An Anniversary

One year ago today I went for my first run.  I set the alarm for 5am, laced up my brand new pair of shoes, and hit the door.  And walked right into a light ice-fall – basically a misty rain with some frozen stuff in it.

But I went ahead and did my thing.  And I started a log, one that I’ve kept for every run since.  Here’s what I wrote after that first run:

19m/mile pace!

“First Run!” was all I could think to say, really.  In later notes, I talk about how I felt and what the struggles were – or I let the runner’s high get involved and write things like “Great run!”

After this one, though, there wasn’t much to say.  I mostly walked.  And I walked over to a parking lot near my house and ran around the building a couple of times … because I was embarrassed for anybody to actually see me.  Several runs went by before I was able to run within eyesight of people.  For that first half dozen runs, I ran in the service lane behind the shopping centers near my house.

Nobody uses those service lanes.

Especially at 5am.

If I’d wanted to use more space in that note, I would have said “That sucked!”  And probably “Holy crap, my shins hurt!” And maybe even “What the hell am I doing this for again?”  But I wanted to be positive, so I just wrote “First Run!”

For the record – after the second run, I wrote “Second Run!”

The ball started very slowly – in terms of frequency and volume AND speed.  Look at that entry again – I got a mile and a half done in 30 minutes.  In my last 5K I did 3.1 in 31.  At the time I’d run for 30 seconds and walk until I could breathe again.  The walking time was embarrassing.   But I went for run #2, and then run #3.  And eventually the frequency started improving.  And the volume.  And the speed.

In the last 365 days, I’ve gone running 181 times.  What started with a mile and a half on a rainy icy morning turned into a year in which I ran 600 miles.  600!  That number feels almost unbelievable now, but it is true.  I’ve run 5Ks & 10Ks, a Ragnar and a Half Marathon.  Zero to runner – that’s what it has been.

And it has been amazing.

I’ve been in a real funk lately – and then I’ve had my toe injury for the past week.  But today I ran 2.5 miles.  Tomorrow I’ll run my scheduled 4.  This year I’m going to run a marathon, and no telling what else.  And next year I’ll be as far away from today’s run as this run is from that very first one.

See you next year.

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