Welcome to Cloud Run! Beyond the obvious of this being a running blog, I'll use this first post to introduce myself and the blog.
First off -- why the name? I was mulling over various blog name ideas -- mostly cliches -- when I thought to myself, "When I'm running, I'm on cloud nine." Hmm ... Cloud 5k? Cloud 26.2? Nah -- CLOUD RUN!!!
Aside from a year of recreational jogging in college, I didn't begin running in earnest until January of 2011, at the age of 26. I just woke up one day and had this strange urge to run. It would be convenient to say that everything after that first run was smooth and sweet, but as I'm sure is the case with all of us runners, the proverbial (and literal) road is far from easy.
It was an entire year of bi- or tri-weekly runs before I signed up for my first 5k on a whim. It was St. Patrick's Day 2012, and at the time the max I was doing in a single gym session was 3 miles in about 33 minutes. That first road race was brutal, but even more than that, it was addictive. Struggling to keep my legs moving through the finish chute, I couldn't wipe the smile or the sweat from my face -- I was hooked, and that was that.
Now, on July 12th, I've got eight 5k's (and a few age place medals) under my running shorts band, and I'm in the 10th week of training for my first 1/2 marathon on August 18th. My recreational running career has grown by leaps in bounds since that first 5k, in so many ways that I never thought possible.
Which brings me to this blog. I'm eager to read other runners' perspectives on this, but in my experience, running as a competitive sport and as a form of fitness can feel pretty daunting, even exclusive or elitist. Maybe it's the pricy gear and toned bodies of those speed demons in Corral 1 of every race. Maybe it's just how utterly impossible running 26.2 miles sounds if you've never done it. Whatever it is, my goal is for this blog to be a friendly, encouraging, and inclusive place to read, write, and share about running.
I don't know about you, but for a long time I was too timid to actually call myself a runner. "Runners are those super-muscular speedsters I see at the local running shop -- the ones who brag about their 15:00 5ks and their 30-mile long runs. That's not me! I can't even break an 8:00 mile!!"
These were my discouraging words to myself for a long time. But over the past months I've grown as a runner, both in speed and endurance, past points that I never thought achievable. More importantly, I've gained the self confidence that is crucial to being successful at anything, especially running. I am a runner. And so are you. So is anyone with that love and drive for pounding the pavement (or the track, or the trail, or the treadmill =)).
Yep, I am a runner. And I'm on cloud run.