I harbor a (no longer so) secret desire to be featured in the “I’m a Runner” column that is at the end of each issue of Runner’s World (I also want to be one of the super cool women shown in the Title Nine catalog but that is another story).
Since I doubt it will happen anytime soon, I am writing my own entry.
I’m a Runner
I started running as a kid to get into shape for my first love, soccer. My father used to run a lot and I’d go out with him for a two-mile loop around the neighborhood.
I became a “runner” when I joined the track and cross-country teams in high school. I went out for track to get in shape for the spring soccer season, but found my home there and never looked back.
I still sometimes look over my shoulder for my XC coach’s gray car when I am out for a run. He’d follow us to see how we were doing (and to make sure we weren’t goofing off). I’m still working hard, John.
My first longer-distance race was a half marathon. Sometime during my month of bed rest before my son’s birth I agreed to the race, figuring it would get me back in shape. Six months, almost to the day, after he was born, via C-section no less, I toed up at the start line like a crazy person.
That race was pretty miserable. It poured for the first 7-8 miles and then I hit mile 9. Not having gotten beyond 9 miles during my training, I had to stop and walk the last bit. But I made it across the finish line!
I’ve since run a couple more halfs, a marathon, and a bunch of 10-milers. I’ve even dabbled in the “extreme” races, complete with electric shocks and ice water.
I still play soccer and running keeps me in shape for that, but now I mainly run for the sake of running. It is my quiet time, my “me” time, and my chance to keep pushing myself.
A great run is a feeling you can’t replicate. The high is real and it feels like you are walking on clouds. Of course, not all runs are great but even a sucky run is better than no run at all. Usually.
I hope someday my son will embrace running like his dad and I have. It truly is a lifelong habit and something I think we can all enjoy together. At a minimum, he’ll have to start running to get in shape for his first love, hockey. Life is so circular.