Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tales of a Runner Series

I wanted to start a series to capture my running tales and document a little more of my eternal quest for wellness.  My back story is that I've been a runner since I was 10.  I would have done track in third grade had they let me but alas, I had to wait another year.  I ran through grade school and high school.  In college, I refused to sell my soul to the schedule that any college athlete must keep to compete so I just ran recreationally.  My races were always sprints.  In my senior year of high school my relay team made DE States and I made Second Team All Catholic.  Awesome.

I'd always wanted to do a 5K or something but just never made the time honestly.  Right after my mother in law was diagnosed with pancreatic in cancer in 2005, I made a decision to start training again and this time for a bigger race: the sprinter would do a half marathon.  Most people work their way up; Not me.  I think my second blog post here has some pics of me finishing that race in September 2005.  She had passed away by then and interestingly, finishing that race was part of my personal healing process.  Running is certainly therapeutic for me and at times it's provided necessary outs for stress relief.  The late night runs were always "outs" from the stresses of the day, from work and from the emotional toll her illness had on me especially planning my wedding.  She passed in August, about 6 weeks before the run.  I didn't run the entire thing...I ran about half of it.  But I finished.  Partly because I dropped $40 on it and damnit, I was there! I was over the Falls Bridge so I had to get my ass back to the Art Museum :)  But it was for her too, for all her courage and ultimately, ability to let go and trust.  Now it was my time to let go of bitterness and trust the next steps in my life.

I would still run after that, but I didn't return to any races until 2010.   That was when I was really bit by the race bug.  I did three that season and my best was the first.  I have found out a lot of things about myself since then --

  • I hate running in hot weather - 70 degrees is my max and I am done; I prefer a 45-50 degree day to run
  • I need great shoes and need them every 12-18 mo
  • I'm not a real endurance and distance runner - evidenced by the aforementioned story - so 5K is kinda my max although maybe one day I'll shoot for the Broad St. Run (10 mi)
  • I have to train and cross train
  • I still love the sport because it isn't really a race against anyone else but rather myself
  • Seeing the clock at the end pushes me
  • I need music...and sometimes that music is totally cheesy
  • I hate cross country courses...I prefer certified courses on pavement
  • My best time thus far was 34:44
Naturally between runs and cross training, one has tales.  Lots of them.  So this series will document my spring running tales and I'll try to pick it up again in the fall.  Fall is tough with conferences but I want to shoot for two runs like late Oct/early Nov.

Happy Running.

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