A Trail of Two Years


Today marks my almost-every-damn-day runiversary of two years. In that time I have lost weight, slimmed down, started "looking significantly younger" according to friends, and had to slowly replace most of my wardrobe. I went from an Extra Large to a Medium, a 38-waist to a 32. My body is still bulky and awkward, but it is dramatically less bulky and awkward.

My entire history with running can likely be tracked on Nike+. I started my journey with Nike+ in 2010 during a workplace challenge to log miles. I ended up logging 149 miles for the challenge and then stopped. I tried to restart in 2011 and 2012, but both were shortlived attempts. (I tried to start in 2011 as a New Year's resolution.)

A summary of those years is included below:

2010 2011 2012
149 mi 7 mi 7 mi
22 runs
(all around June)
5 runs
(all in January)
4 runs
(all in October)

Given the newfound and steadfast commitment, you might wonder what had changed in 2013. In 2013, I decided to refocus my life by improving my mental and physical health. After years of treatment, medications, hospitalizations, breakdowns, failed suicides, etc... I thought a more holistic response might be required on my part.

For 2013, almost all of the 1175 miles were walked on a trail that starts near my house and weaves though town. Slowly, with podcasts and music, my thoughts and memories, I started becoming fit and my mind started feeling like my own again. This is a simplistic way of putting it, but I wanted to explain the logic behind running for me.

As I walked into 2014, I started the transition (the couch to 5K, if you will) to running. I slowly became involved in local running groups starting with the What! Runs and runs put on by Fit Right NW. After that, with Marilyn's advice, I started choosing some races and started focusing on a half marathon. Around my 1-year runiversary I did my first race (8K in Hazel Dell), it was one of the first times I was able to run an entire distance and I was thrilled. My training continued, and in a near-last-minute decision, I signed up for the Lacamas Lake Half in July and had a great time.

For 2015, I joined two more local running groups the Run, Grub, Chug: Chuggers and Rebel Runners (track workouts). I'm slowly working through some (rather unexplained and recent) social anxiety and learning more about training, stretches, best practices, etc. I also joined a Planet Fitness gym for cross training before going to bed, which has helped a great deal with my long-standing insomnia issues.

The real runiversary data is included below:

2013 2014 2015
1175 mi 1773 mi 375 mi
209 runs 279 runs 75 runs
(so far...)

In this upcoming third year, I already have two marathons planned, inbetween several halfs and shorter races. I enjoy running but don't feel competitive about it. For me, it has become cathartic and a way of pounding out my thoughts on the pavement. In those respects, running has worked wonders!