Monday, February 4, 2013

It's okay to be a chubby runner!

It was around 3 o'clock on what was a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon when I got the call. I was fourteen and was doing nothing much after getting home from school. It was my dad's voice on the phone:

"I've got it Courtney"
"What dad, what have you got?"
"I've got the sport that will take you to the Olympics"
[pause... I'd never thought about going to the Olympics .. didn't have any idea why I was getting this call out of the blue]
"And what sport is that dad?"
[another pause... thoughts of being like the guys in Cool Runnings going through my head]

"Why bobsledding?"
"Because you can run fast and weigh a lot"

[pause as I get kind of excited, sounds like fun, but then I realize....]

"Dad, did you just call me fat?"

Yes that is the call that no fourteen year old girl wants to receive.... the fat call. I was chubby and kinda short. One guy who tried to date me in middle school ACTUALLY tried to flirt with me by calling me Courtney FAT-man before giving me his nike wrist band and trying to hold my hand! But I could still out-sprint most everyone in a soccer game. One time I remember hearing the parents from the other team commenting on how long my legs were... and I am 5'4" now, probably was shorter then, and weighed probably ~140lbs. So I knew didn't have long legs, I could just run faster then their daughters. And I remember telling my dad about that and wondering how fast I had to be running to create the illusion of long legs...

I think that training as a chubby athlete all my life has prevented a lot of injury. It takes a lot more muscle to run in a 140lb body than a 110lb body. Then as I dropped weight while living in Montana, I could sustain those speeds.

Now after having been injured I'm back up to ~127, which is 10-15lbs higher than my ideal racing weight. It will come back off if I keep training. But earlier today I did 5 mile repeats at a sub-6 minute pace (between 5:56 and 5:39) while weighing about 15 lbs more than most girls that can run like that.... As great as it would be to be a bobsledder, I can just stick with running for now and see how far this woman who was a happy-go-lucky Chubby girl can get in the running world :)

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