8 years ago…I ran a race

Since 2010 St. Patrick’s day has held a much more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green, and pots of gold.  Although if you would like to send me a pot of gold that is fine too!  Eight years ago, I ran a 5k on my college campus that would change the path and direction of my life.

You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.

When I was a college sophomore, I saw a sign at the gym that said if 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.  My college roommates always appreciated my hoarding.  I had plenty of short sleeve shirts, but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do was sign up for a 5k and complete it?

Okay, sign me up.

Sign me up, and I didn’t run an ounce beforehand.

Keep in mind my running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster.  I barely passed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…Passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12.

At my high school, you didn’t have to take gym after 10th grade.  So after 10th-grade gym class, I avoided running like the plague.  Thinking out loud, the only two times I had run was to “impress” upperclassman on the swim team.  It wasn’t impressive, and I made a goober out of myself both times.

I wasn’t terribly athletic and certainly wasn’t coordinated through high school.  I did swim competitively and did enjoy that.  During the offseason 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 but I never (not once) used running as cross training.  Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself with a trivial campus 5k into but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.

The race itself was a blur, and I finished around 24 minutes.  I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember not dying, texting my shocked marathon running dad, and picking up my t-shirt.  (of course, I didn’t tell my parents I was running this 5k…I didn’t want them to ask if I didn’t finish.

Of course, I didn’t tell my parents about this 5k, I didn’t want the embarrassment their daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.

After the race, I wore the t-shirt all around campus the following day.  I beamed with pride, smiling at random strangers also wearing our cheap cotton long sleeve shirts.

After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed with running.  The race did make me realize running wasn’t all that bad.  I ran when it was nice out which ended up being 10-20 miles a week for a good portion 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 at that point I considered myself someone who didn’t hate running anymore.  When you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school, it’s hard to like it.

I didn’t sign up for another race until the following July over break.  My dad had asked me if I wanted to run both an 8k, and 10k but I turned him down because it was too far.  From there, I slowly ran more and even walked on to my college D3 cross country team.  I never had a “stand out season” there, however it was what I needed at the time.  You can read my entire running story here.

One of my first collegiate cross country races.

After that, I began to consider 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 specific time…
I didn’t run any more races until July.
But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it.

You’re a runner if you say you are and that is all that matters.

Questions for you:
When did you get your (workout) start?
How was your St. Patricks Day weekend?


  1. It’s funny because my start actually was the gym mile! Most of my childhood I was all about being a gymnast and was very much in love with gymnastics. But in elementary school we ran the mile for the gym fitness test and I beat everyone, including all the boys. My gym teacher said I should try XC in middle school. My start to running really started out with me racing and beating boys cause it made me feel cool lol. I then started really racing in races in middle school for XC and track.

  2. I avoided all things running until just a couple years ago. Then I joined a local run club and have been running ever since! Still have a love/hate relationship with it, but at least it’s healthy…and free. 🙂

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