For last the 9 years, the time around St. Patrick’s day has held a 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! Nine 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 coming up on 9 years too. Wow, where did my 20s go?
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 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. My roommate appreciated my hoarding I guess.
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.
My running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster. I swam competitively through high school and most of college. 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). Since 10th-grade gym class I had avoided running like the plague.
I ran twice in the first two years of college. Both times were to “impress” upperclassman 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. It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming. I didn’t run during the offseason at all. The elliptical and I were friends. 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.
I finished the 5k is 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 picked 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 far longer than I have. In fact, he had a big 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 it wasn’t all that bad and I ran occasionally 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 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 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 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 cold, windy or not perfect weather.
I had no desires 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 almost a decade ago!
Questions for you:
When did you get your (workout) start?
What are you up to this St. Patrick’s Day?