My Running Start
How did I start running?
I played field hockey and lacrosse through high school. Actually, I started field hockey the year before middle school. As we were coming into 9th grade – high school, eek! – I suppose I already felt some pressure to be “cool”. Heightened even more by the idea of TRYING OUT for a sports team!
We had a three week training program to do at home before try-outs, which took place the week before school. As you can guess, that involved running! Not much more than a mile or two, I think, and sprints, but it was the first time I recall going out and running forward with no purpose or destination in front of me.
I made the team and the season went on (I’m not sure I ever cared about field hockey), but every practice involved some running around the wide span of fields and school buildings. Each new season was preceded by more weeks of running. Spring seasons blended back into fall seasons. Running became my sport too.
I continued to run through college – it’s just that it was more of a hangover cure than anything else ;-) Seriously, I’d arrive back home to find my groggy roommates snuggling on the couch with the shades drawn.
Sadly, I can’t remember my first road race, but I think I’ve run upwards of 40 in my lifetime now. I’m pretty sure my mom’s been to 38 of those. I’ve run all over Cape Cod, Vermont, Boston, and any city or country I’ve ever packed a suitcase for.
All told, I’m not a power house. I’m not elite. I don’t really care about my time – I just love the social aspect. Some years I’ve been a full-out runner, racking up the race t-shirts for sure! Other years, I join a race or two with friends but nothing more. I’ve run the Fairfield Half Marathon and the Falmouth Road Race every year for a while, even if I’m not well trained for them ;-)
I’ve never been “skinny” in my life – in fact, I’m consistently about 20 pounds over the norm for my 5’2” body. But I smile to recall when a guy on the street asked if I was a runner, I replied yes, and he responded: “Mmmmm hmmm, I can tell!” I’ll take that.
Running is fun! It’s social, it’s healthy, it clears the mind and refills it again! It’s also grueling and annoying. But it tends to suck you back in for the good again! It’s you and it’s your pace. Your very own.