~ Judith Ursitti
Random blog post I know, but Happy Running Day! For you non-runners out there, please, please continue to read. I know you might think that running is not your thing. But please .. hear a girl out. I only blog like once a year. Surely you can suffer through..
The nerdy girl who is writing this is a non-athlete .. a total band nerd. I was actually voted "Most Studious" one year in high school. I have no athletic ability whatsoever. None.
But even studious girls can be vain. Fifteen or so years ago, as I hit my thirties, I noticed that I was beginning to put on some pounds. So I made a New Year's resolution with a friend of mine and we decided to meet at 5:30 in the morning to walk. And walk we did. We walked, talked and started to become stronger. Not long after that, we heard of a 5K in town and decided we were going to go for broke and run it.
I never, ever in a million years thought I could run 100 yards, much less 3.2 miles. But we took our training slow. (We did the run one minute/walk one minute approach until we worked our way up to running 30 minutes without walking.) When I ran that 5k, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. The last half mile or so I was convinced I was going to drop dead. Obviously, I didn't. I went home with a medal and a new found realization that even slow, nerdy girls can get out there and run.
Fast forward to today and I can honestly say that I don't know what I would do if I couldn't run. True, I'm at the back of the pack. The older I get, the slower I become. But who really cares. Running is my therapy .. my drug of choice.
The experiences are too many to list, but here is a sampling of my favorites:
- I have laughed out loud while listening to David Sedaris podcasts.
- I have belted out show tunes.
- I have problem-solved. Work. Personal. Doesn't much matter. Time to think really helps.
- I have seen coyotes and snakes and beautiful sunrises. (Never mind the road kill.)
- I have experienced all four seasons.
- I have seen the finish line of the Boston Marathon -- three times.
- I have raised thousands and thousands of dollars for autism charities.
- I have run with my daughter.
- I have run with my sister.
- I have lots of really cool t-shirts.
- I always come home in a better frame of mind. (Well, almost always.) It's standard practice in our household that if I'm cranky, Superdad Andy raises an eyebrow and asks, "Ahem .. Did you run today?"
- Bonus: I can still squeeze into my prom dress. It's tight, but I can get in it. And I'm old. Like almost 46.
- I have prayed and prayed and prayed.
- I have found peace in a world that is often stressful and overwhelming.
My next run is the Autism Speaks Half Marathon in September. It's a great race for a good cause right here in Boston. They are welcoming walkers and runners. Think about it!
To get started with a nerd-friendly running program, visit Jeff Galloway's page for beginners.