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:
“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.