Yep. Running is hard. My whole life, I've hated running, and I've hated to love running. I was a little pudgy in my elementary school years, but loved playing basketball, soccer, and knothole baseball. However, when it came to running the mile in gym class, I would have rather died. My mile was never really that great. As I grew up, I thinned out, dropped sports and joined band. I spent five years in marching band, which is more of an athletic spectacle than most people realize. I was in the best shape of my life when I was marching band, and high school in general. By my junior and senior year, I was also going to the gym most days of the week during off season. During the season, we would condition ourselves regularly. Sometimes we would run a lap around the track before running a show, and I would feel like collapsing every single time. 

With that being said, I feel like running is a whole other activity in its own special slice of hell. This is the reason it's fascinated me for many years. I am an over-achieving, type-A being. I don't like defeat, and I have worked hard for the last decade to try to become a runner. In college, I gained some weight, but was ultimately in good shape. I still went to the gym, and I tried to focus more on getting better at running. In the spring of 2008, I was backstage with my trumpets getting ready to play a concert with our university band. I fell down the stage steps and sprained both my ankles. Although it was extremely painful, I still played through the concert in tears. I was the principal trumpet. I couldn't have sat it out. Four hours later, I finally made it back home and went to the hospital. My ankles healed within a month or two, but I couldn't bring myself to even attempt running again for another four years. I was really scared of hurting myself, and stuck with low impact exercise on the elliptical, and spinning. 

I've finally overcome this hurdle, and after graduation from physical therapy for my knees and back (a totally unrelated issue), I started attempting to run again after being inspired by Kelly from I Used to Be Fat. I love her. She is one of my favorite inspirations, and such a beautiful soul. She registered for a 5K in the show to honor her father, whom she lost to cancer when she was a child. After watching that episode, I registered for my first 5K in 2012. Kelly ran her first 5K in 31 minutes! That's an amazing feat for anyone. I ran mine in 47. Since then, I've desperately wanted to improve my times.

About a year ago, my husband expressed interest in joining these 5Ks with me. I like to do 1-2 a month. His interest has motivated me because he is now my running buddy, but also, it's secretly in my competitive nature to beat him. I haven't finished before him yet, but my times are getting better. Since starting DietBet, I've taken off 55 pounds. That makes running SO much easier! I am now able to run straight through a 3.1 workout with hardly any walking in the middle. About a month ago, I tried improving my running times by doing HIIT with the treadmill. Bad idea. I ended up with a back injury and was ordered not to exercise for a couple of weeks. Once I got back to it, I stopped HIITing on the treadmill, and do it on the elliptical instead. I save the treadmill for my 5K trainings. I've ran 3 5K races on the treadmill this past week (one every other day). Yesterday was the first day I made it under 40 minutes. I was so proud of myself. It's getting easier and easier for me. Running is still hard. It will always be hard. The thought of even attempting a 10K Half Marathon, or full Marathon makes me want to vomit already. But who knows? Your body is apparently capable of more than you realize.