If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you might know that March is my “runnaversery.” My running journey started March of 2010 around St. Patricks Day.
For the last 7 years, St. Patricks day has held a much more sentimental meaning to me than drinking beer, wearing green and holiday spirit. Although I still do all three! For the past several years, I have celebrated by running Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.
Seven years ago, I ran a road race in college that would change my life.
It’s funny how half an hour altered my entire path. As someone who loathed running previously, the fact that I enjoyed the sport was a whole new experience.
You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.
So how did it all begin?
In 2010, I saw a bulletin board at my college gym stating if you completed the annual campus 5k you would get a free long sleeve t-shirt.
As a college student, you can never have enough things to stuff in your dorm room. Going to college in the arctic tundra, I had plenty of short sleeve shirts but long sleeves were something I was always looking for. “All” I had to do is sign up for a 5k and complete it?
Okay, sign me up.
By that, I signed up and I didn’t run a single time before the race.
I swam through high school and college and that was my thing. I liked it, I was decent at it and all my friends did it. With the exception of my freshman year roommate, Kierstin, I had no friends that ran. People don’t run outside when it’s -30 in the winter.
Keep in mind my running history previous to March of 2010 is lackluster. I failed the mile test countless times in middle and high school. If I passed (yes IF), it was by mere seconds (passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12).
Incase you wondered, I didn’t tell a single soul I was doing this race. They would never believe it, and I didn’t want anyone to know. My dad was an accomplished marathon runner, and at the time both brothers ran cross country and track. My brother, Matt, could run 2 miles faster than I could run one.
The only two times I ran in college was to “impress” upperclassman on the swim team. It wasn’t impressive, and I made a goober out of myself both times.
During the off season from swimming, I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights. It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming. Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself into but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.
The race itself is a blur. I don’t remember much other than I didn’t really hate it.
I finished the 5k is around 24 minutes. I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember not dying and also texting my dad (who was shocked) and then picking up my t-shirt and wearing it proudly.
I wore that t-shirt all around the following day. I was going to wear my badge of honor.
After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed in running. I ran 20 miles off and on weekly for the rest of the spring.
When it was sunny, I would run the same 5k loop around campus.
When it wasn’t nice out, I wouldn’t run. I would just go to the gym.
I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because after that point I considered myself “a runner”.
I didn’t run every day.
I didn’t run fast.
I didn’t log my mileage.
I didn’t run when it was the cold, windy or not perfect weather.
I had no desires to run with anyone or at a particular time…
I didn’t run anymore races until July.
But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it.
Since then, I’ve run off and on through my life. I joined my college cross country team and ran for a couple of seasons. I’ve run 30+ half marathons and 2 full marathons. I’ve met countless friends as well as met my husband through running as well.
Running isn’t the only part of my life, but it has been a huge influence for me throughout adulthood!
You can read an extended version of my running story with progression to where I am now here.
Questions for you:
When did you get your (workout) start?
What are you up to this St. Patricks Day?