Someone asked me the other day how I got into running. . .
And I thought that would be a great blog post to share.
I have been running for –oh my goodness – 19 years. . . since 7th grade when I decided to go out for the track team. My Dad was always (and still is) a huge runner. He has done a lot of marathons (12) and was always running while I was growing up. I remember that he was super easy to shop for because Mom would take us to the sporting goods store and have us pick out a pair of running shorts that we liked. So, the poor guy was out there running in bright pink, lime green, whatever an 8 year old girl might like!
Anyway, so I grew up seeing him run and when the opportunity for track came around, I decided to give it a try. (I was also on the swim team- which is in in the fall- so I never did cross country.) When I first starting running, Dad would take me out for runs. He always said to get in shape for the season, you don’t need to run fast, you just need to put in long, slow miles. Which we did together. We also had DWAs. I am not sure if they were for me or him, but a DWA is a designated walking area – usually towards the top of a hill.
I did track for 7th and 8th grade. And I ran in my Adidas shoes that were the popular ones to wear and not made for running. . I was never much good, but it got me into running. I think I ran track in 9th grade, maybe for only part of the season, because by then, I was more into swimming. I was on a club team that swam all year round. So, running took a back seat during the rest of high school. Then, in college, I swam my freshman year, and then decided I needed more time to devote to classes. So, I didn’t go out for the swim team sophomore year. Swimming kept off the freshman 10 pounds, but it threatened to make an appearance sophomore year, unless I did something!
Enter running. I started off just doing loops around campus. Eventually, I was doing more than just one loop and adding extra to start increasing mileage. I ran with my Dad on weekends when I went home. When he came to visit, we started making running something we did together.
I lived at home my Senior year and on the days I didn’t have class, I would go to downtown St. Paul where he worked and we would run over the lunch hour together. He had two other people he ran with, Bob and Sue, who would sometimes join us too. So, we became our own little running group. We would get together on weekends and run longer distances.
Then, I graduated and went off to medical school in Des Moines. I found a few people to run with here and there but nothing consistent. I ran by myself a lot.
And then I decided I needed a running partner. . . Abby! I got her as a puppy, so part of her training was to be a running buddy. And she was (is).
Unfortunately, she is such a good dog and doesn’t run away, we did a lot of running together on trails where she could be off leash. She got so spoiled that now she will hardly ever run on the leash. She just sits her butt down and looks at me like “A leash, really? Are you serious about that?”
But unfortunately she isn’t enough well behaved to be off leash where there are cars.
Anyway. . . I ran all thru medical school, regularly. I did the Des Moines Half Marathon in 2004.
About the end of medical school, I finally got the marathon itch. I trained like crazy. I was living up in the cities at that time doing medical school rotations and living at my parent’s house. So, back to long runs with Bob’s group on the weekends. And trying to fit in lunchtime runs when I could with Dad.
I ran the Green Bay Marathon in 2008, right before graduating medical school and getting married. It was an exciting couple of weeks!
I have been continuing to run ever since then. I did the Green Bay Marathon again in 2009 – unfortunately not as well trained, so a much more painful experience than the 1st time. . . and haven’t been quite brave enough to do another one yet! Maybe someday. . . And yes I wore the exact same outfit for both marathons!!
Scott and I ran the Des Moines Half Marathon in 2012.
and we did the Chippewa Falls Pure Water Days Half Marathon in 2010.
And we did the Des Moines Half Marathon again this year –2013.
And I have done the St. Paul Winter Carnival Half Marathon a handful of times – usually with Sue!
So, I really have to thank my Dad for getting me into this wonderful sport, pastime, stress reliever, Christmas cookie balancer, and probably the best of all, time with Dad. Some of our best talks have been during runs. . . because what happens on a run, stays on a run, right Dad?
How did you get your running start?