I was never a "runner" growing up. All I could think about while running wind sprints during basketball practice was the tall glass of cold milk waiting for me at home (I'm addicted to milk). So even though I was a decent athlete, I never gave running track a second thought. In fact, I never even gave it a FIRST thought. Thank goodness I was decent at softball, since both of those sports were in the spring.
When I moved out to North Carolina for grad school, my roommate/classmate, Rachel, and I decided to train for a marathon. It was my first race ever (not counting elementary school field days at the end of the school year). We finished, and didn't even make fools of ourselves! To prove that it wasn't a fluke, I followed it up with 2 half-marathons in the next couple of years.
At this point, I probably could have gotten away with referring to myself as a "runner."
Then I got married and had a baby. Once Ivie was a year old, I didn't have the nursing/pumping excuse to avoid going out for a run or getting up early in the morning and jumping on the treadmill. So I started up again. Never hard-core running, like races. More like the standard-and-pretty-regular-3-mile-runs just to make myself feel strong and healthy.
Then along came Macie. I kept up the running for quite a while during the pregnancy, until my "run" looked more like a really quick duck waddle. Then I started walking. And when Mac was born, we went on our daily 30-45 minute walks around the neighborhood during my maternity leave.
Then it got cold, and I went back to work. Bad combination. I'm sad to say that I have not exercised, at all, since returning to work. YUCK.
So this weekend, Dale and I made a pact to start exercising. Even when it's not convenient (is it ever with 2 kids and full-time jobs?!?) or when we'd rather sleep in or crash early. We know how important it is - not just for ourselves, but for our sweet girls. They deserve our very best when it comes to staying healthy.
I just finished run #2 on the treadmill since our pact - I'm 2-for-2 with days and runs! And I've got really sore legs to show for it! But I'm going to rely on what Dale will tell you is the ingrained Schaeperkoetter-stick-to-it-ive-ness. We have a tendency to complete what we set our minds on doing (read: we're stubborn!).
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to refer to myself as a "runner" again, but I'm going to give it my best shot... Because I want my girls to grow up knowing (and seeing first-hand) that things that are difficult to accomplish are well worth the struggle.