Guest post by Andrew Strathdee
A couple of years ago my girlfriend Kimberly started a food blog about trying a new food every week of the year. She called it the “Caesar Salad Incident”, referring to the first time she tried Caesar salad after being told by her family her entire life that “she didn’t like it, because it has eggs in it”. Apart from being an amusing story about one family’s culinary black sheep escaping from the bland wasteland of food sans fromage, I found this story increasingly relevant to my own life after I started running.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I was actively discouraged from running by my family, but on more than one occasion I can recall being told that “our family just isn’t built for running!” I took this in stride (as it were) and mostly stuck to sports that involved less physicality: Sailing, Roller Hockey, and Counter-Strike. And over the last few years, less intense exercise sadly turned into no exercise at all. Running was an afterthought.
However! One rainy evening in Somerville I met the truly wonderful Adrienne Bard in Davis Square, and over a healthy meal of beer and tater tots she convinced me to join the 2 Fat Nerds blog. The community of friends and family working to have fun while working out, and the wonders of the mystical “A.F.P.” were all it took to convince me to go for a run.
Armed with the knowledge that I could probably, at best, run a mile or so without dying (thanks to a little book I’m sure some of you have read, Born to Run) and the encouragement from ARBard, I set out on my first run in November 2012 wearing a very busted pair of vans skate shoes, my headphones, and a tracking app. It was cold, and that first mile really sucked, but I went 3.39 miles that first day, and from the instant I plugged in my workout on 2FNS for those A.F.P.'s I knew that I was hooked. I think that first run was all it took for me to have my "Caesar Salad Incident" moment. I liked it, contrary to all my expectations.
I kept going, once a week at first, but slowly I worked up to running longer distances more frequently. If you had asked me in October whether I thought I'd be running over 10 miles a week I'd have laughed in your face. As cheesy as this sounds, I credit this blog more than anything else for my quick success with running. The ease of tracking progress coupled with the awesome community was amazingly helpful. I'm lucky to have found you guys. Thanks to 2 Fat Nerds, I have run over 100 miles in just over 2 months. I hope to run a half-marathon by the time the year is out, and hit my goal for 2013: run 500 miles.
Even though I only started running in November, it feels like much longer than that. That first run was the first step in some pretty incredible life changes that I’ve made. I became a vegetarian, pulling the trigger on something that I’ve thought about a lot over the past year or so. I’m going back to school this Tuesday for the first time in 3 years, to finally finish my degree and start a career outside of slinging lattes. I lost ten pounds. I run. As Adrienne is fond of saying, "Who ARE you??"
I'm ready to find out.
And yes, I did buy new shoes.
Kim still updates her blog with some really incredible foods that we try! Check us out at http://thecaesarsaladincident.com/
Great post! It’s funny how at first I inspired you and now it’s turned around and you’re completely pushing me! Accountability!
Those are some sweet new fresh kicks!
I’ve been really amazed at how long and fast you can run, so quickly. Your putting in some awesome workouts, very cool to watch your progress
As much as it enrages me that you ran 3.39 miles on your first try and it still kills me to do anything over 3.1, this is awesome! You can TOTALLY do 500 miles this year!!
It took me ten weeks to run three miles. Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you aren’t a runner. You, and others like you, are the reason Jono keeps 2fns going – because now You can inspire others like he did you. Great post (and keep Adrienne moving!)
Great post! I’m amazed that you were able to go so far, so fast 🙂 That’s pretty awesome. Keep up the hard work, and best of luck reaching your 2013 goal!!
I totally agree! I am not otherwise athletic but I like running and it was a later-in-life surprise to me. It’s amazing how running creeps into your life and now I really miss it if I drop off and stop for a while. And what I miss is the mental sanity and calm that running brings.
Way to go Andrew – your relatives in Canada are very proud of you! Come to Guelph for Canadian Thanksgiving and we’ll run in the annual Thanksgiving Day races together 🙂