My love for running didn’t come naturally.
I’ve never been a great athlete or into sports. I did ballet for 6 years, jazz dance for 2 years, basketball for 2 years, tennis for 3 years, … but I never excelled in any of them.
When I was about 14 years old we had to start running 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in the woods and every year I felt like I was gonna die. I was so young and I couldn’t even run 5K on a hilly course. After a couple years of this I decided to prepare and to download ‘Start to Run’. For those of you who don’t know the program, it’s a 10 week training program. It starts with 1 minute running, 1 minute walking, … and then slowly increases your running time and decreases your walking time. You run 3 times a week and at the end of the 10 weeks you are able to run for 30 minutes.
After those 10 weeks I started running 2 times a week on average… Until, I got hurt! Like so many runners I had shin splints. At first I ignored them, until even my ankle started hurting and I really had to stop running. I still don’t know exactly what happened, I had decent shoes and didn’t run that often…
After a couple weeks of not running at all I was back at square one and only exercised very occasionally.
In April 2013 I moved to New York (more about that in another post) and started exercising more… I went to the gym 2-3 times a week and ran once or twice a week… Since I considered myself a runner I started buying runner’s magazine. If you ever bought one, you know how they are filled with advertising for Disney races. As a big Disney fan I thought it would be fun to sign up for the Disney Princess race in Florida in February 2016. The choices were a 5K, a 10K or a half marathon. I figured training for a 10K would be plenty and I asked my friend Melody if she wanted to join. She was up for the challenge, but only for the half marathon! We were both not in great shape, but only the half marathon runs through the castle… And let’s be honest, why else would you run a Disney race?
So we signed up, downloaded a training schedule and decided to do it. I have to say, Disney races are very expensive, you have to wake up super early and on the course you have to wait in line if you want pictures with the characters, but it’s so much fun!
It motivated me to run my first half marathon. I learned how to follow a training program and how to stick with it. And I never looked back…