White water rafting in the New River Gorge? Yes. Sure. Definitely. But if you ever met me on the street, the last word you would think of is “runner.” I’m short, just a bit overweight, and, well, not the dictionary definition of physically fit.
I’ve spent 25 years of my life AVOIDING pushing myself, pretty much. However, I’m not a couch-potato either. I like to hike. I like to swim. In good weather, I’ve been known to jump on a rapid run or two down the New River Gorge here in West Virginia.
This past winter I spent six months in Asheville, NC. A lovely place. However, it’s filled with mid twenty-something moms with young kids, and while the kids are in high-end preschool, the parents run laps around new housing developments and at the Y in matching running outfits.
This winter I also turned 26, and decided that my second quarter of life is going to be different than the first. So I started running, too.Before I even stepped on a treadmill, I remembered ACE’s Gorge-ous Trail Run & Walk. They say the best way to start running and keep running is to pick a race and sign up long before you’re ready. So I wanted to start smaller. I started running 5K races.
For each race, I held a goal: do only SLIGHTLY better then the last time around. I was not out to win the first race by any means. But on February 12th, I ran my first 5K and did not finish last.
So, y’know … first goal conquered.Now I’m a running novice. I like to run, and I try to get 10 miles a week. I’m signed up for my first long race, a 15K in the middle of May. Luckily, I’m at ACE, so I no longer have to run alongside those crazy moms in Asheville. They’re too tough.
But this? This is the New River Gorge! With 1,500 acres and hundreds of miles of trail, I can start working on my outdoor running and really get ready for my final goal, the ACE Gorge-ous ½ Marathon on Oct 22, 2011.
Thirteen point one miles. It might not be pretty, but I’ll be proud to cross the finish line (even if it’s last and I have to crawl). Keep checking back for deets and such; I promise to keep you updated.
I’ve already decided to sign up. Have you?