I will have to dig around for a photo from track and field/cross country in high school (maybe another throwback post!) to show that I have loved running for 30 plus years. In fact earlier than that I would run along side my mom as she rode her bike.
We grew up in an active family (still love thinking about my parents playing tennis in their old-school tennis whites) as we played Barbies near by or rode our bikes. Running for me always equaled freedom and was fun and daring.
I am not a team player in any other part of my life and I don’t like to “join” anything, stay away from Tupperware type parties (showing my age), baby and wedding showers, really any group event except for running. Being a part of track and cross country in high school was amazing. When I started high school, I vowed to get strong and I was enthralled by some of the women running. I was in high school from 1983-1986, so this was the start of the Jog Bra era, where more and more regular women were running. Well they called it jogging back then, but same thing. I also read Jim Fixx’s book about running and followed the Olympic pros. I still couldn’t tell you anything about baseball, football or basketball and don’t follow any other sports but running. In 1984 Los Angeles hosted the summer Olympics and I had chills watching the people run with the Olympic torch and the Olympic marathon was won by Joan Benoit. Let me tell you I was screaming and crying at that one!
Running in school, I competed in the 220, 440, 880 and mile relay. Thinking about passing the baton still excites me. I am slower every year, but when I watch the elites run or pass the baton, I can imagine it is me.
Through the years I have gone up and down with running and I’ve come to believe you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Running is like a marriage; there are ebbs and flow, ups and downs. I fall in and out of it throughout each year. I go through spurts of pure inspiration and drive and other lulls of “eh, not today”. Beating myself up about not running doesn’t work; baby steps. Forward relentless progress as the Ultra runners say, just keep moving forward. And like a good partner, running will be there. It never fails you. It is constant, waiting for your return.
I love the running community too. I’ve met many friends over the years, although I just realized a year or so ago that I’ve never dated a runner! No wonder my relationships ended, ha ha! That’s on the list for sure; next time date a runner. I do have many friends who run and getting together with them to chat about paces, PR, dirt versus road, shoes and all the other “run talk” makes my day.
I don’t often run with others (hard to find someone your pace) but when I do I love it. And regardless, seeing them at the start and finish of a run or race is just the best. I am thrilled to be a part of a group called #werunsocial. I fell in love with social media too so this is perfection for me. Runners who have blogs and/or are on social media. FOR THE WIN! I mean Heck Yea Ninja! So now I can plan races where I meet up with some of these wonderful folks.
I have another photo somewhere with the kind and fast @pavementrunner but can’t find it. His shop also sells the #werunsocial gear at pavementrunner.com. I am hoping to meet more friends from social media in 2016 and I am trying to plan my races accordingly.
I also love running as I’ve used it as a way to give back. For many years I’ve donated money to a specific charity each time I raced. I was lucky to join a group of athletes who do the same. Suffer Better is just that; great gear, a community of runners and they give back to charity too. Check them out at sufferbetter.com. And think about raising money for charity each time you race, either formally or informally.
I love running too since you can do it anywhere. It’s much easier to pack running shoes than it is to pack a kayak or bike, to other sports I enjoy. I’ve run in many of the places I’ve traveled to and love to see new territory that way.
I can’t take my little Westie running but I can take our bigger dog; he loves to go, especially the trails, and it is a great way for us both to hang out and get some fresh air.
I don’t feel like I’ve put my love, my passion for this sport, into words very well. I’m a therapist and I often ask clients to describe themselves, to self-identify. I know for me when I say who Heather is one of the first things is a runner. I run cause that’s what I do and that’s who I am. I am a woman, mother, runner, reader, foodie and therapist. Running is in my blood.