What Have I Done?

I keep doing this to myself…

Flash back to March, I had just conquered my first mud run. Originally, it was supposed to be a 5k, but they tacked on some extra distance and it ended up being more like 4.5 miles. And I ran the whole way.

Feeling like I was on top of the world, I bit the bullet and signed myself up for something I’d always wanted to do but never thought I was capable of: a half marathon.

In college, when my fiancé and I were on the rocks, I had taken to running the loop around the campus, claiming running cleared my head; and I was really determined to like it.

The truth is, running just bought me alone time where I could ruminate on all the thoughts buzzing around in my head while clomping ungracefully along US-1, struggling to catch my breath. Granted, it got me in really good shape for Big Love, and I’m not sure I would have made it through that show as easily had I not trained my body for endurance.

I had always glamorized running in my mind. I saw long, lean, hard bodied women with toned arms and washboard abs, gliding gracefully like gazelles, glistening ever so slightly under the hot Miami sun.

That being said, I never really loved running. I thought I looked stupid. I couldn’t breathe correctly. I was really slow.

I tried to run with a friend of mine after the fiancé and I broke up, and I dissolved into a hysterical mess around mile 2.5, not because I was distraught from the break up, but because I was embarrassed at how slow I was compared to my friend, and because I felt like I couldn’t finish that day.

That’s the first time I thought I wanted to run a long distance race. I wanted to challenge myself to do something I didn’t think I was capable of.

So a whole year went by, and I ran off and on, but I never committed; I was still too scared of it.

Finally, I sucked it up and registered. It was supposed to be me and the director of the documentary, but he bailed out pretty early. Which just left me; alone. It would have been pretty easy to give up. But I trained hard. I did sprint intervals, and hills, and 8.5 miles in the hot Burbank sun. I got to a point where I thought my body could actually do it.

Until my body started breaking down. My bowel movements were irregular (tmi?). I wasn’t sleeping well. I was cranky, and achy, and everything hurt all the time. My bipolar swings were terrible; I put everyone through hell. The day before the race, I was advised not to run it. Once again, I dissolved into a hysterical mess.

Here I was: after a year of psyching myself up, and trying to turn into Miss Positivity, Miss Go-Getter, Miss Conquer Your Fears; I was being told that my body likely wasn’t capable.

And you know what I did? I said FUCK THAT. And I ran my first half marathon. At sub 2:30. And I felt great.

And then I stopped running. Just stopped. Sure I do Tabatas or other intervals on the treadmill sometimes, but for the most part, I just don’t feel compelled to run now that I lift so often. But I’m seeing myself gaining muscle and not losing the fat, so know I need a twinge more cardio in my life. Since I work part time at a running store, running seems like the logical step.

So I signed up for a 10k to keep me in line.

I know; I’m crazy, right?

The 10k is for a good cause and it’s a really cool route through the Universal Studios Back Lot. I think there are still a couple spots left if you want to run with me! I’m running a 9.36 minute mile right now, so certainly nothing to be intimidated by 😉

If you don’t like running, or aren’t in the area, you can also donate to the WeSpark Cancer Support Center; they’re pretty cool.



6 thoughts on “What Have I Done?

  1. Thank you for sharing this story, Sam!!! 🙂
    I’m like 75% considering doing a 10k on Thanksgiving. Just to do it. Like hey, I hate running a 5k, but BAM – I’m gonna crank out 6 miles.. lol.

      • sambangs says:

        Girl, I hear you. I just have to find a good playlist and visualize myself being awesome.
        I’m not even kidding; got through training for my half by picturing myself half-naked and pole dancing with an incredible body. Whatever works, right?

  2. How you are with running is how I was with cycling. Until I pushed myself to do it even when the thought of it was vomitus, and then became addicted. Now… if I don’t ride regularly (like is happening right now) my body screams at me – “Where The F is the endorphin-inducing fun we were having???”

    So, even though I highly recommend cycling over running — less knee problems, better cardio & entire body workout, speed-is-fun — running is still lightyears better than not running.

    You will CRUSH this 10K, Sam. Because despite your ebbs and flows with your physical body, your mind is a freaking Ironman Triathlete!

    Even when you only have time to run for ten minutes – run.
    Even when the thought of doing it makes you convulse with hatred – run.
    Even when you’d rather sit on the couch and indulge in self-pity over something bad that happened – run.

    Run. For your life.

    • sambangs says:

      Don’t get me wrong… cycling is still happening often, and I do hope to do a triathlon in the next year or so… not so sure on the whole Ironman thing; we’ll see haha

      Thank you for the support; I’m pretty excited. Started training at the gym last night and I was surprised how long my body was able it keep up with where I wanted it to be running. Never know until you try, right?

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