First - some background information. I ran in high school. Not really because I was good at it but because my friends ran and it was one sport I could be in and not really mess up. I'm not the most coordinated and always felt like I froze under pressure. I'm also not much into sacrificing my body for a sport so when I'd play volleyball or basketball in gym, I'd hesitate, never sure of where to pass the ball or if I should take the shot or if I should go after the ball and I never, ever dove. With track and cross-country, that wasn't a problem. You just had to run. (I didn't attempt hurdles or high jump.) In elementary school, I loved playing tag and red rover. Running fast just felt good.
I wasn't much of a distance runner. I ran cross-country basically to try and stay in shape for track and because my friends were on the team. It was a small school and they needed the extra runners, too. I always did the minimum though. I did the least that was expected and if there was a way to do less than that, I'd do it. Dedication and commitment were not strong suits. I wanted to perform well but not really put in the time and effort to make that happen. I also don't think I understood how good I could possibly be but mostly, I just didn't care. I was happy just to finish the race and hang out with the team. So if our coach said to run 4-6 miles, I did 4. And possibly took a few short-cuts.
Fast forward a few years (after college and 2 kids) - I started going to a gym to get in shape. I had been walking on a treadmill but decided one day to jog. And almost fell off the treadmill because my ankles locked up. What in the world? It used to be so easy for me! A few more years went by (2 more kids). Some friends had talked about a training program called Couch to 5k - in 9 weeks, you go from being a couch potato to being able to run a 5k. We invested in a treadmill and I started running. I met with a friend very early twice a week to run 3-4 miles and occasionally, I'd run on the weekends. I was a runner again. I wasn't fast - but I was running and it felt good. I didn't use the treadmill a whole lot. If I couldn't meet with my friend, I usually didn't run. I didn't want to get up early or shower twice in one day or run too soon after eating something. You can see how it'd be difficult to fit a run in with all those requirements.
And then my friend and I weren't able to meet because our schedules got complicated and I stopped running.
Stay tuned for part 2!