Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My evolution

I was not a track star, and did not run cross country. In middle and high school, I was a tennis player, soccer player, cheerleader, newspaper editor, et al.  But I did always run with my sister, Gretchen.  We hit the YMCA almost every night after dinner to run the 1/18 mile track above the basketball court, where Phil/Bill would play (we did not actually know his name for awhile).  And we would run (and check out the boys).

When I went to college in Massachusetts, I would run 2, maybe 3-4, times per week, but fun got in the way.  Then, I went to boot camp at Fort Knox, KY for six weeks. And running started to suck.  Running involved running an arm's distance from the soldier in front of you and the soldier aside, did not involve a Walkman, and was simply drudgery.  And that continued through my next 2 years of ROTC and the following 5 years in the Army.  I truly ran 2 miles and 1 step and stopped, because that was required of me for physical training tests and I did not desire to run farther.

When I was deployed to Sarajevo in 2000, I decided to make some changes, one of which was starting to run for fun again.  Unfortunately, at the first 'base' (Ilidza), the running trail was lined with mine tape and narrow, indicating that, should you stray from the trail, you shall go boom.  Then, when we moved to the Butmir base, I would try to run in the mornings, but was often chased by packs of wild (WILD) dogs.  I switched to step classes away from the mean doggies and stopped running again.

Then, I returned home, divorced, moved to San Antontio, waited tables, and waited to start law school (wow, can't believe I can wrap that up in one sentence).  In law school, I ran off and on (mostly off - I was also finishing my master's degree and working 2 part time jobs).  And then, I went to work as baby attorney.

And sometime later, around early 2006, I was in the main jury pool room, postponing a client's jury service, and I saw a flyer.  It was for the Lake to Lake 5k which wasn't far from my apartment.  And I grabbed it.  And I arrived home to my apartment, where I was starting to break up with a guy who was a neighbor(dumb, dumb, dumb0.

So, goal in mind, old shoes in closet, I set out - and I ran for about 20-25 minutes with a skipping discman, in a cotton shirt and shorts, and wearing 3 old sports bras.  And I ran every day after that - adding another 5-10-15 minutes.  At this point, my folks gave me my first MP3 player, and it was awesome.

I finished that 5k and ran the whole thing.  My finish time was around 32-34 minutes, but I was hooked.  So, I continued to run most days and run a lot of races.

In running many races, I started finding the San Antonio running community.  But I still usually ran alone.  My friend, Carolyn, suggested we run together and, the first night, we ran into what would become the Brak Pak.  Truly a wonderful bunch of friends and runners.

And so, I happened to mention to my sister, Gretchen, that I had volunteered for the San Antonio marathon in 2006 and the course was much improved.  She said that, if she wasn't pregnant, she'd come down and run it with me.  I agreed, since it was about time for her to give me another nephew.  Sure enough, she was, Jack arrived in July, and we delayed the marathon until Dallas Whiterock in December 2006.  It was truly great - we finished together!

Since then, there have been thousands of training miles, many races, over a dozen half marathons +, 3 marathons, and much fun.  Now, the folks have gifted me a Garmin Forerunner, which only makes me want to run more (because SOMEONE is watching me). 

So, that's my story.


Anonymous said...

you should have mentioned you dragged me the last two miles of that marathon. Well, I'm up, coffee's almost done. No wild dogs (except mine) I'm going for a run!

Weather said...

Too bad you didn't run CC with us in high school. Just think of the fun we could have had!!