Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Run {31 Days Series: Post #1}

I had really thought that I was going to opt out of the 31 days series hosted by the Nester this year, but it kept niggling at the back of my mind.  
Last round was a tough subject for me - 31 days to a place for everything and everything in its place.  I successfully completed what I set out to do, but I was not up for that kind of challenge (cleaning, organizing, & blogging) this time around!
Instead, I have chosen a topic I am passionate about... Running.  Ah, just typing the word gives me a little thrill.
I. Love. To. Run.
I do not run far or fast or furious (well, maybe sometimes I run furious).
It is a perfect balm for what ails me, except when my lousy lower back goes out.
Today I will tell you how I found a love for running...
In middle school I joined track - more to hang out with friends and pick grass than to run.  Initially I was a sprinter and never considered running longer distances than 200m, until a lady I was babysitting for chatted with me about her switch to longer distances when she was my age (how much she loved it, how much better she was at it, etc).
I found I loved to run the 800m - break that race into 200s and it is just such fun!
A half mile does not compute to the distance I have been traveling on my legs lately, but this is where it all started.  The boys cross country coach happened to be the middle school gym teacher, and he suggested running in the fall to help my 800 performance.
That advice/suggestion went in one ear and out the other, but my dear mother's ears were pricked and she encouraged me to join the team (thanks mom)!
I can still remember the first day of practice and the 2 mile warm-up that was further than anything I had EVER run in my entire life.  And that was just the warm-up, we still had the 2-mile trail and a cool down mile on the 'flats.'
The girls encouraged and welcomed me with open arms - at times on trail runs I am quickly brought back to my freshman year of training... senior leadership, 'i love you' sign language, happy camaraderie.  There really is nothing like the bond forged while pounding out miles.
This is not to take anything away from the following years, but there is a special place in my heart for that year.
I feel so lucky to have that foundation in my life, as it is now almost 20 years later (how can that be??), and I still carve a spot in my life for running.  Thank you mom for the push, coach for the help & motivation, and that 1995 CC team for welcoming me into your lives!

I am so looking forward to sharing all things running in this next month.  Lace up those shoes and trot a few for me!
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