Over the last 12 years, the time around St. Patrick’s Day has held more of a 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! 12 years ago, I ran a 5k in college that would change the path and direction of my life. I started this blog the summer after, which means the blog is nearly 12 years old.
A recap of the blog is another story. It’s changed as I’ve changed. I haven’t run every day since starting a blog. When I started blogging, I didn’t expect to be here 12 years later.
But back to running, I don’t know if I anticipated running 12 years later either. I don’t know, I didn’t think about it, and I didn’t define myself as a runner when I started running in March 2010.
You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.
How did it start?
When I was a college sophomore, I saw a sign at the 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 free things.
I had plenty of short sleeve shirts, but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for. All I had to do was complete a 5k?
Okay, sign me up. Sign me up, and I didn’t run an inch beforehand.
It wasn’t as if I was a runner beforehand. In fact, I hated running, and my running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster. I swam competitively through high school and most of college, but I thought running was “the worst.”
I failed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…or passed by a couple of seconds (passing was 12:30, and my mile PR was 12:12). After gym class, I didn’t run again. Because…why would I?
During my first two years of college, I ran twice. Both times were to “impress” upper-level students on the swim team. It wasn’t impressive, and I made a fool out of myself. During the offseason from swimming, I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights.
Long story short, I had no idea what I was getting myself into running the 5k, but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.
The race itself is pretty much a blur. I don’t remember much other than I didn’t really hate it. It was the first time in my life I didn’t hate running.
I finished the 5k in around 24 minutes. I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember not dying, texting my shocked dad that I had run a 5k, and picking up my free long sleeve 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… My dad has been running for years. In fact, the same weekend I ran my 5k, he was getting ready for a marathon the next week (The Shamrock Marathon).
I didn’t want the embarrassment that his daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.
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 wasn’t “hooked.” I did realize running wasn’t terrible, and I occasionally ran when it was nice out.
I ran 10-20 miles a week depending on the weather. When it was sunny, I would run the same 5k loop around campus. When it wasn’t nice out, I wouldn’t run.
I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because, after that point, I considered myself someone who didn’t hate running anymore. It’s hard to like it when you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school.
I began to consider myself a runner even though:
I didn’t run every day.
I didn’t run fast.
I didn’t log my mileage.
I didn’t run when it was cold, windy, or not perfect weather.
I had no desire to run with anyone or at a certain time…
I didn’t run any more races until July.
But I ran…and when I did, I enjoyed it.
Crazy to think that was 12 years ago.
Questions for you:
When did you start running?
What are you up to this St. Patrick’s Day?