Welcome to the slow sheep. Weird? Maybe. I am many things but these days, first and foremost, I feel like being a slow jogger and an eater are probably the most prominent, aside from my real-life-9-to-5 day job (which is in higher ed). My name is Meesh (well, maybe Michelle at work), I’m currently 33 years old, and this… dun dun dun… is my story.
The running part
I started “running” after a few too many sedentary years in college and then grad school. I had gotten my first real, stable job with normal hours and was in a routine. I figured it was about damn time I started to drop the college 25 and get into decent shape. I had been an athlete in HS – playing, at different times, soccer, basketball, and softball. I even threw shot put one winter (and was completely awful at it – turns out being a softball pitcher doesn’t translate). The final push to decide I had to get into shape? One of my staff members at the time was 71 years old and told tales of running the NY Marathon, and how she ran just about every day. And I told myself, get off your ass, you lazy 26 year old.
So I decided that I wanted to run the 4th of July 5k in the town that I lived in, which some friends have always run. I started on my treadmill, too chubby and embarrassed to hit the road. One minute running, five walking, it seemed like forever. Until I got to a quarter mile jogging, a quarter walking. From there, I just kept moving it up. Once I got to being able to jog a mile straight, I knew I could keep going. Eventually, I did. Once I got to three miles straight on the treadmill, I took it (very self consciously) to the road. Slowly and steadily, I kept running. My first 5k took me about 40 minutes. The next one, two months later, I got it down to about 33 minutes. At which point, I started believing that I could do it… and decided I’d sign up for a half marathon the next year.
Seven years, eleven half marathons, a gazillion 5ks, a handful of 10 milers, and many many miles logged later, here I am.Still running a nice slow steady pace, but always finishing. Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to drag some friends and family along for the ride. I never win the races, so why do I keep doing it?
Because the other half of my story is that I love to eat.
I like eating in, eating out, eating dessert, eating appetizers, snacking, and having a few great beers or glasses of wine with dinner, or to close out my evening. I love cupcakes, seafood, salads, pasta, buffalo wings, all of the above. I wake up and think about what I’m going to have for dinner (or lunch) all day. I have dreams about desserts. So I continue to run because I need to stay healthy and because I want to continue to eat, drink, and be merry in life. Socializing in my life includes food, beverages, and sometimes even athletic activity. So these things will remain in my life until I am unable to do them any more. Thus, I became a runner… because I was born an eater. And about the sheep part? Well, its just a thing, if you know me, you’ve seen my sheep. Tattoo and all.