Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Running birthday (or, How I learned to stop worrying and love running)

...oh yeah, holy crap, how could I (almost) forget... yesterday 3/18, was sorta like my running birthday... sort of...

Prior to joining the Army in June of 2000, I didn't run, not for fun, not for sport, not for anything, if you saw me running it was because I was late to something. When I got to basic training I had no choice but to run. Initially I had no love for it and was quick to quit. My first organized race was while I was at basic training, Ft. Benning was having some sort of base wide 5K and we were allowed to run it if we wanted, I didn't really wanna run but I didn't really want to clean my riffle either, so I said 'screw it, how bad could it be' plus I'd get a free t-shirt. That 5K was horrible, I remember walking during portions of it, it seemed stupid to me that people were enjoying them selves.
The Army's Physical Training test includes a 2 mile run, this PT test is preformed 5 times while in basic training (if I remember correctly). My second PT test is where I made a mistake that thrust me into the group known as 'the fast runners.' The route for the 2 mile run was 4 laps, I began walking shortly after starting my 3rd lap, after being passed by many a soldier, I picked up a jog again, when I got to the point where I should begin my 4th lap, I claimed to be done, everyone bought it, and I got to claim a sub 14 minute 2 mile. This was all well and fine until they broke us into running groups based on our past PT test performance, from that point on, I ran with the fast guys. Some how I made it out of basic training and got sent to Ft. Lewis, WA as did my previous PT test scores, the Army, as it turned out, would also view me as a fast runner, amazingly, I didn't have a hard time living up to this.
Fast forward 3 and a half years to June of '04, and there I am, leaving the Army once and for all. Fast forward again to sometime in Feb. '06 and see a Nic who hasn't done any real sort of physical activity since getting out. That Nic is out getting Bacon Cheese Burgers (of all things) one night when he comes across a brochure for The Big Climb. I ran a few times prior to the Big Climb, that was what I called training, and enjoyed the event for the most part. A few months later (6/06), at the request of a co-worker, I ran the Seattle Race for the Cure 5K and ended up placing in the top 5 of my age group. Based on my old running log, I continued running from June into August, during that time I ran over 2 miles a total of 10 times, then, at the end of August I just stopped running. I started again about a month prior to the '07 Big Climb. Somehow, during that month, I came up with a stupid plan, I was going to run the Seattle Marathon in November.
With a little bit of web research, I found a training plan that synced up almost perfectly, from the day of the Big Climb (3/18/07) through mid-July I would build up my milage, and from then until the marathon I would "train." Over the course of those 9 months is when I feel like I became a runner. I trained with a purpose, I had a certain amount of consistency, and, more than anything, I was enjoying myself.

So happy running birthday to me! Here's to many more stupid decisions that keep breaking in my favor!

(I am more than well aware that my writing, particularly on this post, is an abomination... deal with it...)

1 comment:

Aaron Cunningham said...

Heh... Getting slotted into the gazelles. Happened to me once too on Active Duty. What a miserable 6 months. Next PT test wasn't as good and I was able to go with the '2's.