Okay, feel free to laugh at me or slap me silly. Whatever you feel is most appropriate. If you had asked me a year ago, I probably would have done both. Me? Run? HA. There better be zombies following me. Or like a really big bee (allergy probs).
I can explain, I swear I'm not crazy. I grew up swimming. My theory is that its arguably one of the cheapest sports to put three kids in, and we all swam at the same meets. My parents were obviously sold on that one. Or my sister got pissy about dance and started a trend, whichever is the real reason we all swam, we just plain did it. I found out in fifth grade I had exercise induced asthma (while running the mile in gym class ironically). Cue the use of an inhaler before every swim race and six times throughout practice. Part of swimming is learning to control your breathing (obviously, your head is under water). It's really freaking hard to control your breathing when your head is under water and you are asthmatic. Add to that the chlorine fumes you breathe in at the surface of the water, and my lungs were constantly irritated. I missed a whole month of school my freshman year of high school due to chemical burns in my sinuses and lungs from that very issue.
There is no feeling that can compare to the rush of standing on a diving block, waiting for the starting gun to go off, signaling the start of a race. Its intense, and its quiet, and its exhilarating. When the gun goes off and you dive in the water, its quiet. Its just YOU. Swimming is an individual sport, all of the pressure is on yourself to succeed. So how does this even relate to running? I'm getting there I promise.
When I go running, its just me (and my dogs if I take them). I don't run with others, because I honestly am horrible at pacing and there is no one around that would want to run with me (thanks Justin). There is no pressure to run faster, unless I push myself. Its a mental game to see just how far I can go, to see if I can decrease my mile time. I'm left alone with my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams. For me, running reminds me so much of swimming. It clears my head and allows me to laser focus on things that often get pushed to the side in my busy life. I have time to plan for my upcoming work week, think about what goals I want to accomplish next. Running gives me an adrenaline high I haven't had since I hung up my swim suit seven years ago. The rush of the air in my face, lungs burning, heart pumping was a feeling I didn't know I would miss so much when I stopped swimming.
Today, I decreased my mile time by a whole freaking minute. Yeah, I gave Sitka a high five....to the nose. How else was I supposed to do it? He doesn't know how to high five and I was just too excited! That was the fastest I had ever run a mile in my LIFE. I am not built to be a runner, I'm super short with even shorter legs. My mile time is 8 minutes and 45 seconds. By no means an Olympic Record, but hey I was happy about it. When I started my fitness journey a year ago, I was running a 14 and a half minute mile. Patience is not one of my strongest suits, so working towards being a faster runner has been difficult for me.
But alas, I am off to celebrate how utterly kickass my run was today. A delicious salad and PBR have my name on them, because balance baby.