I don’t think that was her intent but, if so, bravo to her because it got me off the couch, out of my office and onto the [gravel] roads of Kansas. I signed up for my first half marathon, the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo on April 27, 2014, and the next step was to find a training program. I’m a big fan of Hal Higdon’s programs – he’ll whip you into shape and you won’t even realize how hard you’re working because it’s gradual and planned. There’s even an app for that!
Out into the wild I went, pounding the gravel in my Nike Free 5.0 runners.* I ran four times a week and finished well under my goal time of 2:11:00 (10 min/mile). After that emotional high of, “Holy crap I ran a half marathon” I signed up for another and ran the Sioux Falls Half Marathon with my close pal Becca and we both finished under 2:00 (new PR!). I started training for my third race that was to take place two days after Christmas but then I was an idiot and went skiing two weeks before the race. I played softball for 12 years and have bad knees – skiing is not such a great idea for me. My idiocy forced me not to run that race but since I am adamantly opposed to buying larger pants, I have recently started training for another race.
So I told you all of that nonsense to tell you this: I don’t like running. What I do like is how I look when I’m in shape (bikini season is coming). Additionally, and probably most importantly, is my extreme love for food and equally as strong lack of moderation. I like ice cream. And donuts. And cookies. And Cheetos (crunchy, of course). And a whole lot of unhealthy fried things. Basically, I love carbs.
In short, I run to look good and eat whatever the hell I want. So if you see me chowing down on a chicken fried steak covered in gravy, it’s probably because I ran 7+ miles that day and dammit, I earned it. Also, if I’m being honest, I’m very competitive and running allows me to set a goal and then exceed it. That gives me a “competitor’s high.”
Over the next ten weeks, I’ll be posting my training schedule and, more than likely, food patterns for my next race in April, the Garmin Half Marathon in KC. I’m running it with my good friend Kelly and she too will be blogging about her training. Even though we are training for the same race, the posts will be different because we are different people with different food interests and goals.
The whole point of this post is that people run for different reasons — their heart health, their body image, to eat what they want, to clear their head, to listen to their favorite tunes for hours on end, etc. Regardless of why people do it, the point is that we are all running the same race but for different reasons. And that’s something to be celebrated.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
*Don’t run long distances in Nikes. My chiropractor calls them sandals, so that should be your indication of how supportive Nikes are when running more than 10 miles on a regular basis. I was at the point where I could barely walk but for some reason, I kept running. Use your head, people. Invest in good running shoes. The cost of the shoes will be offset by the money you’ll save from NOT going to the chiropractor twice a week.