That song from the Disney movie Mulan “Someday I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” has inspired a new song in me: someday I’ll make a runner out of you! I’ve recently [within the last month] taken up running. Growing up, I played softball for 5 years and then moved on to basketball, which I played for 3 years. You run a pretty good bit in both of these sports and that was always my least favorite part. I was in great shape when I played basketball, but a sickness caused me to have to sit out a season in high school, and after we moved, I didn’t have the desire to try to play school ball again. I did play golf my senior year of high school, but there’s NO running there!
When I got in to college, I tried to start running again. I even bought an awesome watch and heart rate monitor that let’s me track workouts, enter different workouts to train by and a bunch of other things that I’d have to pull the manual out to know what they’re for! But after a few short weeks, I gave up. Why? It wasn’t fun. No, it wasn’t fun at all. It was work. And it was hard.
So why now? What’s so different? Well, there’s actually a LOT that’s different now.
Now, I have a husband who LOVES to run. He’s training to run a marathon at the end of the year. His love for this sport is contagious. When I was pregnant, he started out his journey in running and he’d come home telling me all about his run. All I wanted to do was be out there running beside him!
There’s also the health side of why I want to run now. I have two baby boys and they need a healthy momma to be able to chase after them. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancies and want to shed those pounds, too. I know that living a sedentary lifestyle is so far from how we were created to live.
And there’s the challenge. Any attempt at running just for the pureness of the sport in my past has been a failure. Now, I’m finding myself accomplishing way more than I ever thought I would be able to do. Running is just as much a mind sport as it is a physical sport. My mind wants to fail me and say, “I can’t possibly run another step” way before my body feels it. To be able to push those thoughts out of my mind and keep going is so rewarding to me.
There’s a lot that I’ve had to learn to do differently this time around. Before, I was concerned about how far I could go in a short amount of time. That’s one reason I would tire out so quickly. Now, I’ve learned to slow down and be more concerned about how long I can run without stopping, and not so much about how far I’m going. I know that I’ll pick up my pace later and be able to cover more distance, but that comes after I’ve built a foundation of running consistently without many breaks. Secondly, I’ve had to learn that the results I’m looking for as far as my weight goes will not happen overnight. No, they won’t even come after a month, or maybe even six months. If I’m only running to lose weight, then I’ve got to see that it will take time to see the results. So my goal for running is not weight loss (although I do hope to shed some pounds!). My goal is a lot bigger than that. [Ill get to my goal in a minute.] The third thing I’ve had to learn is to enjoy running. I really don’t know too many people that are always excited about going running, but after they finish their run, they’re always pretty pumped up! I’ve had to learn that there’s enjoyment in setting goals and reaching them, pushing yourself beyond points that you never thought you could get past. This helps to fuel my runs.
My biggest motivation for anything is having goals. I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish through running. My first goal is to run a 5k for my birthday next month. I’ve ran one 5k in the past, and it was awful. I was miserable the whole time and although I ran a good bit of it, my time was exactly what it would have been if I would have just briskly walked the whole thing. I want to do better than that this time. Even if I can’t find an official 5k to sign up for around my birthday, Lance and I are going to get out there and run one for my birthday. My other goal is to run a half marathon by the beginning of next year. That statement scares me and excites me at the same time. It’s a big goal, but one that I know I can reach.
And now, the last thing that I’ve learned, is that you have to surround yourself with people who will push you. Lance runs with a couple of other men in our area who have done marathons and they push him to get better. By running with these men, he’s improved everything about his runs, and he will continue to learn from them and get better. I love running with Lance because he pushes me and encourages me to get better and to keep going. He sends me pictures of quotes throughout the day that encourage me to keep going. Knowing that someone believes in you is fuel to reach that goal. So while I’m out there running, you can believe that I’m singing my theme song “someday I’ll make a runner out of you”!