Pre-apocalypse reasons to run
- 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.
- It is easy to measure improvement and that improvement makes you happy. Just go faster, go further, go more often, or go more regularly.
- The sense of accomplishment is unlike anything I’ve felt before.
Post-apocalypse reasons to run
- At some point, you’re going to have to run away from zombies. You should probably practice.
- Running increases cardiovascular endurance and respiratory efficiency. You can run away from zombies for longer periods of time.
- 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.