I attended the largest high school in Texas. By largest, I mean there were over 4,000 kids that I went to school with. Each grade had over 1,000 kids in it. I knew I wanted to do something active and be a part of a team, but getting into soccer or tennis or even cheerleading were next to impossible. The kids that had taken all those spots on teams had been doing those sports since they learned how to walk, so I didn't have a chance. Cross Country and Track, however, allowed a much bigger number of people to join. So, that's how I got my real start in running. I had always been good at track (Wow! I sound so conceited!), but learning to pace myself to run longer distances was tricky at first. Every race in CC is 2 miles (boys and girls race separately). And, it's always in different terrain. Sometimes the race is over rolling hills, sometimes it's in the woods with lots of tree's blocking your view as to where you turn next. It was always an adventure! The heat and humidity were harsh, so we usually had races starting in the early mornings...but, before you even began running you started to sweat. Being a part of a team was awesome! I made so many friends I would not have otherwise met in my gigantic school. And, it was a plus to find a runner or two that had the same pace as me during practice. What motivated me to do my very best each and every day was Coach Gibson. To this day, when I go out for a run, I think of him and all the wonderful advice he gave us. It's easier to have a coach helping you along the way, than to run and stay motivated all by yourself. This is where my husband comes in. He always wants to know how my run went, where I ran, how it felt when I did it etc. He is my secret coach and motivator. (I say secret because I don't think he has a clue.) We even take turns running in the mornings! After I wake up and nurse the baby (we have 2 girls ages 3 1/2 years and 5 months), I run. When I get back, my husband is dressed and ready to hit the pavement. Knowing that he is waiting for me to run first helps get me out the door. On days that he doesn't want to run or is too busy with other things, I find it much harder to go and run anyways! Another motivator is signing up and training for races! I have my first race since high school on September 3rd! It's called the 5k Foam Fest and I'm so psyched about it!! I totally miss the adrenaline rush I would get during a race! And, whats super neat about this race is it involves 2 dozen different obstacles! I'll be sure to bring the camera and have my hubby take lots of pictures to share. I love running. During the periods in my life that I didn't run I didn't feel as good about myself. I know it sounds crazy, but listen to Anna when she says, "running gives you more energy." It's true. It may not be the case when you first start, but your body adjusts so quickly! Making the choice to go running leads to other good choices. I've noticed I want to eat healthier foods when I run because thats what my body craves. Thank you Anna for creating this blog! You definitely encouraged me to start running again after the birth of my baby. I probably wouldn't have decided to begin running again so soon. But, it's been so worth it!
I think Jana has a cool perspective on running. She's actually been trained by an actual coach before. Most of us haven't. She's already shared a few tips with me that she remembers from her coach and they are awesome! I'm so excited to see the pics from her race. She is going to have a blast. I love the part in her story where she talks about her support system, primarily, her husband. It's so great that there are such people in our lives who will get us going and even run alongside us. What a great journey she's been on and her story is just proof that you may leave running for a while and for many different reasons (i.e two babies), but it won't let you go entirely and you'll soon find your way back. Thanks for the story, Jana. I look forward to your race story and the pictures. Good luck!!