I’m new to this running thing. It had never been something that I even thought of attempting. Yes, I participated in my Junior High Track and Field days or the Track Meets, but that was doing hurdles or a relay…not to mention many moons ago. I just never pictured myself as a runner. Somehow, over the past 10 years, nine of which have been spent bearing and rearing children, the thought of running has been dangling like a carrot in front of me.  The challenge of pushing myself to achieve something new is invigorating.

To start, it was not easy. This strange new world of beeping devices, ipods, monitors, BandAids on nipples? Panting while running, really? How unattractive is that? I read many magazines; Runner’s World, Running Times to name a few great sources of information. Searched on-line for the ‘Couch to 5K’ and decided to take the personal challenge of running at my own pace, on my terms.

So I laced up my sneakers and hit the gravel. I began my regimen by walking and incorporating short bursts of running or sprinting every few minutes. I truly enjoyed the walking, but despised the running. I couldn’t keep my mind off the burning in my thighs or the searing pain in my chest. Ugh! How do the seasoned runner’s do it? When will I find a rhythm? Will I settle into a pace? Why do I want to do this? And when I say WANT, I mean WANT to do this. Again, it’s that darn carrot dangling in front of me. I have asked friends how and when does one get to that point where they just run and run and find themselves tuning everything out and enjoying the run? They have all said it will come. “When the time is right for you, it will come.” I looked at them like “Yeah, right. Are you crazy? What’s the secret?” I was finding this extremely difficult to achieve. Then BAM, I was out for a quick run the other day and what do you know? I was running and running and running. I found myself thinking of things that I usually think of while walking and it felt good. No, it felt GREAT!! I had completely lost track of the time. I had been running without thinking about running. Months of persistence have begun to pay off. Adrenaline is like fuel! What matters is what you do, not how you do it. Who can despise something that helps boost caloric burn too? Woohoo!

Have I found my happy place while running? I do believe I have. Yes, there will be challenges. There will be good days and there will be bad days. But I did it! I finally nibbled on that carrot. Now, to get my hands wrapped around the whole carrot…

I just have to remind myself that I want this. Warrior Dash 2012 here I come!!!

Photo courtesy of David Hill (HDR-sport-photography) - www.pixzii.com