Friday, October 9, 2009

Do You Remember Your First Time?

Hello Loyal Readers. This is Coach EK, your guest poster for today. As you know, your regular host, B.o.B., is winging her way to Chicago for her cheering/pacing duties during the marathon. So, she has turned the forum over to me today. Actually, she tried to turn it over to Lloyd the Attack Terrier, but he had an important nap appointment, so the honor fell to me.

Anyway, on to today's topic - Do you remember your first time? And before we go any farther, we are not talking about *that* first time. Minds out of the gutters - this is a running blog. I am talking about the first time you laced up some running shoes and headed out the door to try this "running" thing.

My first time was way back in the dark ages - the 1970's. It was 1978 to be exact. I was in high school then, and had visions of running on the track team. At my school, track was in the spring, so we had to do a fall sport to prepare. Cross-Country was the logical choice (I mean football? - c'mon). So I had the summer to get ready for the Cross-country thing. And that meant running. O.K. How hard can that be?

So, one morning in June of 1978, I decided it was time to start. Heading out the door, I was dressed in a white cotton T-shirt, jean shorts (very fashionable), tube socks, and $10 K-mart gym shoes. There was no watch, GPS, GU, Sport drink, wicking material, headlamps, or any other modern item. Just me and the open road.

I had planned a 2 mile run, plotting it out from a map in the phone book, It was all of 2 miles. How hard can it be?


I did not know about pace, or splits, or miles, or stride, or any of these modern ideas. It was just go out and run. For about a mile. Until I got a side stitch. And eventually had to stop. And walk home. Yes, running could be hard.


The next day, I was back out and did it again. And this time - I made the 2 miles. And I have not looked back since. And 31 years later, running is one of my best friends, in good times and bad. It has been there for me, to comfort me and test me and teach me.

Who knew, from that one run all those years ago, where the road would take me?

What a journey!

So, do you remember your "first time"?


Rachel said...

You know, as someone who is so close to their "first time", some of the modern ideas, the modern gizmos can make something as otherwise streamlined as running seem overwhelming. Thanks for reminding me of the simplicity, the badness of jean shorts, and bring back B.o.B!

Marlene said...

Hey Coach! Thanks for the guest post!

I sure do remember mine. I should, afterall, 'cuz it wasn't that long ago! Around Christmas 2006, I was bored on the elliptical and decided to hop on the treadmill and see if I could run. I think I managed 10 minutes that day. Does treadmilling count as the "first time"?

I remember my first "real" run outside as well. I guess it was a couple months later. I could run 5K on the treadmill and hubby convinced me to run 5K with him outside. I did it, but BOY was it different! Harder? Yes! More interesting/fun? Heck yes! That day I realized I was hooked.

X-Country2 said...

I totally remember the first time I became a runner. It was in high school my senior year between basketball and track season, and I remember sitting at home crazy jittery with too much energy. My dad told me to go run around the neighborhood to see if that helped. I took off and felt AMAZING. So much better. I'd been an athlete all my life, but after that day, I officially became a runner.

harmony said...

I have tried to become a runner a few times in my life.
I traveled in 2007-08, abroad for 5 months and really took to running because it felt free and I enjoyed it. My ipod was stolen in Chile and so I reverted back to a non-runner, until May of 09.
I joined Team in Training to become a runner. I remember our first Saturday morning meeting where we only ran a timed mile. I hadn't run a timed mile since junior high track. Anyways, I felt amazing afterwards and proud that I could do it in 7:49. All I wanted was to make sure that I was under 10 minutes.
So, yes, I remember that feeling and how it has stayed with me these past 5 months. I believe it will continue to be part of my life since it feels liberating and you can do it anywhere.

P-Funk said...

Hey Coach EK! Nice to see you on here & loved your story! I would have never thought that you couldn't last your 1st 2 miles!! That's like Michael Jordan missing his 1st lay-ups. I guess it shows everyone has to start somewhere.

My first time running was in 7th grade with my Catholic school's track team, which by the way, everyone sort of made the team, if you know what I mean. I remember I ran some relays but can't really recall the distance or other events I ran...400?...800? The most memorable things were eating 'red' jello sugar from the box as a pre-fuel treat! And growling toward the finish line to distract the other runners. Needless to say it worked.

But I certainly remember the first time joining Brandon Running Association the summer of 2006 and stuck with them ever since. As I started out on my 1st 8 miler, I lied to Coach V when she asked what was the furthest I ran...and replied I've "ran 5" before. After we were done, I clarified that I meant a "5 K"! Minor detail.
But it was great and I couldn't ask for a better group of runnning, make that a better group of FRIENDS!!

Amanda said...

I cannot even imagine what running in jean shorts would feel like:) I did definitely start out in cotton shirts though, that's when I officially felt like a runner..when I started using real running gear.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I did lots of "running" for warm-ups for hockey etc. when I was younger, but I didn't REALLY start running until last fall.

The first REAL run that I have a recollection of was the first run of my half-marathon training plan that I did back in January. It was 2 miles, 21 minutes and it was SO HARD. I actually posted about it on my blog today!

It's crazy to look back and see how far we've come!

flarunner said...

Oh wow, does this bring back old memories. I too wore jean shorts, cotton t-shirt (I think it was yellow), tube socks and Nike Waffle Trainers for my 'first time', (and a whole bunch of times after that). It must be an "era" thing because I started in June 1976.

B.o.B. said...

EK, LOVE THIS POST! I got a second to hit the computer and wanted to say thanks again for posting for me.

Lloyd is pissed.

Melissa N. said...

Tried posting this at work, but it was blocked... I remember always running and my mom would tell you the same thing. But my first "real" race was in 7th grade at Franklin. I was the only girl in my PE class to RUN the WHOLE mile in track and field day without stopping. Went on to win the girl's mile between all classes. That had me hooked, I ran the 800, 1 mile and 2 mile in track at Mann, Armwood, and Brandon. In High school I joined cross country which I found even better than running around in circles on the track. I haven't looked back since 7th grade I've completed too many 5ks and 10ks to count, 3 15ks, 3 half marathons, 2 fulls, and will be running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco next week and I am 14 weeks pregnant!!! I'm so excited! I wouldn't want it any other way!

Spike said...

my first real long run (plus 10M) was in high school, I just went out for a run and kept going. it was awesome, sweaty, and a little sexy. well, it was.

Meg Runs said...

The first time was hard for me! My body wasn't ready to pound and move at any rate faster than a was painful. Can't remember when it took a turn for me but it sure did!

Aka Alice said...

Bwahahahahaha...first time.

I've had lots of first times, sorta like a born-again runner. The first-first time? I can hardly remember. I'm sure I was in high school and was on the track team, but was so slow I was left without an event. There was a first time in college, and that's the one I remember best. I was stressed about finals, about a lousy boyfriend, about a lot of things and I went out for a run. I think I ran for about 20 minutes and felt just GREAT when I got back. I shoulda stuck with it then, but there was that party I had to get to...((sigh)).

Navy Steve said...

I think I ran 2 miles around the neighborhood. Was running with my dad, and decided to run ahead (that's how he tells the story). Probably Spring of 1978, ran my first 10K in the summer of 1978 - Blue Cross 10K. I always run that 2 miles whenever I go visit my parents (even if after a long run - or on a recovery day) Thanks Dad for getting me into this sport! (or curse you on some days!)

lindsay said...

thanks for the guest post! :)

i don't know if i remember the exact day, but it was cross-country in 10th grade. i remember being told we had to run *five* miles that day and thinking about how infinitely long that was. haha. little did i know!