Every day after school started the same. I went to the nurse, stood in an ice bath, had my shins wrapped and headed off to do my 1 mile run for track practice.
This 1 mile run was the intended warm up for practice, but it was all my shins could handle. After taking 3x’s as long as the others, it was back to the ice bath then home.
I swore I wasn't a runner. Trying out for the track & field team in high school was a way to prove myself wrong. I like to test my doubts at times, but by month two I left the team because I could not competitively contribute. I had earned the nickname: “twin shins.”
Years later, I remained physically active but without goals. Knowing “I don’t have shins to run” I never wanted to try again.
That was until March 2012. Overcoming health complications with my thyroid, I began adjusting my diet and craved a fitness plan that would motivate and keep me accountable. I began the couch to 5k program. Gradually building my distance and learning my natural stride really helped me train injury-free.
It was May that I signed up for my first 5k: “Color Me Rad” in September of 2012. Once I ran this event, the addiction began. My journey had inspired others and I began coaching my cousin, Rebecca on her journey to a 5k. Today, I have completed a handful of 5ks and one 4 mile race with Rebecca. This November, I will be running in my first half marathon in downtown Indianapolis, alongside Rebecca.
Learning my natural stride, staying accountable, gaining some confidence, and letting my legs recover respectively has made running my favorite cardio exercise. Not to mention, it provides a great sense of therapy emotionally and mentally!
Written by Laura Leachman, OnTrack Fitness group fitness instructor Indianapolis IN