As you may or may not know, I played soccer since I was 4 till I was 21. I had to be in pretty good shape for that. So when my soccer career came to a screeching halt after Nationals the fall of my senior year I had years of jock-dom and no outlet. What was I supposed to do with all of my pent-up jock energies? I don’t take well to not being in shape. I feel lazy if I haven’t done some sort of sweat-inducing, heart pounding exercise that day. I believe in the mantra of “no pain, no gain.”
I am a competitor with no competition, a jock with no sport, an athlete with no team, an exercise-aholic with no 12 step program. Will has a name for this syndrome that I suffer from. He refers to me as a “Recovering Jock.”
So, I did what any other listless National Champion (we won nationals my junior year) would do- decided to take up running, half marathons that is.
I ran my first one last April. I ran in the Wickedly Fast Half-Marathon. It was part of the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz (it was in Ks). There were guys dressed as Dorothy running in it. I finished in 1:45. That’s basically 13.1 consecutive 8 minute miles.
After that race I was wedding planning, graduating, and moving. So instead of scheduling another race I just decided that in the 10 weeks between graduation and the wedding I was going to run a total of 200 miles. I was 11 miles shy, but hey who’s counting anyway…. I am.
Now instead of competing with other people, I compete with myself. That has worked out pretty good for Will so far. I am always trying to bake an even better batch of chocolate chip cookies or a better pie. It’s a wonder I haven’t had to by him bigger pants since we’ve been married. 😉
The next chapter in my road to recovery is 2 fold. I started off this year with two goals. Run a half-marathon again this spring and run a total of 500 miles this year. Well so far I have run 250 miles this year, and I just ran a half-marathon last weekend.
Last weekend I ran in the Kentucky Derby Festival half-marathon, I trained for 3 months. And let me tell you something, training without a partner (I ran last year’s race with my teammate Kaitlyn) is a lot harder, and I have a lot less time to train now that I have an 8-5, a husband, and a “grown-up” life. But I trained, and when I didn’t think I could train any more I would just get Izzy and have her pull me till we were both ready to collapse. I tell you what, that little mutt is strong!
Anyway, I also learned that races are a great excuse for a minivacation! We had a blast in Louisville last weekend. All it took was a 90 minute drive to flip the switch to vacation mode. So I say why not stay fit and have reasonably affordable minivacations every now and then! Even better- I got a medal for going on that vacation!
Being that I am now a “recovering jock” and am a year and a half removed from playing a college sport I didn’t have high hopes for doing as well this year. I finished in 1:42. That’s 3 minutes faster than last year! I had an average pace 7minutes and 47 seconds per mile.
Turns out, I am not a recovering jock. With a time like that, I am most definitely still a jock. A jock with 250 miles left to run this year, the Colorpalooza 5K in Cincinnati, and maybe another big race. =)
So here it is, my big confession:
What I have learned from this process of adjusting to life post soccer is this:
Do what you enjoy doing and do it with people you enjoy.
For instance, Will doesn’t run with me, but he encourages me, brings me smoothies on Saturdays after my long runs, gets dinner started while Izzy and I are out running after work, cheers for me at the race (even though I never even looked at him), and we got a road trip together!
Another example: And I am a good cook/baker which I love doing, and I do with/for Will as well.
Will thinks I have what it takes to run a whole marathon. I had never given it any thought really, not until he suggested it. Now I am pondering it. Any thoughts?