Who are you and what did you do with Judy?

Wearing that mesh top outside
Wearing that mesh top outside

Do you ever stop and think about just who you have become?

Last Thursday at the track made me do just that. When I started running I spent almost a year on the treadmill because I was too afraid the running police would pull me over or laugh at me for not being a “real” runner (hint: there is no running police).

I swore I would never race.

Then I swore I would never do a half. Until I did my first half. As clueless as I was, as undertrained as I was, as slow as I was, I was hooked. There is really just something about the challenge of a longer distance.

God help me if I ever attempt a marathon. I finish a half and sometimes I feel great, but most often I think there is just no way I could run double that distance.

Oh sure, I know if I wanted to, I’m pretty sure I could (because, you know, I’m ambitious). Slowly, of course. Maybe painfully.

Who AM I?
Anyway, I was talking about who I’ve become.

Last week I went to the track all by my lonesome to do speed work. It was going to be a hot & humid day and I really didn’t want to do it that night (and I would still be by myself).

Only it turns out I wasn’t by myself. The high school girls’ soccer team was there, too.

I very much doubt beginner runner me would have joined them. I won’t lie: the thought of heading back home to the safety of my treadmill did cross my mind.

But darn it, I was already there (even if it was only 1 mile from my house). And the dogs already had their kongs. So I stayed.

It may have been speed work for me, but those high school girls, for the most part, were chicking me (can it be chicking if we’re both female?). Hardly shocking, since I’m slow and they’re almost 40 years younger.

The point is that running will give you confidence. The confidence to take to the track with younger, faster runners and still just do your own thing.

What AMย I wearing?
I didn’t have a lot of shoes when we moved. But I’ve been a DSW premier member ever since. Every year I think there’s no way I’ll be premier again (like this year), but every year I am. Some running shoes might just help me towards that premier status, but the bulk is shoes: flats, sandals, boots, booties. You name it, I probably have it.

This year I noticed a funny thing: I don’t wear heels anywhere as often as I used to. Of course since I don’t work I’m not in an office environment. But being 5’1″, I love me a heel (within reason). Still, it seems I’m always in the midst of training and I don’t want to strain (or exacerbate) my IT band or anything else.

So I find myself in flats or low heels most of the time. Every once in a while on the weekend, when we go out to dinner, I’ll wear my heels. I always figure my shoes deserve to go out too, ya know?

And let’s talk about what I wear out & about while running. Mesh see through tops in the heat of the summer. Short shorts I swore I would never wear outside. I’m not to the sports bra and shorts stage and I really doubt I every will be, but never say never.

Running changes everything! In a good way.

Have you ever looked back & realized how much running has changed you!

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

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15 thoughts on “Who are you and what did you do with Judy?

  1. This made me laugh – the running police pulling you over! ๐Ÿ™‚ It feels like that at the beginning, doesn’t it? I’m so proud of you for not turning around and going home once you saw the soccer team at the track. I would definitely be intimidated. But, I think you are right that running gives you confidence. I definitely notice that in myself as well. I never where short-sleeved shirts. I am so self-conscious about my arms. Gaining weight went to my arms, among other places. But, with running short-sleeves are a must and I don’t feel bad about myself when I do it anymore. I even find myself considering wearing a tank when it is so hot clothes become a burden.

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  2. Because I am tall (5’7″) it is always interesting to read of a shorter person’s perspective, especially as I take the convenience of my height for granted.

    I have no problem wearing running shorts (I wear Oiselle with panty-liners and they are very short, as noted by my better half!) and tanks, but I can pretty well say I will never run on the street in a sports bra, no matter how hot and humid it is. No one wants to see a senior citizen out running in that! I do my stretching and/or yoga in my home in one, though. Quite comfy.

    Oh, yes, we do push ourselves beyond what we think is our limit. I remember in summer of 2012, my first year running, trying to complete 1.75 miles around a track. 5K seemed so out of reach then. Now I never give that distance a second thought, never mind worrying whether I can finish it. Last summer I ran ten miles, and have just started training for 13.1 miles. I can safely say, though, that a full marathon is not in my future.

    Oh, yes regarding high school runners: Last year I asked our girls’ track team coach (I work in a parochial high school) if I could run with her team to help me break a nine minute mile. She said yes, and one day last December I headed into the gym to stretch with them.

    “Mrs. Ciampanelli is trying to get a sub-nine-minute mile,” she told her girls. “We’re going to help her today.”

    So exciting! We exited the building together and that was the last I saw of them. Hard as I tried, before a quarter mile was done those gazelles were out of my vision. I finished my run alone, unsuccessful in my quest, chuckling all the way. Those kids had no clue. The upside is that it makes for a funny story.

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  3. I’ve only been running seriously since the beginning of the year, but I’ve definitely noticed a tonne of changes in myself! I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running for years and years now, so the fact that I’m still doing it and actually enjoying it is huge. That being said, I have yet to run my first race, and the thought of doing something like a half just terrifies me, but never say never, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Seriously, when I started I swore up & down I would never race & a half? No way!

      I think I started in 2009/8. Didn’t run my first half until almost 2012.

      And if you never race, it’s fine too!

      And I still have a run/hate relationship with running.

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  4. Your track story is so funny! A few years back we were in NC visiting the in laws and I had speedwork to do so my FIL dropped me off at the UNC track. I was in the middle of my 800’s when the UNC track team (think Marion Jones, gold spikes, all of it) joined me. Oh how I wanted to bolt! But my FIL wasn’t picking me up for another hour so I forced myself to stay while they all flew past me. Yeah my running skirts are waaay shorter than anything I’d ever think of wearing in civilian life but when running, I couldn’t care less.

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  5. I’ve never enjoyed heels and now that I to am battling my ITB, I keep it to low heels. I also find flats don’t give me enough support, so I’m rather stuck with my choice of shoes at work. If I could, I’d wear my sneakers all the time, but I can’t.

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  6. Oooh I LOVE my bootie running shorts! I mean these are WAY too short for a 52 year old woman to wear in public….but I do! I’ve earned it! (But I only wear them when I actually am running)

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  7. Some great changes for you!! I haven’t noticed any in myself. I will wear heels occasionally because they do deserve to go out every once in a while ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. I run on the ACP track sometimes at lunch or after work and wonder what the young kids are thinking about the old lady running. I just try to ignore them.

    I do like to look good so I will never wear shorts or capris or tights. I am so glad they invented running skirts. When it is cold, I just wear them over capris or tights. So far my arms are ok so I do wear tanks.

    Yeah, I never thought I’d run a half marathon and I feel that way after each one but that feeling goes away and I sign up for another.

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