I can honestly say that prior to 2007 I don't think I have run a day in my life. In fact, I would go out of my way to avoid running when I went to the gym. Biking, elliptical, even the rowing machine but never running. Well in 2007 my family got my oldest sister a new iPod Nano with the Nike+ chip and all of the other accessories to go with it. Well she had one, then her boyfriend go the chip, then his brother got the chip, then I got the chip with one of my friends, my other sister go the chip, and so did a few other people. Before I knew it we were all competing in Nike+ challenges on the website and loving the trash talk feature. :-)
In 2007 I ran 600 miles and that was with taking two months off. Not bad for my first year. The most miles I did in a month were 110 miles! Wowsers, not bad for just starting to run.
(Me in the Cinque Terre, Italy after I had been running for 3 1/2 months.)
2008, I only did 217 miles (that were recorded). The most I did in a month was 60 miles. What happened? What was I doing in 2008 that I wasn't running? While my average pace had decreased, my life seemed to be consumed with with going places like Hawaii and Vegas. The sad thing is that I know I ran more miles but I didn't always have my iPod as it died and since I wasn't competing in an challenges that year I didn't record them until I got an iPod a few months later. Also, I ran more than is recorded because I went running with my sister when she was training for the San Diego Rock 'N Roll Marathon and she did an amazing job finishing and we were there with signs to cheer her in!
2009, I had hurt my foot pretty badly, possibly plantar fasciitis as it felt like the bottom of my foot was being stabbed every time I walked, so I took time off but did some runs every now and then to test out my "healing". I did 240 miles with one month doing 50 miles. Too bad I didn't record all of my walking in Paris, I am sure I would have gotten another 100 miles easily! Also noted, my pace went down significantly and I had to start all over.
(Me at the San Francisco Giants game. I had gained 13 pounds since the middle of 2008 and can definitely tell.)
Enter 2010. Challenge for the year is to do 50 miles a month. There are 12 seperate challenges so if you screw up one month it won't haunt you until the end of the year. I completed the 50 miles in January in 2 weeks due to recovering from a little sledding "incident" in Tahoe over Christmas. And in February I have done over 40 miles already so yea!
I have to admit it is frustrating coming back into running after being out of it for so long. I still remember the first time I ran 5 miles. I mean ran the entire thing without stopping (on the treadmill). The only reason I did stop was because I was meeting someone and needed to go shower. I remember feeling like I could have kept running forever at that speed. Now, I have to walk/jog, walk/jog, and am so much slower! I feel like I have to start all over as if I had never run a day in my life. How did I let myself get this far removed from running? How long until I really get it back?
Only time will tell when it will fully return. For now I am just keeping it up and pushing myself to become better. I will admit the other week after I had gone for some good runs I came back with that runner's high. That high that you feel so good that you could go out and do it all over again no problem. I admit, it felt really good and I wanted that feeling more. When I was frustrated after a bad studying session which I just felt like the concepts were falling out of my head, I went for a hard run and came back thinking, no big deal, I will go over the material and eventually I will get it. And you know what? I did.
Ok, I have talked you ear off and it is now time for me to get back to studying. But after that I am going for a run. :-)