On becoming a “runner”

Prior to 2012, I had never really run in my life. Every time we “ran the mile” in P.E. as a kid, the longest I ever ran was a half mile at a time and convinced myself that I was just an overweight girl that couldn’t run. Then, the first week that my friends Tammy, Charlene and I were working out on the treadmills, Tammy suggested that we try “Long Run Saturday.” We’d been doing interval training (walking and running in 3-5 minute intervals) but just to see if we could do it, Tammy suggested that we take a nice slow pace and try to run for 30 minutes straight. I thought she was insane, and was quite confident that I’d never be able to run for 30 minutes straight. But I gave it a shot anyway to see how long I could run for. That day, I ran my first mile in my life. And I still felt good, so then I ran my second mile in my life. I ran for a full thirty minutes – and blew myself away.

Since then, I’ve increased my running speed and frequency, but only on a treadmill. I always feel really good after I run, but when I finish a ten minute mile, the good feeling comes with feeling nasty and sweaty and wanting to get out of the gym and go home.  But the one time I tried running outside by myself, I wore myself out in less than a quarter mile.  I was so freaked out, so sure that I could only run inside in the gym with complete control over my speed.  This did not sound good to me knowing that I was planning on doing the Butte Challenge, a 5K here in Hermiston on May 12th, terrified on running outside.  Thankfully, a fellow teacher (Cindy) agreed to train with me for the Butte Challenge, and yesterday we ran two miles outside on a track – beautifully!  It was so liberating, I came home all bubbly and full of energy and ready to take on the world.  I am now confident that I will be able to run a 5K in seven weeks, no problem, and check it off my bucket list.  When I went to the store later that evening, I made several realizations about myself.

 – I am a runner.  I am someone who can run consecutive miles, inside or out, and feel good doing it.

 – I am no longer obese.  I have walked away from unhealthy living and am choosing a better life for myself and my future family than I practiced in high school or college.

 – I am a wife.  At the end of the day, I come home to a husband I love so much I can hardly stand it.  He is incredible, and I am so very lucky to have him.

 – I am a band and choir director.  I went through all the motions – got good grades in high school, worked hard in college, got my teaching credentials and now I am “living the dream” and teaching real kids how to play and sing in a group and make music.  That happened – and I am living it, right now.

Sure, I may not be The Ideal Sarah Butler  yet.  But I am getting there, one day at a time.

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