Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Beginning

To every situation there is always a back story or some explanation of how you got to where you are now.  I'm 32 and struggling with this new found desire to run.  I say struggling because I've never been an athlete by any stretch of the mind and have a tough time with a training/activity regimen. 

I suppose this is where the back story begins right?  Here goes...

I grew up in sunny California where I was blessed with warm and sunny days for much of the year.  Snow days didn't exist where I lived, but as a kid I used to pray that it would rain so hard they would close the school for the day.  Yeah, no such luck with that.  Despite the perfect climate and plenty of sporting opportunities, I was never encouraged or felt like being physically active.  That unfortunately lead to my being overweight for pretty much all of my life. 

I would instead dedicate my time to school work, music and hanging with family and friends.  PE was always the time of day in class that I dreaded the most.  What injury could I fake so I didn't have to run the lap?  You know what I'm talking about, don't you?  The dreaded lap around the whole playfield at school you had to run before you could participate in that days activity.  They timed it of course, making you feel even worse than just coming in last they had to give you your pitiful time.  Ugh.  I was always that stereotypical fat kid picked last for teams and the first one out because the other team would gang up on me. 

Now don't get me wrong, I was fairly active.  I played basketball in elementary and my first year of high school, though I had to stop because of my knees (thanks for that knees, btw).  Then because of my love of music and playing my instrument, I got involved in my HS marching band.  I know, band geek, whatever.  I must say though, without my heavy involvement with the arts I never would have had the experiences I've had.  Because of marching band I've traveled all over the country playing for my college football and basketball teams (marched in the Rose Bowl even!) and made lifelong friends simply by dedicating my time to music.  But I digress.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, my lack of fitness.  Right.  

So that brings me to adulthood where there are even less opportunities to be active.  There are no team sports you can join without going into one of those play and drink leagues.  You know, the leagues that have dodgeball as one of the sports and they have beer there to drink while you play, sound like fun right? <sarcastic>  Though all I can think of is being back in elementary school again and I just shudder.

Then during one of my meetings for WW (yes, trying to improve my eating habits through a program, but more importantly teaching me about eating healthier) the leader challenged us all to finish a 5K.  A 5K, huh?  Well when I go on my long walks I can easily walk a 5K without even thinking about it or getting tired, so that wouldn't be a physical challenge for me.  What about running it?

Huh?  Nah...that's crazy talk.  Running?  Pppsssshhhhh...

That little seed planted and grew and grew and grew until I couldn't get rid of the thought anymore and all the talking myself out of it had lost its point.  Why not go for it?  I love a challenge in every other aspect of my life, why not with my physical being?  The thought was so overwhelming that I had to find a training schedule to make this mountain that I was thinking of climbing into a molehill of some sort.  I zeroed in on this and made this challenge my own.  It had nothing to do with the challenge from the leader, nothing to do with my past of physical inactivity, it had everything to do with what I wanted to do for me and show that I could do this and break the inactivity cycle I had been a part of for much of my life.

Okay, I'm going to do this...oh boy!

What did I get myself into?  Well that's where my new story begins and the journey that will be documented here so that it can hopefully help those people that want to start something new regardless of their stage of fitness or age they are in their life.  What I've learned more than anything with this challenge is that it is never too late to start something to improve your physical being.  No one is a lost cause and as long as you believe in yourself and keep pushing, you will get to where you want to go.  If anything, I am here to go along the way with you. 

So tie up those laces and let's get outside, the road is calling our name...let's not keep it waiting.


  1. Lena, (hoping you get notifications b/c I'm sure you don't check blog posts back this far!) I decided I was going to read your whole blog from the beginning! I wanted to find someone like ME, someone I could relate to, who didn't start out a jock in school and run a 5 minute mile after a week of running. YOU are the person. Your story is very close to mine and I'm excited to read about how you progressed and ran the Princess this year. I'm training for it in 2014 and even though I've been running for a couple years, I've had injuries and set backs. I just thought you should know I was reading...somehow that feels less stalkerish! LOL! ;)

    1. Karen, I do get notifications and I thank you for your comment! I'm so glad you found my blog and very flattered by your comment! This year has been a long one in that so much has happened and feel blessed to know that hopefully I can help other people out there.

      I'm SO excited for you to run Princess in 2014, it was an amazing experience and one not to be missed! Injuries and set backs can play even tricks on the mind, but I know you will prevail and that medal will be yours!

    2. Thank you so much Lena! I spent the better part of my day, yesterday, reading your whole blog! I finished! SO inspiring! Sometimes I feel completely inadequate, training for a half, especially reading blogs where people have been running for years and years and they run every single day...20 miles. LOL. Reading your whole journey just inspired me and made me feel like I can do this too! When I got to the end and saw you mention Running with Sass, I thought it was fitting because I have read Heather's blog as well and I just hope that in a years time I'm blogging about how inspired I was when I read YOUR blog all the way through! Thanks for putting yourself out there.

    3. I am so glad that what I've written and experienced inspires you. It makes all the effort SO worthwhile. You sometimes wonder if putting yourself out there really makes any kind of difference. Thank you for reading and I am so excited to watch your progress to 13 point freaking one. :) You can do it and we can support each other through it!