Remembering Running Series, Part 1

Remember when you didn’t love running? Remember when you thought running 5 or 10 or more miles was crazy? I do.

Do you remember when you couldn’t imagine finishing a 3 mile run without walking? Do you remember how hard that first long run was and how you didn’t think you’d be able to do it? I do.

How bout the first person who introduced you to running?

I have so many memories about running, some good, some not so good and I’ve kept a journal for years. Sometimes I like to go back and look at my notes and see what type of training I was doing and how it was working but I also use it for motivation.

Sometimes it’s good to reflect and to go back and remember why it is that you love to run especially when you’re having a hard day or you need a little push to get your mojo back.

So, that’s why I’m starting the “Remembering Running” series. Each week for the next few weeks I’m going to post about a running memory and then you can leave your memories in the comments or you can post your memory on your own blog and do the same thing. I hope you all will play along with me.

So here goes, this is the first in the series, Remembering Running :

Do you remember who first introduced you to running?

I was a freshman in high school and my best friend was a girl named Emily. She lived next door to my Grandmother and I had known her for pretty much my whole life but we didn’t become friends until middle school.

Emily was much cooler than I was and she was hilarious. That’s probably the main reason that I was drawn to her. Y’all know I love me some people! Emily was also the first person to introduce me to bodily humor, fart jokes, poop jokes and the like. She was a rebel of sort, you know, back when we were 12.

Emily was almost 6 feet tall and I was extremely jealous of how athletic she was. She was an excellent swimmer, a great basketball player and she loved to run. It was Emily who convinced me that I should go out for the track team.

I wasn’t very athletic. I played softball with my cousins and I rode bikes and skateboards and I could water ski pretty well but running was not my forte. You know how it goes when you’re young and impressionable, you just jump right in and do it anyway. And besides, Emily was on the track team and that made the track team seem so cool.

So I signed up for the 400 and the 800 because that’s what Emily ran and I wanted to run with her. Unfortunately I was horrible but because the 800 was the longest distance in track and nobody wanted to run that far, I got on the team. I look back and just crack up at how we all thought the 800 was so flippin far, the 800!

I would love to tell you that I made improvements and went on to break all kinds of school records but in reality, I quit more races than I finished, I threw up on my coach on more than one occasion and I only managed to improve my time by mere seconds, three to be exact. Overall. Just three! That’s probably why when the team held tryouts the next year, I wasn’t invited back.

Despite my colossal failure on the track team, I did love running and I continued to do it on my own. I ran by myself for years before I ever attempted to race just because I truly enjoyed it.

I moved away from Tennessee many years ago and I’ve only seen Emily a handful of times since then but without her encouragement and that freshman aura of coolness that she had, I would never have started running when I did and I want to thank her for that. It’s been almost a lifetime love affair.

So, now it’s your turn. I challenge you Silent Assassin and Running with SD Mom.

Do you remember who first introduced you to running?

16 thoughts on “Remembering Running Series, Part 1

  1. Who got me into running? My husband. I was 42, and I had never been athletic. He said all he wanted for his upcoming birthday was for me to run a 5K with him so we could share an experience doing something he loved. I thought he was crazy. I also told everyone I was probably going to die. Well low and behold I did not die. I finished that first race in 38 minutes and I remember the feeling of crossing the finish line and how it felt when he came from the finish to run the last 1/2 mile with me. I loved that we had experienced something together. I also loved how he was a patient coach who helped me improve so much and find my inner athlete. Now even though he is slightly faster than me in 5K we can both race comfortably together or apart and he has been at mile 12 of both of my halfs to run the last mile. I should tell him all I want for my birthday is for him to run a half with me. Right now he won’t a race longer than 10K.

  2. Awww what a wonderful idea. This is so sweet, and yes I do remember….I remember hiding in the bathrooms at the cross country time trial hahaha! Now look at me! I loved your story, and I look forward to more in this series 🙂

  3. Cool series!
    The first person who “introduced” me to running was a woman on a weightloss show… I never tried to run for weight loss, always hated running in school but I decided to give it a try after all the failed attempts to lose weight. That was just over two years ago. 🙂 so thanks to the random person on tv who completed a 5k and motivated me to get up off the couch and run!

  4. I never ran track in highschool. I started running in my middle 30″s. I gradually stopped running at all until around age 49 when I devoted a whole year to running goals culminating with my first marathon at age 50. My friend Betsy got me started again. I will always be grateful to her for that. Running makes me feel like a badass! 🙂

  5. In High School, I simply started running because the cross country team was new and I had nothing else to do. I didn’t love it back then and after I graduated, I quit.
    During my senior year of college, I started running again, much due to my friend Beth. She was really positive about running and signed up to run races with me. She’s the one I deem responsible for my new-found love!

  6. Well, if you want to get technical, I first started running in high school. I ran track and did sprints. I ran the 100, 200, and 400 sprints. Anything pass 400m I would always fake an injury or come up with a sickness so I didn’t have to run (the 800)…no joke. A tweaked knee, a pulled hammy…anything so I didn’t have to run 2 laps. I qualified for states all 4 years in high school. And to this day I still run in the masters division for the USTAF. Now if you wanna talk long distance as anything over a 5k, I owe (that passion of my life) that to 5 women who (dared) asked me to run the 2011 Women’s Half Marathon in Tempe. I did not train for said marathon. I thought, “meh” what’s 12 miles… yeah, I said 12. I was part of their group and as the man of the group I knew I wanted to set the tone (not chauvinistic at all eh). We all gathered at the start and when our corral got up to the start line I got in like this sprinters stance… so lame Shane, so lame. As we were ushered off, I literally sprinted…I was like a rabbit, bouncing in and out of the crowds and thinking, what? c’mon, let’s do this? why is everyone going so slow?! Mile 1 down…easy. Tunes in my ear, feeling good… Mile 2, mile 3, mile 4…eh, what’s the big deal… Mile 5…whoa, why do my nipples hurt? Mile 6, look at that 49 minutes…is that good?! Hmmm….my thighs are on fire… Mile 8, oh crap, what was that? Did someone kick me? And why do my toes feel dead? Mile 9…I think I’m gonna die! Oh, hey group, don’t mind me I’ll just walk some and jog some… Mile 10, my neck! Is this cramping in my NECK?!!!! Oh boy, and aid station…MEDIC!!!! Medic, “You have 3 miles to go. Here’s some bandaid for your nipples…You want to get a ride in?” . No thank you…if I have to I’ll walk… Mile 11, 1:33…hmmmm, that must be a good time still?! Walk faster, walk faster…Oh man, I should have gotten bandaids for my thighs! Owww, my fingers too?! Can fingers cramp?! I wanna quit… Mile 12…by now everything is shutting down. My quads, my calves, my feet, my arms, my fingers, my neck. I was a mess… I crossed my first half in 2:13. I dropped to the ground an immediately shriveled up by all the cramping. The medics literally put ice bags on me. I stayed on the race grounds for over 2 hours before they let me go home. My nipples, my thighs, my toes…all blistered and bleeding. Eff…I remember it like it was yesterday… Those ladies are still apart of my life =). They are part of my running group and we relive that moment all the time. I beat 3 of the 5, btw =)

  7. This is a good one! Your posts rule! Who got me in to running? Let’s see. I was on the track team in HS because my BFF at the time was also on the track team and so was the boy I liked. So I joined and I was a jumper. Long and triple jumped. I hated hated hated every second we had to run. It wasn’t until I had my second daughter and I saw all my kid’s friend’s parents running that I thought it would be a good idea. Three of them in particular, Mendy, Mine and Alexis told me I could. Many times and finally I let them convince me that at 35 I could become a runner. I started the couch to 5K and the rest is history!
    Wow! Thanks for challenging me to write that. I should send those 3 a thank you note. My life has totally changed!

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