Saturday, July 14, 2012

It's Contagious!

I love how contagious running is. I've had several friends - my bestie since grade school, other good friends from growing up, church friends, co-workers, etc, etc - recently catch the running "bug." Several of my old-school friends are (like me) turning 30 in the coming months and want to do something big. They've signed up for 5Ks, 10Ks, even half-marathons - wahoo! 

I couldn't be happier for them and the healthy lifestyle running brings. 

My sweet friend, Kirsten, caught the bug recently. She signed up for our Run for the Rocks half-marathon in September, but was anxious about racing. I told her about a new 10K run and she signed up. Not only did she do GREAT in her first race (ever!), but she placed 3rd in her (very competitive) age division. Not too shabby, girl!

Here's Kirsten and I, showing off our hardware.

Kirsten asked me this morning when I ran my first race. My first thoughts weren't so great - a terrible middle school track experience where they put me in the two-mile run. Ugh. I hated running in school. I was in sports (volleyball and basketball - track was the "social" activity and we all thought the cross country team was crazy, mind you!) to make running more bearable. Anyhow, I remember vividly enduring 8 laps around the track and then my legs shaking so bad I couldn't hold my pee in. I don't even think I stuck around for the rest of the track meet. 

My first "real" race happened to be in 2006, just a few months after Jack and I got married and shortly after I had caught the "official" running bug. I started running more than up and down a court my senior year at K-State, but it wasn't until just before my wedding (in June 2005) where I really started running consistently. I wrote about my health endeavors that year in a column in The Hutchinson News. Honestly, that column gave me some gusto and the guts to not only accomplish a 10K race, but also my first half-marathon and a year later, my first full marathon. Nothing like telling readers you're going to do something - so you better do it!

Fast forward a few years, and I'm still contagious. While I've ebbed and flowed through the years (running various races from 5K's to my second full marathon in Chicago in 2010, not to mention running during and post two babies), I'm overall consistent with my running regimen. It's great quiet and reflection time, a stress reliever, a challenge, fun, and gives me the chance to push my body to limits it's never been to before. 

So to all of my friends - both those who have been running for years and those who recently have joined in - YAY for running! I'm glad you caught the running bug - now pass it along and keep this one contagious!

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