Friday, September 24, 2010

Origin of My Running

I don't know what it is about running that keeps me coming back. I want to run when I am not running and then when I am running, I want to stop and what's even worse is that even after all the wear and tear of training and the actual running of each race, I am at the computer the very next day looking to see what race will be in my future.

I was a really hyper child and my favorite time of day was recess. I use to love to play sports like it was nobody's business. I was good at it too. I was usually either the captain or first pick. I remember the day when I realized that I did not like running. I was a high school freshman and we had to run a mile for the President's Fitness Test or something like that and although I can't remember how fast I did it in, I remember that it was unpleasant and that I didn't want to do it again. In fact, it was right around that time that puberty really hit me hard. I was no longer this thin and quick kid with endless amount of energy. I was actually really inactive during my high school years. I didn't play sports because my parents thought it would interrupt my school work. I didn't really think much about my sedentary lifestyle until one day when I looked in the mirror and realized that I had really let myself go. By then I think I was already a junior and I started wanting to workout but I didn't really know how and for some reason I really wanted to join a gym but could not afford it at the time.

The summer before I started college, I remember I went to student orientation and they gave us a tour of the school and took us into the gym. The person giving the tour made some comment about how we were probably not going to be using it much since there was so many other things going on at the school. But I was so excited to finally have access to a gym. A really big newly built gym! Sure enough, a month after I moved into the dorms and had a chance to settle in, I changed into some shorts and a t-shirt and headed to the gym for the first time and I went every single day possible. I remember that was where I got acquainted with the good old treadmill. It took me a few months to work up to running but eventually I was running 3 miles every day. Many students often talk about "the freshman 15"...the act of gaining 15 pounds the first year of college. But I actually lost weight that year. Come to think of it, probably 15 pounds. When I saw my high school friends again that summer after my freshman year, they all noticed that I had lost weight, it was a good feeling. For the most part, I've stayed at that weight. I ran throughout college, some years more, some less...I ran hard when I was stressed, so there was a lot of running during finals. I think it was there that my running confidence was built.

When I finished college, I got a desk job and running become more important than before because I wasn't walking around as much from class to class. I was sitting at a desk all day. It felt good to go for a run after work. I started to run outside too, which I did very little of at college. Not sure why. Maybe just embarrassed of my running form. The winter after I graduated from college, I remember seeing a flyer for a 10K in the spring and decided to sign up. It was a big deal for me because back then 6 miles was a lot of running for me.

I have very fond memories of my training for that race. Signing up for that race kept me committed to lacing up my shoes and heading out the door every day. I was so excited on race day to be standing there with other runners. I had always felt like running was such a lonely sport until I saw all those people out there. That first race was not spectacular, I ran 6.2 miles in 58:37 but what I gained was a new respect for running and fell in love with racing. I haven't stopped since. I took a year off from running here and there but for the most part have been running all these years and don't regret it for a second. It all started with the desire to finish a 10K race and has grown into a passion to one day find myself standing at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. Until then, it will be one step after the other. 

My very first race bib!

1 comment:

Glenn Jones said...

Man. When I went to your school there wasn't a gym.Of course, we could drive up and park in the first row next to our classes too. For $27 a year....