Here begins the story of my runners heart (beware the long post!!). Growing up on a mountain in a steep neighborhood with freezing snowy winters and boiling summers, running was not something I considered for a long time. Though I walked up that hill many times after school, running up that hill (like Kate Bush!) in the heat never entered my mind.
Here is a glimpse of my life through the runners lens:
- Summer before 8th grade: I went to a fitness camp. I think I worked up to running about 2 miles each morning by the time I left.
- 8th grade. I was the orchestra nerd who did zero sports. But then I decided to become awesome and be a track star. I joined the track team and was so excited. I was there for the track team photo that would end up in the yearbook. Then, in the first week of practice, I pulled my quadricep during a 100 meter dash warm up. I could barely walk after that and limped off the field, never to return. I think it took weeks before my leg felt ok again. I never tried out for track again either (that was lame on my part though). Thanks to the yearbook photo, at least I could pretend I was cool and had an extra page listing under my name in the yearbook index.
- High school. I have this vague memory of running on the treadmill while reading "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." I think that was senior year. J, is that right? Anyway. Around that time, I tried to run a few times a week on the treadmill. It didn't last. Most books require hands to keep them open. My parents had a treadmill with a tv above it in their bedroom that I also tried using. The tv would shake a lot if I started running though. Lame. Super lame. Hence, my brilliant running career was postponed.
- College. Behold the indoor track at University of Utah. Fear it not. The last two years I was at U of U I ran on the track for about 40 minutes 2 or 3 times per week. It took a while to work up to running steadily the entire time. There were three lanes. The (clockwise) outer lane is for slow people. The middle lane is for passing. And the inner lane is for the non-stop I-rock-and-you-don't runners. They even run counter-clockwise so you can admire them more frequently as they pass you by. I wanted to be cool like them. I did eventually achieve semi-coolness and began running on the inner track, yet I was still frequently lapped by the speedy ones.
- Then I moved to sunny Bay Area, land of perfect weather year round. I started my masters degree and began stressing. I actually did homework on saturday nights. (I somehow managed to avoid doing homework on friday and saturday nights until this stage in life.) One saturday night in October I got really mad and decided to storm out into the night and run. Not the wisest thing to go out running in the dark alone, but I ran the 4 mile campus loop for the first time that day. And I kept doing it several times a week for the next two years. It wasn't always consistent, but I tried. I ran in the rain. I even tripped and rolled into a bush once. I rock.
- Meanwhile during #5 I bought a pair of running shoes I saw in a magazine. (Probably the most I've ever spent on a pair of shoes..but money well spent.) I still run in them 5 years later. I am seriously overdue for new shoes. But I have tried and failed to find the perfect ones as yet. My pair of Vibram FiveFingers which had so much promise turned out to be too big. I should have worn them for a few miles on the treadmill to be SUPER SUPER sure about the fit before taking them outside and rendering them non-returnable. I am trying to sell my pair. If successful, I might try again with Vibram. Next, I purchased a pair of Adidas at Nordstrom Rack. But it turns out they make my feet hurt. Serves me right for trying to buy running shoes at a discount price.