Somehow, I have turned into a runner. My husband and I ran off and on during law school, but it was always something to do for free exercise, not something I did because I particularly enjoyed it. After law school, I'd run every once in a while, but never anything regular. Running was boring, I wasn't very good at it, and who has the time? I ran in a couple 5Ks when my law firm had a team, but I never got into a good training habit, so these were always one-off races.
The day after my sister-in-law's wedding, I sat on the balcony of our hotel room and watched runners in the Austin 10K. I decided I wanted to be a runner.
Somewhat crazily, I signed up for a half-marathon six months out. A cousin had run in the Smuttynose Half Marathon the prior year, and was planning on running again that fall. I asked if I could tag along. I googled to find training programs that didn't look like they'd kill me, and found Hal Higdon's novice training program. Awesome! That program is set out for 12 weeks, so I figured I could spend a lot of time repeating the early weeks. I was still very skeptical that I'd ever actually be able to run 13.1 miles, but I'd give it a good go.
My first "long" run was 4 miles - a full mile longer than I'd ever run before in my life. It was awesome. The 5 mile run two weeks later was great too, until it started raining on me precisely 2.5 miles away from my house. But I was loving running. I'd set out a different course each weekend, and head out, ipod in hand, and just run. The 6 mile run on week 5 of my modified schedule kicked my ass. I ended up on a long, boring, flat stretch of road for the last mile, I was tired, and I was bored. How was I ever going to get to 13.1 miles?
Right around that time, I ended up traveling a lot for work. Treadmill running bores me to tears, so I tried to find places to run at the end of the day. In St. Louis, I ran across the Mississippi river to Illinois and back. (Speaking to opposing counsel -- also a runner -- at a deposition the next day, he looked at me in horror when I told him where I went. Apparently that was not the safest place to go running by myself. Oops.) In Jefferson City, I ran up to the capitol building (I think - maybe it was the governor's mansion?) and promptly got turned around and lost. By the time I found my way back to the hotel, my pre-work run was twice as long as originally planned. Back home, I found myself having to plot runs farther and farther from my house. I ran around Jamaica Pond, and found it so much more fun to run when other people were around than I thought.
My half marathon day came, and even though I am still a slow runner, I ran every step of the race. I am sad to say that I did not keep up with my lofty goal of doing at least an 8 mile run every weekend after the race was over, but I didn't stop running altogether either. More of my running moved indoors to the treadmill though, as the temperature in Boston continued to drop through winter.
In January, we learned I was pregnant with the fat little rabbit, and we moved to Texas in February. I couldn't run in the first trimester, as it made me sick. Second trimester, I could not find a sports bra sturdy enough to make running comfortable. Third trimester? Well, I'll just remind you that we had maybe 2 days in July and August that were below 100 degrees here in Texas, and there was no way I was dragging my 7-8 months pregnant self out to run in that heat, having done precisely no running in the previous 6 months.
But oh, how I missed it. I asked my OB/GYN when I could start running again after the baby was born, and she said whenever I felt up to it. 10 days after the fat little rabbit was born, I felt up to it. I started with a slow 1 mile run, and have slowly worked up to 3 miles. I love it. I missed it. I convinced my husband to run the Dallas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon with me this spring. I can't wait.