Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Intro to Running

So, I kind of consider myself a runner...sometimes more than others. I will explain this vagueness with the backstory to my running career.

When I was little, I played little league. I started with t-ball and worked my way up to the Majors. I was usually the best base runner on the team. I was fast. I was a sprinter.

Eventually, I stopped sprinting and switched to sports that required little to no running.

During my junior year of track, a friend asked if I would run with her. She was tired of running with the hardcore people, who left her in the dust. I agreed and we started running together. At a track meet one afternoon, she asked me to fill in for her in the 1500m as she wanted to focus on just running her 3000m. Stupidly, I agreed.

It hurt like hell and I am sure my time was terrible, but I ran it. Afterwards, I went and threw the discus, my normal track event, and I threw farther than I ever had before. Suddenly, I was hooked.

We continued to run together and at the end of the school year, we promised that if one of us ran cross country in the fall, the other would too. I think she believed she would be the one forcing me into it....but it turned out the other way. I showed up for the first day of cross country practice and she was nowhere to be found. I showed up at her place of employment and practically dragged her kicking and screaming to daily doubles. We spent the rest of the season fighting over the position of ‘second fastest female’ on the team. The title of ‘first fastest’ went to a girl who eventually went on to run cross country at Stanford and was far faster and more hardcore than either of us ever intended to be. I made some awesome friends on that team and it cemented my love of running and training.

Somehow, I let my friend convince me that we should run a half marathon. After our track season was over, we continued to run together, hitting 30+ miles a week, our long runs consisting of 9 or 10 miles at a time.

A few weeks after we graduated from high school, we headed over to Eastern Oregon and ran the Pacific Crest Half Marathon. It was a nice, flat course and I ran it in 2:04:55, a time which I was quite proud of. After that, I never wanted to run for that long ever again.

This is not my idea of a good time.
In August, I headed to college and ran on the cross country team. I was probably the slowest person on the Division III team, but I wasn’t really there to compete. I just wanted to continue to enjoy running on a team.

Then winter hit. Have you ever spent a winter in Maine? It was hard enough to walk to class, let alone go for a run. Running sort of fell of my radar then, as I struggled just to walk from one building to another. Needless to say, I didn’t last long in Maine.

What? I really like beavers, ok?
I didn’t pick up running again until a few years later. I ran off and on for fitness. I never did much with it, until one of my old teammates moved to the same school as me. We started running together and eventually we did a 5K. Our school mascot was the Beavers, so I wore a beaver tail and our school colors, just for funsies.

After that, I ran off and on. Usually only when the weather was nice, and as soon as I got busy or the weather go crappy, I stopped. I guess you could call me a fair weather runner....

Now that I am running again though, I want to keep it up. I will never be one of those people that runs every single day, or looks like Jillian Michaels, but that's not why I do it. It makes me feel strong, like I can do anything I want. 

Including eat a bag of chocolate chips...because, hey, I went for a run today.