Since we’ll be starting a new decade here pretty soon I thought that it might be fun to look back at my running over the last 10 years.
2000: Just graduated high school and started UCLA. I worked out regularly but only ran on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes at a time and I was terrified of running outside. Started swimming so I could be a lifeguard at a camp all summer. Found out I really, really like swimming. Moved into the dorms and did not gain the freshman 15. I ate like a normal human.
2001: College freshman/sophomore. Still swimming quite a bit, dropped the running completely but very envious of runners. I walked 30 mins up a giant hill each way to class which I counted as exercise. I still would. The Hills of Westwood are huge and will suck the life out of you.
2002: College sophomore/junior. Let fitness and working out go off the rails a little bit when I moved off campus. The pool was far away and the hours didn’t work with my schedule. Continued to walk to class in Egypt (increased to about 40 mins each way) and go to the gym a couple times per week. Gained some weight. Not cute. Bought some running shoes and ran a few times but never stuck with it.
2003: Finished college and moved to DC. The winter there was too harsh and the humidity too horrible for me to work out outside but I continued to be very, very envious of all the runners. Joined the Y and swam/did the elliptical regularly. Still chubby but not necessarily unhealthy. Moved back to California and was pretty depressed when I couldn’t find a big-girl job immediately. Mountain biked some but mostly laid around being sad I was a total failure at life (I was not. I was young and dramatic).
2004: Moved to the Monterey/Salinas area midyear and decided that since I was all grown up I’d start running regularly. Ran 3-4 miles 3-4 times per week and really started to enjoy running. Found out that it doesn’t hurt that much if you keep at it. Continued to be terrified of shin splints and injury. Ran in some beautiful areas that make me wish I was more serious about running when I lived there. Started dreaming about running a marathon someday.
2005: Continued to run 3-4 times per week but upped the mileage a little. Still kinda chubby. Began tossing around the idea of running in a race. Did not actually sign up for a race. Still terrified of injuries.
2006: Moved to Sacramento and discovered that everyone in this town races regularly. Bought a road bike and started cycling some. Was talked into my first 10k, didn’t die, began to be less terrified of races. “Raced” another 10k on Thanksgiving and started kicking around the idea of a half marathon. Still terrified of running long distances but more prepared to take them on. Still chubby.
2007: Ran the Shamrockin Half Marathon and really, honestly fell in love with running. I was not fast (2:22) and didn’t train much but finally ran 4 times per week regularly without injury. Lost some weight during half marathon training but ballooned up after. It was terrible. Figured out I could run 2 days in a row without injury and began running 5 times per week. Got my act together in July and ran my first marathon, CIM, in December. Bettered my half-marathon time by 10 minutes and finished CIM without injury.
2008: After a post-marathon break I cleaned up my eating, upped my mileage and started running with a group. Got much, much faster very quickly. Ran the Shamrockin again and shocked myself by running a 2:05 when my goal was 2:10. By the end of 2008 I’d broken 2:00 for the half-marathon, run 4 more halves including the Nike Women’s, Cowtown, See Jane Run and Clarksburg and lost more than 30 pounds. Began toying with the idea of qualifying for Boston. Bought a garmin, started running at the track and reading everything about running I could get my hands on. Did a couple of 5ks and discovered that it was “my” distance. Ran a 7:40 pace for the 5k after no focused training and got serious about training.
2009: Upped my mileage again, started using Jack Daniels’ programs and broke 1:50 for the half-marathon in March. Raced all summer and set PRs in every distance while having a great time. Started marathon training in August and ran crazy-high mileage (60s and 70s) for four months. Raced a whole bunch leading up to CIM. Some races were good, some were really rough but I learned lots through each of them. CIM went ok– I PR’d by an hour but missed qualifying for Boston. Recovery from this year has been very, very difficult and ended the year injured. Sat around in a post-race funk trying to figure out what’s next.
So that’s where I’ve been the last 10 years! From a terrified high school senior/college freshman to an adult whose act is mostly together. Crazy. Hopefully the next 10 years will be even better!
IT band update: Went and saw a therapist about it and apparently my hips are crazy tight and I have all kinds of scar tissue in there. I’m going to be fine but it’s going to take awhile. I’m permitted to run a whole 2 miles at a time which is better than nothing but far from ideal. I think this means that in 2010 I get to practice patience. Thanks for all the suggestions… I will definitely be rolling, stretching and strengthening LOTS.