My McSisters have always liked to label me “athletic”. I don’t really deserve that label.  But lately, I’ve been striving to own it!

Let’s rewind a little bit.  I hate running. I find it obnoxious when people claim to like running.  Those 26.2 bumper stickers are so snooty! But, I’ve always recognized the convenience of running, and how it’s a gateway skill into other sports and fitness endeavors.  I’ve tried it here and there over the years, but I never really got anywhere with it and I’ve always quit after a week or two of trying.

And then my little sister ran a half marathon after training for less than 5 months.  Now, as we McSisters know, Mary McSister was never much for sports or fitness and she inherited the dreaded Ross flat-footedness and hip problems.  However, she got it in her head that she was going to run in the Pittsburgh marathon and by golly she did it!  Whenever I shook my head in amazement at her and asked how she did it, she said in her humble little way “It’s all mental, Ellen.”  I decided if she could do it, then so can I!

2 years and a pregnancy have gone by since and I’m finally FINALLY consistently running and actually getting somewhere with it!  Mary was right about it being mental.  I think going through 36 hours of labor and then a C-section has given me the mental groundwork for starting a fitness routine and sticking with it.  If my body could handle all that (and grow a 9 and a half pound baby!) then it can handle a little jog.  Also, having a little girl who will look up to me and take her cue from me for health and body image has really motivated me to tackle my own issues in that department.  And man do I have issues with my tissues!  My husband had to hide the scale from me last week because I was getting so frustrated that my exercise is not resulting in weight loss (yet).  But it’s not about weight loss, it’s about health.  I want to get to the point with my running that it’s just something I do, just part of my life, like taking care of my family and praying.  That’s the goal.

This is why I was so excited to read about Cari’s idea for a virtual 5K on September 29th.  I don’t know if I will actually be able to run a whole 5K by then but I am confident that I will at least finish one.  I’m working on this running program and I’m currently on week 2.  It’s definitely more accelerated that a Couch to 5K program and I might find myself needing to switch to a more relaxed program.  I’m hopeful, though and more than a little determined.  I made it through the first week without wanting to kill myself.  Also helping me along the way is that awesome Nike app that records your distance and time and tells you when you’ve hit each mile and then at the end some athlete congratulates you on a workout well done!  Lance Armstrong told me he was very proud of me after my last workout because I had gone farther than I ever had before.  I hope Usain Bolt congratulates me on my fastest run 🙂

I’m linking this up with Cari’s blog and the other wonderful blogging peeps who are working towards the virtual 5K.  Please help keep me accountable, McSisters!

PS, Happy Birthday to our one-and-only Sister McRunning-Pants, Mary!  We miss you!