Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A New Hobby

Anyone that has been around me lately has probably heard me talking about my "new" hobby: running. I put the "new" in quotes because I have always enjoyed running, whether it was collecting popsicle sticks for each lap at recess in elementary school or warming up for cheerleading or gymnastics practice...not to mention the year I joined girl's middle school cross country and track.

However, this is different. At 25 years old, I am running in races and actually choosing when I run and what I do. I did my first 5k (3.1 miles) on Thanksgiving 2010, thanks to an active coworker that encouraged me to register and ran it with me. I finished in 34 minutes and some change. From there, I was already thinking about when and what my next race would be. I knew it was the start of something life-changing. Within the next 2 months I participated in 3 more races, 2 more 5ks and a 10k (6.2 miles). Over those 2 months, my 5k time improved by 6 minutes. It's official, I am hooked.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to do something bigger. A half marathon. This was a goal of mine, mostly on some sort of 'mental bucket list' and never really came into fruition. Until now. I am registered for the A1A Half Marathon in Fort Lauderdale on February 20 (that's right...less than 2 weeks away) and training for it has been pretty interesting and invigorating. I have never been more nervous or excited for something in my life I don't think. I think about it every single day.

I knew I didn't want to run this one alone...so I messaged up a fellow active friend, Kelsey, who lives in Michigan and I figured she could use a weekend of sunshine :) She immediately accepted the offer to run our first half marathon on Feb 20 down A1A. I definitely needed that extra motivation to sign up, so thank you Kelsey!

One of the things I have noticed is that signing up for a race gives you a concrete reason why you need to exercise. You have to be in shape for a race or it could be very dangerous, so it forces you to exercise. I feel like I am always going to need a race in sight to stay motivated, which is fine...whatever it takes I guess. I never thought races would be so addicting and fun. I highly recommend everyone does at least one 5k in their adult life!