Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I am a runner

As I was flipping through the pages of Runner's World, I found these ads.  The company is Pearl Izumi.  They sell running gear, running shoes along with cycling apparel and the like.  Once I saw these, I googled the company and found that this is their new campaign.  In a nutshell, not everyone who calls themself a runner, really is.  They may be, heaven forbid... a jogger.

I was not a natural runner.  Every Friday in middle school, when our PE teacher, Mrs. Morris, had us run the "cross",  I wanted to magically contract some illness that would have me sitting peacefully in the nurse's office instead of out on the field.  The cross was a mile route that snaked around the field of our middle school.  I was overweight and awkward.  Some kids were coming in at 7 minutes, I wanted to come in at 10 minutes, but always my time would be somewhere around 13.  I hated running.  It was the most dreadful, awful thing that anyone could choose to do with their time.

In high school, I considered myself a swimmer.  When some of the swimmers decided to run to practice before the workout, I thought it unnatural and detestable.  "I am not a runner, I am a swimmer."  I said,  "Why do I need to run?"

My running started my last year of college.  I felt sluggish and out of shape and I saw running as the most convenient and most affordable exercise I could do.  My first goal was to run a solid 20 minutes.  I remember shuffling through the ASU campus, slower than I could even imagine now and feeling that rush of joy when after my 8 weeks of a run-walk program, I finally ran 20 minutes without walking.  I signed up for my first 5K and started to consider myself a runner.   I ran 5k after 5k, took a break from exercising all together, and then got the pamphlet in my mailbox from "Train to End Stroke" enticing me to run a marathon.  I paid my $100 fee and started training.

I remember the first training run in Balboa Park out in Encino.  It was supposed to be an easy 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back.  I stopped 10 minutes into the run and had to walk the rest of the time.  For the first month, training was an intense struggle filled with my 4 minute run, 1 minute walk series (45 min total) on the treadmill at 5:30  a.m. three times a week, followed by my weekend long runs where the I fought to keep up with the girls I ran with.  About 2 miles into every long run, I felt like I was going to puke.  I kept pushing past the puke point and I ran farther each time.  No, I have still never run an entire long run.  It actually wasn't until this season I was able to run 12 miles straight.. and enjoy it!

As my next marathon nears this Sunday, even though I run on treadmills and I may be slow and I do walk some of it, I more than ever consider myself a runner.  Everyone who gets out there and pushes themselves and finds a way to fit running into their lifestyle, is a runner. 

I have no desire to buy Pearl Izumi.


  1. I'd buy some if they ran an "I am a waddler" campaign :)

    I think my bike shorts are Pearl Izumi though. Please don't divorce me! :/

  2. Well, they didn't run a "don't be a slow biker" campaign (which coincidentally, I am too), so I'll let it slide this time ;)

  3. You worked so hard to get where you are now. You make it look so easy! :)

  4. What an awesome story of perserverence. I am hoping to start running/jogging here with Camille soon. Maybe one day we can run together; although I am leaning more to a 10 k first :)