I started running long before I was in high school. I know for certain I was running before I was in the 7th grade and I think before I was twelve. I ran for fun. It was enjoyable. I would head out running and train for specific races. Before I was in high school I had competed in the Whole Enchilada Fun Run in the mile run and in the 5K. I competed in the Memorial Medical Center 5K at least twice. I can’t honestly tell you how or why I got started doing it but I know I enjoyed it because nobody was forcing or even encouraging me to do it. I just did it for fun.
My freshman year of high school I turned out a week late for Cross-Country practice and I was out of shape. I was demolished in practice by the other runners and I don’t know if I was embarrassed or what, but it wasn’t fun so I didn’t run that year. The next year I tried again and I ran the last 3 years of high school both track and cross-country but I was never a fast runner.
The highlight of my JV track career was when I was placed in the 2 mile at a small meet and the only runners were myself and 2 girls. Terrified that I might lose to a girl I ran a pretty good race and even lapped the girls. Glad I didn’t embarrass myself.
My first 10K was the Baylor Pass trail run in November of 1995 when I competed in the 25th running of that race. The race includes 1515 feet in altitude gain in first 4 miles; 700 feet altitude loss in last 2 miles and it is a blast! The next may I ran the Bolder Boulder which was probably the highlight of my running career. I didn’t have a published 10K time better than 53 minutes so they put me in the first heat for unpublished runners. I finished in 45:20 so needless to say I spent the whole time passing people, and in a field of 44,000 I passed a lot of people! No pressure, it was just fun!
Those of you who have been reading my Facebook posts will know that of late I haven’t been enjoying running as much. I did take 15 years off, but they should be no reason for it to hurt so bad. On the recommendation of a friend I started reading Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen and it has really inspired me. Tonight I set out determined to enjoy my run. I focused on being light on my feet, which forced me to increase my turnover and put more energy forward and less up and down. I smiled. How can I enjoy myself if I am grimacing? Inspired by A story on NPR about listening to Mom & Dad’s radio collection I put on some John Denver and set out to run.
You want to know what happened? I enjoyed myself (well, at least 80 percent of the time.) I ran 3.5 miles in 30 minutes, my ending heart rate was 200bpm and I feel like there is hope for my being ready to run (but not competitively) in the Rock to Pier run at our family reunion.
Thank you, Ben & Carrie for recommending the book, which I would recommend to anyone, even if you don’t want to run. It’s quite the story as well.
P.S. I also made a point of eating more carbohydrates the last 2 days. Today I had a Goop (Peanut Butter, Butter, & Honey) Sandwich for breakfast, macaroni and cheese (of the homemade variety) for lunch, and another Goop sandwich for mid-afternoon snack.
The combination was fantastic! I just might end up enjoying running again.