Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did I Just Categorize Running as FUN???

I'm telling you, I hardly recognize myself these days.

Last week on Thanksgiving I did the Turkey Trot here in Long Beach. It's a super cool 5k on the beach, where people dress up. Very family friendly and fun vibe. I ran it with my friend Elaine, and set a new personal record of 32:21 for 5k. :) That beats my old time by 3:26, which made me very happy! (I'll post pictures when I get my camera back from my mom's house, I left it there on accident.)

I have NEVER been a runner. I literally did not think it was possible for me to run three miles. One of my earliest school memories is running in Kindergarten and coming in last place. But I've completed two 5k's now, and it definitely makes me feel good about myself. It's a challenge everytime, but the feeling of finishing the race without stopping to walk AND beating my old time made me want to keep signing up.

So, on Sunday I signed up for two more races. One is called Fast and Furious. It's a super cheap one in Long Beach on December 17th. Only $15! No medals or t-shirts, but I'm fine with that. I just want a reason to keep training and a chance to best my former time. I also signed up for the Long Beach Pajama 5k on February 11th. I'm doing that one with a friend from college who just had a baby. I think it will be fun, and again it gives me a reason to keep training. That one is $35.

I decided to fit both races into my November budget. One of them came out of my "cushion" that I set aside for unexpected expenses. The other came out of my fun budget.

Fun. As in, I sacrificed a dinner out or some new clothes to pay for a 5k.

Who am I, you guys?

But, I really am starting to enjoy running. It doesn't mean all my workouts are pretty, or that I always feel like going running after work. But I'm sort of hooked on the feeling I get after I do something I didn't know I had in me.

That feeling is similar to how I first felt when I successfully stuck to a budget. It's how I felt when I managed to go a whole year without shopping and get my credit card paid off for good.

A while back, BF said that if I can be as disciplined as I am with my finances, he knew I could take up running. I told him that was ridiculous, and that they were totally unrelated. And in some ways, they are. But I think the satisfaction of accomplishment translates. My competitive nature helps me succeed in both. The runner's high is similar to the budgeter's high. Or the debt-payer-offer's high. They both take a lot of work, and aren't inherently fun. But when you get to the payoff, they have their own appeal.

So, I encourage you, dear readers. Try something challenging that you're not sure if you can do. Believe that you can. Get through those first crappy weeks, where you hate it and you feel like it will never get better. Because it will. And the payoff is totally worth it.


  1. I ran 3-5 miles a day for about 30 years and then arthritis caught up with me, I miss it every day. Some mornings I am lucky to walk.

  2. This is a beautiful and encouraging post. You are an inspiration to challenge myself. Go sister go!

  3. I think about challenging myself with races sometimes. Once I reach my (probably) final weight loss goal, I won't have anything there to challenge me with fitness. And I know from my two weeks of maintenance that maintaining weight loss is not encouraging enough for me to go to the gym regularly and continue tracking calories.

    Then I think no way could I run a race, lol. I'm bookmarking this post. Maybe once I reach my goal I'll read it again, and it'll change my mind. ;)