I received the best email recently. My friend, who I will not name but call Izzy for the purpose of this blog, emailed me awesome news. Her birthday just passed. In addition to kicking off her 29th anniversary of life with an awesome Mexican dinner from her favorite hole in the wall, she…
wait for it…
WENT FOR A RUN!
Her email read:
“So guess what, I am starting to run. I ran a half mile yesterday and it is the 2nd time I did it on the treadmill. That might not sound huge to you but that is the first time I ran in 6 years.
I am going to make it my “29” goal. I want to be able to run a half marathon for 30. That gives me a whole year to work up to 8 miles. You look like you are in great shape and it was inspiring.”
I honest to goodness threw my fist in the air when I read, “I ran a half mile…” No Izzy, that isn’t huge to me, that is extremely humungous to me. I couldn’t wait to reply to her email and talk running. So I did. And we did. And she’s still on board.
What I love about Izzy, among other things, is her sheer determination/ stubbornness to meet her accomplishments. Some of my favorite quotes from our email thread include:
“13.1? A half marathon is 13.1 miles? Ahh crap, I thought it was 8 miles.”
“I don’t know if I like running, but I like setting a goal and meeting it.”
“When I hit 2 miles I will get into it more; right now I don’t want to psych myself out… God, I can’t imagine; what if I could actually run for 2 miles?”
Touche Izzy. I don’t even know if I like running yet. And if I do, I definitely don’t like the first 2 to 3 miles; I only start feeling warmed up at mile 3 or 4.
After I enthusiastically rambled to her, offered to send every piece of running advice I ever received and tried to recruit her for like 7 different half marathons, I told her about my high school gym teacher.
I wish I remembered the teacher’s name, but if you ask anyone who the bitchy gym teacher was in my HS during my reign, they’d know who I was talking about.
Every year we had to run one mile for our physical fitness test.
One mile! Only four laps around the track.
I never even ran one.
Everytime I would take off (too fast probably, considering what I know now), I would cramp up and almost collapse with a side stitch. OUCH!
- Gym Bitch said I shouldn’t eat before school. I skipped breakfast. I cramped.
- Gym Bitch said I should eat a small breakfast. I ate a small breakfast. I cramped.
- Gym Bitch said I should drink some juice. I drank some juice. I still cramped.
- Gym Bitch finally told me ‘You’re just not a runner. Don’t sign up for track.’
I never signed up for track.
But what Gym Bitch doesn’t know is that 8 years later I did sign up for a 5K. And another thing she doesn’t know is that next week I am running a half marathon. Soooo, apparently Gym Bitch was wrong. I can run.
I remember running my first 5k. My bestie AAA coerced me into running with the ol’ run/walk around the track method. Before I knew it I was running a lap. Somehow I ok’d the registration for a 5k (a leap year 5k that took place on a rainy Feb 28th at 10pm) and the next thing I knew I was a 5k-finisher.
AND THE CROWD ROARS!
The pride that I felt after finishing that race was nothing like I expected. Sure for many, including my bestie who can run a 5k hungover faster my current PR, a measly 3.1 is just a fun run, but for me it was like climbing Mount Everest. It was something I had never thought I would do, wanted to do, aimed to do… but I did it!
So when I hear my gal friend Izzy is on track to cross the finish line of something she doesn’t even know if she likes doing (she does; she doesn’t know it yet), I get that rush all over again.
AAA waited at the finish line of the 5Ks we ran together cheering me on as if I had just broke the record for the NYC Marathon. That support is awesome. And the awesome thing about running is that you always suck at one point, and everyone out there pounding pavement knows how awesome it feels to progressively suck less.
So GO IZZY…. RUN! RUN! RUN!
Completely coincidental, I received another email — or IM rather — that same day that made me gleam with pride. My bestie from college, K-dawg, announced that she was running a 5K. Actually she said, in response to my question of ‘why are you traveling to [city] this weekend?’…
“Are you sitting down for this?? Ready? I am running a 5K.”
This time my jaw dropped a little bit, THEN my fist went into the air. Funny thing is, K used to run in college occasionally, although I always thought it was an excuse to visit her BF without having to tell me. 😉 Other than that, K doesn’t advertise herself as one for strenuous exercise so I was soooooooo excited that she was on board with the running bug.
WOO HOO K!!!
Fast forward a couple weeks, K not only completed her 5k last weekend, she came in third in her age group with an 8:21 mile. HOLY COW K… ROCK ON! I am overly impressed that she walk/ran/trained her way to an 8:21 in five weeks. I am overly impressed that she ran a 8:21 period, even if she had been training for a year.
I am looking forward to running something with her soon… K, want to run something together soon? I’ll let you win. lol (No seriously, even if I could beat that time, I’d let her win… K doesn’t lose.)
I love hearing about my non-running friends becoming running friends.
I love that they love what I love… or at least I love that they are doing what I love whether they love it or not…
KEEP RUNNING GALS!!
PS. One week until my race… AHHHHH!!!
PPS. Did you donate yet?