I love running! There's an ever growing combination of reasons, like I'm sure there is for most runners. Most likely not all the same reasons, but anyone who loves running surely has a plethora of reasons why. I've always loved sports and competition but when I was a kid I was too small and uncoordinated to be any good at football or hockey, too short and again uncoordinated to be a starter on the basketball team. Baseball was fun and I wasn't terrible at it but I was wayyyyyy too ADD to stand in the field that long waiting for the off chance that someone in little league might actually hit the ball past the in field. Then along came track and field in 7th grade and I had it set in my mind that I was a sprinter, fast as the Flash. It wasn't too long into the first week of practice that I realized I'm a terrible sprinter, damn. Again I was mediocre. This didn't mean I was going to quit, I mean after all I was still on the football and basketball teams even though I played about as little as you could while still actually being on the team.
In 8th grade we had a new track coach who was more of a distance running oriented coach than our previous one, and when I was the only sprinter to show up to spring break practice among a half dozen distance runners he gave me the choice. He could come up with a sprinters workout for me or I could run a couple miles with them. In hindsight I'm so glad I chose to give that crazy idea of running distance a shot. When I finished ahead of at least half of the distance runners I knew this was where I belonged! That's how it started for me, my love of running. The next year I went out for the cross team instead of football and never looked back. A distance runner was born, and all the time I'm finding new reasons why I love the sport of running.
My high school cross-country team was like a family and some of my closest friends to this day are some that I ran with in high school. Since that fateful spring break practice running has always been there for me. There have been times where it has taken a backseat to the rest of my life, pushed aside and almost forgotten. But there's always something that brings me back, and looking back at my life, I've been happiest when running has been a part of it. The most common question I get when people find out i'm a runner is something along the lines of "How do you run for fun?" It's at that moment when I remember all the amazing memories I've had as a runner and how much of my life has happened because of running. I simply respond with a smile and ask them how it's possible to not have fun?
What about you? How did you find running? Or did running find you?
Next post will detail my planned training for these frigid winter months and hopefully the training plan that leads me to a new marathon PR!