Guess what day it is?! No, not hump day…
Okay, yes, it is Bagel Friday (you’re catching on), but guess what else it is.
Today marks my eight-year RUNiversary. I knew I joined Team In Training sometime in November or December of 2005, but a few weeks back I did some digging and found my original blog post from November 22, 2005 talking about my first few days of running and noting my first official practice was one week out.
A few thoughts at the time included the start of tension in my shins (I suffered from shin splints for years that kept me from getting back a few weeks and few miles of running at a time). I noted that I hoped “that nice girl, Kate” from my information session had joined, too, that maybe we would get to run Great Bay together. I wrote that I had been doing some five-mile loops around my neighborhood in Newmarket, New Hampshire and that a guy I knew from class — “a real runner” — thought it was cool I was training for a marathon, and not just unlikely. I was excited to tell Gram and my aunt Jean that I was really going to do this and I wished (this is embarrassing) that I could include a song on my blog of Robbie Williams’ “Kids” to inspire people to support the mission.
In hindsight, woah.
For one, all it took was a good pair of shoes and a reasonable running routine to alleviate my shin splits. It took awhile, and some ice, but was certainly not the end of the world. The “five-mile-loop” I had been running with confidence turned out to be more like… three. I was not as fast as I thought I was, when calculated that way. The nice girl, Kate, turned out to be just that and so much more. We logged TONS of miles around Great Bay and ended up being fantastic friends. Little did I know at the time that we would travel to Ireland together a few years later to run the Dublin Marathon and have a nice little adventure while we were at it. Gram and Jean have been tremendous supporters of my running from the start, just as they are with nearly everything I take on and I am so grateful to Travis… I think his name was Travis… who didn’t think running a marathon was weird. I know now that being “a real runner” just means putting on your shoes and getting out the door whenever you can. He knew that eight years ago, I guess. And Robbie Williams? Oye. Life lessons, I tell you.
Since then, I’ve run 6 full marathons and 11 halfs,
and a 200-mile relay.
Three years ago I had high hopes of a real running adventure in India, but quickly realized it might be best to stick with the treadmill. That traffic is nuts.
I’ve parlayed girls’ weekend adventures into opportunities to log race miles. One weekend I ran a 5K with my mother in the morning and a half marathon with my sister the same night. In Disney World.
Due to some wacky scheduling and a snow-delay, I ran two races in one morning this past April 14: the B.A.A. 5K at 8 AM and the Paddy Kelly 5-Miler at 11. I made sure to grab a photo at each race and noticed I seem to have a distinct way of standing for a post-race photo. Kind of weird.
The next day was the Boston Marathon, and with it, the Boston Marathon bombing, so throughout the spring we ran Boston Strong. One morning in the weeks after the race, Chris and I wore our Boston Marathon shirts and we logged a long run around the South Shore during which we were rooted on by horn-honking and cheering passerbys.
Just after that, we traveled to New Jersey to show our support for the Sandy-ravaged shore while being Boston Strong at the New Jersey Half Marathon. Sisterly pride.
I aspire to add a half Ironman to the list in 2014 and one day, an actual whole-shebang Ironman. I’d like to run at least 10 marathons, to get my marathon time under 4:00, and one day, run (safely) throughout a pregnancy. It would be really, really cool to run the Comrades Ultramarathon, too. Put it on the list.
There are very few things or interests that I’ve taken up on my own accord that have become a part of me as much as running has. I took dance class for about that long, and sailed for longer, though without my parents’ encouragement and insistence, I can’t imagine I would have survived sailing out of the basin as a newbie.
It took me a long time to identify myself as a runner. It seems to be something that a lot of people shy from staking claim to. At first it was, I’m not a runner. I just run sometimes, or I’ve only run one marathon and so-on. But after eight years, six marathons, and dozens of pairs of running shoes, I guess it’s true.
How long have you been running? What is your biggest, craziest running goal? Anyone want to train for Comrades with me?
P.S. If you’re interested, I posted a photo of my first marathon on Instagram today. Feel free to check it out.
Pile on the Miles Challenge Update: 66/110 miles, 22/30 days