For those of you who haven’t heard (although I don’t know how this could be possible since it’s all I’ve talked about this week), my first 5K is rapidly approaching (2 DAYS!) In honor of it, I’ve dedicated my blog posts to it this entire week. If you’re just tuning in, welcome to my new obsession.
I knew I wanted a talented, experienced runner to guest post for me and Christine from the popular blog, Bun & Borough, was the first person I thought of. Not only is Christine a terrific runner, she is also one of my oldest and dearest friends. I’ve known her since 5th grade and though she’s modest about her earlier running years, I think she’s always been a runner at heart. If you don’t run and want to start, run now, need great style tips and (lots of) music references with a Boston-NYC flare, check out her blog. You won’t be sorry.
Thank you for posting, Christine!!!
Race Recap: 2 Years After the Fact
So I actually do not remember my first race. I was in 7th grade and had just joined the cross country team because I wasn’t really good at anything else. For years I played soccer as a defenseman, and though I desperately wanted to be a superstar, I just wasn’t. There was a summer I played basketball, and though I surprisingly made a few shots that went into the net, I was short compared to everyone else. And there was a fall I tried out for softball, and didn’t make the team (I could barely swing the bat, so I don’t blame them).
I’ve always seen myself as athletic, but back then I couldn’t find my niche. Signing up to run cross country was a reluctant move; no one got cut from cross country and I remembered thinking it was a team of sports rejects like me, a team of junior high kids who weren’t good at anything else and could be mediocre on cross country and still get the team t-shirt. I ran a couple of years in high school too, but my heart just wasn’t in it back then. I still saw running as the reject sport.
That line of thinking? Absolutely terrible. Running is a sport that has enough room for everyone, no matter how fast you go or when you cross the finish line. There are no rejects in this sport. There are no try-outs or cuts in this sport – you don’t need to prove anything to anyone but yourself. The only initial requirement is heart, and the rest will come in time.
Once I understood that, I decided to invest in running for myself in January 2009. I do remember some of my first workouts on the treadmill. I ran the 4.0 speed for 60 minutes on the treadmill, and then gushed to my parents about it after. Hardly an accomplishment, but hey I was proud I stuck with it for more than 5 seconds! I kept running that winter and signed up for my first REAL race.
It was a 5K on a golf course in my hometown. The day was cloudy and crisp. The ground was still soaked from melting snow. The orange bib number matched my orange jacket. I was nervous, and was in the bathroom line at least five times before the race began. I hadn’t done any running outside – let alone on grass! But I was determined and ready to finish. I don’t really remember what I was thinking, but it was definitely a hard race and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing most of the time. But I finished, and it was awesome.
I love the fact that I have a humble beginning with running. I’ve come to see this sport as one full of champions, of people who complete races after life-threatening accidents, of a 92 year old grandma who runs marathons, of people who raise thousands of dollars for charities and honor them by running. We are all superstars.
GOOD LUCK Marie on your FIRST RACE! May there be many more to come.