Well boys and girls - today I have officially been running for 1 year! It's my runniversary!
Last year on this day I googled a place to run, put on whatever sneakers I had, and set out. It was 12 noon, it was HOT, and I was out there for about 20 minutes. I thought I was going to die. One year later and I can confidently call myself a runner. I may not know everything, but then again who does? I maybe not be the fastest, but I am a runner.
Running has changed me. Running has added so much to my life that I would have never in a million years thought possible. I look back at the past year and I am just amazed at how much I have changed and how much I have accomplished.
I'm not even sure where to start on this post. I believe that running has made me an overall happier person. I guess there really is a "runner's high". But I don't think that just comes from right after a run. Of course it always feels good to get a long run done, or accomplish a PR. But knowing you're out there all the time doing something you never thought you would do, being so passionate about something, making such accomplishments - those are things to be happy about. Having dedication, focus, and the drive to achieve. That's a runner's high to me.
Before I ran I was just going about my day to day life. I was a typical person. I went to work, came home, relaxed. Went out with friends, etc. I didn't have much energy, I didn't eat very healthy. I wasn't athletic. Then I started running. At first it was hard, and tiresome. I still didn't have a lot of energy. I was hungry a lot. But the more I ran, the less I craved sweets and junk. Don't get me wrong, I will probably never turn down a good chocolate - but I used to pig out pretty much always. Now I don't have the craving for it as much. And it just happened naturally. My energy levels went up. I felt friendlier, happier. Can I contribute this all to running? Well it's the only thing that has changed.
Running also gives me something to focus on, and to strive for. It gives me something to work at. I don't compete with anyone but myself. I constantly want to better myself. I love having something to constantly work on. I can set small goals for myself and then work to achieve them. And the accomplishments feel amazing.
And then lets not forget what running will do to your body over time. I'm pretty lucky with the fact that I usually can eat what I want, not really work out and not really gain weight. I'd work out a little here and there, but before I started running I never really did anything consistent. I've always hated my legs, and no matter how hard I worked them out I never saw any changes. No muscle definition - nothing! Now I have calf muscles, and inner thigh muscles, and I'm finally seeing definition on the outside of my thighs as well. Awesome added bonus. Because I HATE leg workouts. I do them now, sometimes, just to strengthen my legs for running.
I also like to do other workouts now as well. I've become more into taking care of my body. I realize what my body is capable of, and I want to strengthen it and see what else I can do that I didn't think was possible before. I used to have no upper body strength whatsoever. Now I have some. I did 3 whole pull ups the other day. Yes. Three. It may not seem like a lot, but to me, that's a huge accomplishment.
Another aspect of running I find amazing is the social aspect. Runners are super friendly, motivational, supportive, and encouraging. I've made quite a few friends running and I've gotten a large support system. I am always encouraged and supported in any running decision I make and I almost always see at least one friendly face at a race. I feel like I've become more social and outgoing as well, starting to get into the groove of talking to random runners on the side of the road or at a race. It's nice. And I love all of the people I have met.
Running has changed me. I plan weekends around races, I plan times with friends around social runs, I talk way too much about running, and obviously I sit here writing about my running experiences. I look up different places to travel to do fun races. Obviously running has changed my life. Has it changed yours?