On August 1, 2010, I was a non-runner. I hated running. The idea of running was completely repulsive to me. If I was on fire and my only option for putting myself out was to run to a body of water fifty yards away, I'd have to seriously think about it. Even in high school when we were required to run a mile for the Presidential Fitness tests, I walked the mile even though it meant a strong talking-to from my gym teacher. I had long ago decided that I just wasn't cut out for running.
On August 8, 2010, I started running using the Couch to 5K program. I don't know why, but something about the program drew me in and convinced me to give it a shot. I still very vividly remember slogging myself up the block on that humid August evening for my first day of running. It was hot, humid, pretty miserable, but not completely intolerable, and when I was done I felt accomplished. I blogged about it. And I stuck with it because it really wasn't that bad. Every week, every session added a little more intensity, but I was able to keep up because the pace was not overly ambitious.
Yesterday I finished Week 5, Day 3 of the C25K program, which is the first run that I had really been dreading: a twenty minute run with no breaks. No resting, no stopping, no slowing, no quitting. I didn't think I'd be able to do it, not on the first try. But I did. I ran twenty minutes without stopping. In fact, I ran a little more than twenty minutes because I was so close to a mile and a half that I pushed myself a little extra for that goal. And afterwards I felt fine. No, I felt great.
I can do this, guys. I can. I don't want to go so far as to say this is life-changing, but really, I feel great. I feel like I can take on anything. On days that I'm not running I feel like I'm missing out on something. What a difference a few weeks makes.
I'm thinking about signing up for a 5K race in November. I can't believe it, but I'd like to do it. And beyond that? Maybe a 10K someday. The sky is the limit, isn't it?
I'm a runner.