My Running History to Date

Growing up, running was one of the most stressful things in my life.  I hated it.  In elementary school, I definitely cried over having to run the mile.  Things slowly got better when I started doing organized sports in high school, but it was something that I endured rather than enjoyed and I thought people who ‘ran for pleasure’ were lying to themselves.  How could you love to do something that hurt and wore you down?

After high school, I started to form a sort of admiration for runners.  It was something that I was terrible at, so I saw them as supreme athletes, someone to admire for their athletic prowess.  I tried to start running a little in college, and it never really took off.  I got up to doing 2.5 miles on the treadmill, but that was exhausting and I never sustained it.  This past summer, Eric encouraged me to give it another try.  He was definitely a better runner than I was and brought me along on his runs.  When I got indignant and insisted on stopping, he would push me to go a little further, and showered me with positive encouragement.  After going on runs pretty regularly, I built up my stamina to doing 3 miles.  The distance was an achievement in itself, but do you want to know the biggest change?  I liked it.  It was no longer something that I did because I knew it was good for me.  After a run, I had that high people talked about.  And it was awesome. 

At this point, I still wouldn’t have classified myself as a runner, but I felt I could hold my own when talking about it.  While adjusting to life in Maryland, I took a bit of a break.  I was used to running outside on trails, and this area was completely unfamiliar.  I didn’t know if it was safe or what routes I could use.  After about a month and half, I found my bearings and started up again.  I got to the point where if I missed a day, I actually missed it.  Now I really had the urge to enter a race.  I felt confident enough to do one.  I was consistently running about a 5k so I knew that I wouldn’t embarrass myself if I entered.  Thanks to Melissa, I found the Rudolph Run, sponsored by Bullseye Running. It was a 4 mile race through the state park near my home.  It was a 2 mile loop done twice or in a relay.  Originally, Melissa and I were going to do it together, but she got sick that weekend.  Undeterred, I still went.  And I am do happy that I did.

Rudolph 2

That’s right, I ran my first race.  On December 15th, I ran 4 miles in 46 minutes and 22 seconds through the woods with a bunch of other people. It was so much fun, and now, I finally feel like a runner.  It was such a great experience.  There were spectators lining the course at points, cheering you on, even if you were a complete stranger.  (TIP: Wear a shirt that has some identifying mark.  I was known as “Uconn”, so I kept hearing things like, “You got it Uconn!”, “Looking good Uconn.” A little encouragement goes a long way)

Rudolph

My goal was to finish in under 50 minutes because I had actually never run a full 4 miles before.  I figure if they expect marathoners to run 6 more miles than they trained for, the extra fraction of a mile couldn’t be too tough.  Overall, I had an incredible experience and I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in entering a race to do so.  There is such a comradely among runners and you may meet some really nice people while achieving personal bests.

Do you run? What’s your story?

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