We thought it would fun, if not for our readers for ourselves, if we wrote about what caused us to start running in the first place. There are tons of reasons we run now. Our journey in getting there however, those first miserable, slow steps, is mildly pathetic and somewhat amusing. Once again, Lydia will be writing in italics and Annie in regular font. Enjoy!!
My dad ran multiple full marathons, countless 10ks and 5ks when I was a kid…and now, in his early 60s, he can still kick my butt. Seriously, we just ran a 5k on Thanksgiving and he totally beat me. And my sister. And Annie. Because of his influence, I’ve always been or wanted to be a “runner”.
In high school, I’d run a couple miles around the neighborhood and in college I trained for a marathon with my roommate. (I decided to go to Africa, so I didn’t actually run the marathon.) But when I really got “serious” about running was after my fourth daughter was born. I gained 70lbs…yes you read that right. I was about the size of a house. I decided I’d start running again. When my husband would get home from work, I would literally run out the door. An hour alone was the best thing that I could have dreamed of. I lost the weight and got in “shape” and signed up for my first half marathon. By the time that race came around I was four months pregnant.
I ran the half anyway…very slow but finished and had a blast. After my fifth and final baby was born I got back at it. Running everyday, signing up for as many races as my finances would allow, and love-hating every minute of it.
When my youngest was five months old, my sister-in-law talked me into running a little local race. There was a total of 30 people running. The sweeper ran with me the entire race because I was dead last. As we ran past the volunteers helping direct traffic, she very loudly informed them that I was last. She made it very clear there was no one else behind me. As I got close to the finish line, a policeman at the last intersection felt the need to give me some “encouragement”. When I ran by he yelled “you go, girl”. I replied that I was trying to. He decided it would be a good idea to run with me across the finish line…blowing his whistle. The whole time. And that’s the race I lost. My biggest regret is that I didn’t take a picture with him.
Things became much more fun and hilarious in my running life when Annie decided to join me in the insanity that is “running for fun”.
Ah, running, and how it all began. When I was in middle school I participated in two week-long community track camps. One of the events was running the mile. It was some of the worst torture I’d ever endured. Why would anyone want to run that long for fun? I avoided all things running (or exercise related) like the plague for the next twenty years. Honestly, zero, zip, none.
Fast forward to two years ago. A friend of mine has a local run club which he heavily (he resorted to manipulation and threats) encouraged me to try. After several months of hemming and hawing, I found myself reluctantly run/walking with a group of people who were all relatively new to running.
A few months later, Lydia convinced me to sign up for a St. Patrick’s Day 5k. I grudgingly agreed. We were carpooling down with a group and when I met them at the park and ride and opened up the door, I immediately realized I knew nothing about this kind of running. Here was a car stuffed with my friends, dressed head to toe in green and gold, tutus, tights, makeup, everything! As for me, I was dressed all in black and gray to fit my mood. I completed the 5k and, to my surprise, ran the whole way. I got to experience being passed by a person in a full blown inflatable leprechaun costume, as well as a dad pushing a stroller who had started in the wave 15 minutes behind mine. My favorite piece of that race, however, was watching how much fun my group of friends was having dressed up like insane people and laughing at each other.
Each month of running for me is a struggle. I can honestly say I hate running. It’s not fun and I don’t understand the people that love it (I may be slightly jealous). What I think keeps me coming back, however, are all the people and laughs along the way. It’s provided some of the most humorous moments of these last two years. Although I don’t enjoy it, oddly enough, I love that I don’t enjoy it…it makes me laugh!
These days Lydia and I are usually signed up for at least one race a month. Occasionally I even dress up, although I’m quite grumpy about it. You’ll probably find us toward the back of the pack, most likely stumbling over something or someone along the way. At the end, we’re the ones collecting as much swag as possible, stuffing our faces with food, and making fools of ourselves in general. I wouldn’t have it any other way!