Monday, May 11, 2009

My First Mile

This weekend Rich and I flew back to Fayetteville, AR for a Crawfish Boil (our camera is broken, so I'll post pics when friends email them to me). I had 9 miles scheduled for Saturday, and while it was touch and go for a while Friday night as to whether I would make it up for the run or not (we stayed out til 1am, there were shots involved). Miraculously I felt pretty good when my alarm went off at 6am Saturday morning. I ate a Cliff Bar and headed out. I ran right around and through my undergrad campus, and it was a very nostalgic run.
Some sentimental places I ran by include:
-the dorm where I lived my freshman year (10 years ago, yikes!) and met Shelley, one of my best friends now
-the parking lot where I had my first kiss with the guy I dated for almost 3 years in college
-the park where said guy and I broke up and got back together when we were trying to figure out what we wanted in life during our senior year
-the house where Rich lived, a block away from the Pi Phi house where I lived, although we didn't know each other at the time, which also turned out to be the house where we had our first real kiss, and where I met my brother-in-law Russ (no comments from you Rusty!)
-the football, basketball and baseball stadiums where I cheered myself hoarse too many times to count at Razorback games
-the buildings where I took classes that changed the way I looked at the world, and the buildings where I took classes that I mostly slept through
-the recreation/exercise complex where I ran my first mile

I was a very unathletic child, and tried and failed at various sports including softball, volleyball and tennis. I was overweight and clumsy until high school, then I lost some weight (still haven't lost the clumsy though). In 9th grade PE, we had to run a lap around the track. I couldn't do it. I couldn't make it 1/4 of a mile around the track!! Well, I just assumed I sucked at running too, and crossed that off my list of things I would ever do in life. I tried out for, and somehow made, my high school dance team. That was my first successful athletic endeavor and I loved it. When I started college and met Shelley, we would often go walking together, but never running because in my mind I could never be a runner.

I started dating a guy named Gabe in the fall of my sophmore year, and we would go work out together. We would lift weights, and go to an indoor 8 laps=mile track. He would jog, and I would walk. As a little time went by I would jog a lap here and there, and sometimes even 2 or 3 at a time (I know, I know, it seems really lame now). One day we started off jogging together and I actually made it like 4 laps before I decided I was tired and should start walking. He encouraged me to keep going another lap, and I did. Then another lap, and I did. I made the amazing discovery that while, yes, I was tired, I could keep going without the tiredness increasing exponentially. I remember how in awe of myself I was as we jogged those 7th and 8th laps, and how I just kept saying to myself (and probably out loud) that "I just ran a mile, I can't believe I just ran a mile!!!!" I didn't instantly start running races or long runs, but at least a few times a week I would run a mile. I still distinctly remember that day so many years ago that formed the most basic foundation for the runner that I am proud to say I am today. While Gabe and I didn't last, my knowledge that I could be a runner did thanks Gabe for encouraging me to run my first mile, the first of countless!! (*note-I'm 99.9% certain he won't ever read this, and I'll never tell him in person because we don't talk...but there's out there)


Sarah said...

Love this post!

A few years back, a friend of mine who was certainly no athlete trained for a ran a marathon. That's when I first started to think I could run too. That year I did a bunch of 5ks and 10ks, and while my time was always god awful, I was always so amazed that I could keep jogging the whole time, becuase I too failed the "run the mile in 9th grade" test, and BADLY.

I've fallen way out of shape since then, but this year I've decided "What the heck, give it a shot" and decided to try training for a marathon. I'm still in a definite "slow walk/jog" phase after a couple weeks, but this post is totally inspiring! Anyone can do it. :-)

Kristin @ The Southern Summer said...

Nice! I love going back to campus and remembering things about each spot...although most of my memories there I would rather not relive...

So, yeah lots of early morning fun runs ahead! I just turned in my forms so I guess it is official!!!

I hope you can run a few with me even though you're training with Rich :)

Jeri said...

So nostalgic. Thanks for sharing. :)

Lindsay said...

so cool to look back and see how far you've come. the distances we all started with pale greatly in comparison to our amazing, gazelle selves now :) i'm waiting for the day when i look back and say "i only ran 10 miles back then?" haha.

oh and daniels' refers to jack daniels' the running coach. he has a book (daniels' running formula) with training plans in them - similar to how pfitz's book is (advanced marathoning) if you have heard of that one?

Marlene said...

What a nice little run down memory lane!

joyRuN said...

A nostalgic run!

Can't wait for the pics of the crawfish boil :)

Amy said...

Love hearing about how people got started running. What an accomplishment!

Sounds like a beautiful run at your alma mater. How cool!

MCM Mama said...

What a fun run.

When I was in college, I failed the AF ROTC fitness test. I could totally rock it now...

No Longer Using said...

WOW what a trip down memory lane!!!!!!!!! i am taking elliot to my college this summer!! we're doing a Vermont road trip- i can't wait! of course my memories won't mean as much to him as they do to me (esp the ones involving ex boyf etc, hah), but i love revisiting!! :) thanks for this! you have come so far :)

Alisa said...

Wow! Sounds like such a fun return to memories. I would love to do a run back in my college town sometime. I could run by all the fun memories (and the not so fun park bench where the "break up" talk happened with my college BF).