It was around this time 2 years ago that I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon. My “about me” and my first post doesn’t quite give you the whole story on why I decided to start running seriously and I have been thinking about it a lot lately and thought I would share.
Rewind to New Years Eve 2008…
I broke up with a guy I was dating, for anonymity we will call him Old Man River, OMR for short. I can call him OMR because well, he was much older than me and he was gross and the whole 2 years of our relationship grosses me out. Seriously. Yes, yes, you live and you learn and I learned a ton and will explain more but none the less I should’ve ended the relationship very early on. I met him after getting out of a verbally abusive relationship, so compared to that he seemed like a dream. But as I look back he was very self-centered and egotistical. We broke up and got back together more times than I can count. Let’s guess every 6-8 weeks or so for 2 years. Not kidding.
When we met I was finally to the point of working out regularly and trying to lose the last bit of my freshman 40 (no, not 15, 40…you are reading that correctly and it took getting out of college to get the rest of it off). Running had always been hard for me because of my asthma and I was working on getting it under control-I could do no more than 4 miles. I would do a lot of walk/running and was happy with what I could do at the time. I was proud of myself for exercising. But with OMR it was a competition. He was always boasting on his speed, how far he went, how much yoga he did, how many push ups and sit-ups he could do etc. He would also say he could could go out and do a marathon no problem. “Maybe I will just sign up for that race” or “my friends are doing it, it would be no problem for me.” I didn’t think I could possibly know as much as he did about food and exercise…he was so old (no pun intended) and wise. I always wanted to be included in his life (this was one of our issues) and I would have loved to workout together; Partly to prove myself, to show that I was good enough too. And finally, towards the end of our relationship, when he was trying to patch things up (after I complained about not being included) we went on a run together.
And boy did Billy Bad Ass OMR show me. I guess he thought it would be cool to take me on my furthest and hilliest run all in one day. He took me to a neighborhood and began to do hill-repeats while I struggled to make it up the hill once. I kept my mouth shut as we ran towards the park where we were going to finish. And instead of running with me, he left me. He ran so far ahead of me and didn’t tell me where he was going and I lost him. Go ahead Speedy Gonzales OMR, way to show me that you care. I think we ran 5-6 miles that day. And I don’t think we ever ran together again. I remember getting mad at him after we finished and he acted like it was no big deal to leave me behind at huge public park. Jerk.
So after 2 long years and a Christmas trip where I realized he didn’t know me at all and had no plans for me in his future I broke up with him. On New Years Eve. New year, new Elizabeth and NO OMR. And time to prove myself. To me, to the world and I guess secretly to him (although I am not sure he knows to this day).
So around this time 2 years ago, I signed up for the GA ING 1/2 marathon. Yep. This girl with bad asthma (thank you Advair for saving my lungs). This girl who had never run more than 5-6 miles once (and usually stuck to 3-4). This girl who struggled on or walked hills. This girl who was trying it figure it all out. I did it partly to prove myself but mainly to have something to focus on. A goal. A reason to not give in and get back together with OMR. I had no clue what I was doing but it kept my mind off of him.
Instead of running small races to get geared up-I just went for it-1/2 marathon as my first race ever-and loved every moment. And I also realized I wasn’t half bad-coming in at 1:59–and NOT walking at all. Thanks to my determination and Hal Higdon’s Training Plan I had succeeded. I had proved myself. I was good enough. And I did it by myself. No training partner or running buddy. Just me, my will power, and my running shoes.
And looking back-the know it all OMR really knew nothing. His food logic made no sense and his 5-6 miles runs a marathoner does not make (he never ran a 5K much less a marathon in the 2 years we were together). I AM a marathoner. I AM a runner. Thanks OMR for forcing me to prove myself and giving me a passion. You did leave me with one reason to be thankful we ever dated. You led me to Running. 🙂