Everyone starts somewhere. Whether that somewhere was as a member of your high school cross country team, a competitive collegiate, a recent first-time racer, or a gradually improving runner of a few years, I wholeheartedly believe that the love of the sport can be developed by anyone at anytime.
Mine started with an invitation from my sophomore English teacher to attend an information session about how we should spend our summer if we wanted to run in the fall and be ready when practice began mid-August.
I was 16.
And it was in that auditorium that things changed. I know we all have life experiences where we feel we veered onto a different course. To my recollection, this was mine.
I started running. I had just been brought up to the Varsity softball team. I started running because I wanted to get in shape for softball. This made sense at the time, but in reality I am not sure I thought running 500 miles that summer was all for 60 feet from home to first.
There was something more I craved. Acceptance? Perhaps. Confidence? Maybe. But as a runner, I know what I now craved. We all know what different emotions are created when we run – I wanted that. I wanted the ability to accurately perceive how I was feeling. Something that gets me out of my day to day belief that I am doing just fine, nothing is wrong, all’s okay. Or, you did it! Look what you can do. Or, a quiet time with just my thoughts and God – the opportunity to connect.
Those feelings all change from day to day. Running, to me, is comparable to how I go about my life. I make a plan. I take inventory of what I’m working with. I work really hard and adjust when needed. And sometimes, at the end of the whole cycle it is surprising as to whether it is the journey or the end result that has meant more to you.
My high school cross country career was short-lived, but it only took that one season to show me what I could do. I never remember my exact times, but I know I improved considerably. It was nothing outstanding at a high school level, but it was outstanding for me. I’d say in that one season I did not miss a practice,performed some of my best workouts, and as a result, ran some of the fastest miles my frame has seen.
Although at the time I had many other reasons to not return, I know why I did not want to continue again senior year. I let the stress of senior year engulf me and I regrettably, gave up the one thing that in hindsight meant the most to me during high school.
When I started again, I was a student finishing my first year of college. I ran my first marathon that fall, Nike Women’s in San Francisco, and I quickly remembered what it was that I had found when I started running for the first time 3 years back in high school. I believe it was this time around that I would not forget about what makes me feel connected to God, and the ability to speak the same language and render the same emotions with other runners.
Before starting this blog in 2010, I had completed another marathon – California International Marathon – and 3 half marathons – Lake Placid, NYC, and San Jose. The rest is documented below.
Even to this day, many of my favorite moments involve running – what I thought about while running, how I felt after a race, who I’ve met, how I’ve trained, what I’ve seen, disappointments I’ve experienced, triumphs I’ve gained – and they all contribute to what makes me thank God every day for the experiences I’ve been given.
One of the reasons that I keep this blog is for me to remember that when life gets busy and you feel stressed out, the last thing you want to go is something you love. I do not want to make that mistake that my 17 year old self did.
For stories about my evolution in running, check out my guest posts:
2010 Race Recaps:
- Valentine’s Day 10K (2/13/2010)
- Embarcadero 10K (3/7/2010)
- Emerald Across the Bay 12K (3/21/2010)
- Oakland Half Marathon (3/28/2010)
- Santa Cruz Half Marathon (4/11/2010)
- Ragner Relay Recap (4/23-4/25) Part 1
- Ragner Relay Recap (4/23-4/25) Part 2
- Ragner Relay Recap (4/23-4/25) Part 3
- Bay to Breakers 12k (5/16/2010)
2011 Race Recaps: