Pre-apocalypse reasons to run

  1. It is so simple. You don’t need fancy machines, equipment, or classes — just some supportive shoes. Then, you just practice moving faster than you walk.
  2. It is easy to measure improvement and that improvement makes you happy. Just go faster, go further, go more often, or go more regularly.
  3. The sense of accomplishment is unlike anything I’ve felt before.

Post-apocalypse reasons to run

  1. At some point, you’re going to have to run away from zombies. You should probably practice.
  2. Running increases cardiovascular endurance and respiratory efficiency. You can run away from zombies for longer periods of time.
  3. Running is a marketable skill which may give you entrance into larger, safer groups.

I’m a runner.

It still feels funny to say that.

I’m a runner.

In middle school, I got shin splits every time I ran. In high school, my PE teacher would yell if I took a walking break during a run. She thought I was being rebellious. In reality, I couldn’t run a mile.

I eventually began the motto, “I only run if an angry bear is chasing me. And it must be angry, mind you.”

But as I got older, I began to notice other people running while I was out walking. Running voluntarily. Running happily. They were getting a better workout than me. Maybe they knew something I didn’t know.

In 2007, the summer after my freshman year in college, I found the Couch to 5K program. I learned that you can start out slow. You can start out taking walking breaks every 60 seconds. I learned that some people take to running naturally and that others require a little training. I required a little training.

But boy, was it awesome, the first time I ran 30 minutes without stopping.

I’d like to say that I’ve been running ever since. But it really took a few start-stops along the way. Most years I didn’t run.

Around the end of 2012, I wanted to start running again. I ran a 5K. I ran a 10K. I wanted to run a marathon. I knew next to nothing about training. My spirit broke on a 9 mile run in April. I stopped running shortly thereafter.

In September of 2013, I found myself lethargic, overweight, and overeating. My doctor gently informed me that I was prehypertensive, medically overweight, and cholesterol and other numbers were high. I wanted to change my lifestyle, but I felt overwhelmed. I decided to continue to ignore exercise. I re-established a drug regimen for my hypothyroidism. Then I calorie restricted to lose weight. I made little steps, because it was evident I was not going to change it all at once.

And those little steps counted.

By January 2014, my thyroid hormone levels were normal and I had lost 20 lbs. I felt ready to tackle exercise again. Running a marathon felt like such a huge, scary feat, but I wanted to try again. I registered for a November 2014 marathon and started this blog.

I researched. I ran. I got injured. I researched. I ran. Somewhere along the way, I began to consider myself a runner. I finished that marathon in 5 hours and 4 minutes.

I’ve learned a lot of good things, most of them the hard way. But the most important thing I’ve learned, is that I’m a runner.