I’m not sure if I knew I was in love in high school. I sure didn’t feel like it during college. The years in between then and now, well, I’ve had a few affairs. But now, it is certain – I am in love. I am back in love with running.
I started running as a 6th grader with a summer track league. We were new to town so it was a way to meet people. Throughout middle school I ran cross country in the fall to build for track in the spring. Looking back on it, I’m not sure how long distance running really benefits a high jumper, but that is what my coach said to do. So I did it.
I followed the same pattern throughout high school. Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track – for 4 years. Track season started to become secondary, a way to stay in shape for cross country. Those seasons hold so many of the best memories I have. We were a strong team; solid runners, smart coach and great girls.
My college experience did not follow suit. I ran for the team 3 out of the 4 years. There was someone to drive the bus, but they were no coach.
Since then I’ve been on again off again, on my own and with training groups. I’ve met some great people and accomplished goals. For some reason though, it just wasn’t enough to keep me going. Each year after my goal race I would inevitably stop and let the lazies take their toll on me for the next 4 – 6 months.
Not this year! I am 10 days away from my goal race, the Tryon Half marathon, and I can’t wait to plan my next races.
They say people do strange things for love and I whole heartedly agree. Here are some examples:
- I eat a substance referred to as “Gu” on a pretty regular basis. It is starting to taste really good!
- Some days I pack not only my lunch, but my breakfast. (This is a big deal to me – I hate packing lunch)
- I have replaced a considerable amount of couch time with foam rolling/stretching.
- Counter intuitively, I am eating fewer cookies, cakes, pastries etc… They just aren’t very good fuel.
- Some days, I voluntarily get up before 5 am to go run. I’m not even that grouchy about it anymore.
I found a new coach in September. I signed up almost on a whim. I knew I wanted to be more active, and deep down something told me running was the way to go.
It’s funny. After all this time, and all those pairs of running shoes, I’ve never been more grateful to my mom for signing us up for summer track. And – I’m pretty thankful for this coach too.