I’ve always considered myself a runner. I would say that I was always “running” — my first experience with it was when I was about 6 years old. My sister and I would walk from school to my grandma’s house (through town, by ourselves, crossing streets and EVERYTHING — my how times have changed). I remember always running ahead and my sister yelling at me. I also remember always running around the playground — especially when I was in 6th and 7th grade…during recess we’d have races in the church parking lot (back when kids were entertained with wall ball, jump rope and tag — we didn’t have any fancy playground). I would say it was about a 100 yard dash length and I’d almost always beat the boys 🙂
Then I decided that I wanted to try my first “road race”, a one mile fun run when I was in 7th grade. I think my official time was 9:20. The next year I ran it in 7:59 (I still think that’s my fastest mile EVER). Next came high school where I ran track both Freshman and Sophomore year…I can’t say it was anything exciting. Our football team was what our small town HS was known for….my parents went to high school with Joe Theismann and Drew Pearson….so football was THE team to be on. At the end of track season of Sophomore year, I had my first bunion surgery and I said buh-bye to running for the remainder of my high school career. Although I think I informally ran towards the end of my senior year to stay in shape.
Once I went away to college I began running again. Not with a team or anything but I made sure to either run at the gym or around campus. Nothing serious, maybe a couple miles at best each time. I even continued to run when I was in England for a semester. Running was just always something I loved to do 🙂 I casually ran through my 1.5 years in grad school (again nothing serious – unless you count sprinting through Penn Station trying to catch the 9:33 pm train back home!). The summer of 2003 after I graduated from Columbia, I decided to run a five mile race (The Belmar 5) because it was on my birthday (7/12) and what better thing to celebrate my 24 years on this earth but to run a distance I hadn’t even attempted before?? GREAT IDEA DANA!!! I searched for the results and found that I finished in 1:00:47. I distinctly remember being sore as hell for a week afterwards!
My next road race wouldn’t be until October of 2003 when (again with no training) I decided to run the “Trick or Trot” 4 miler with my mom and sister. I finished in 51:27 and remember with about a 1/2 mile to go I was walking and I heard someone shuffling up behind me…..to my surprise it was my mom….which made me promptly start running again because I refused to let her beat me LOL! The next “race” was about 3 weeks later; the 5 mile Turkey Trot. I use the term race loosely as I walked the entire thing because my legs were so freaking sore from just starting martial arts. The results, oddly enough, aren’t posted so I don’t have my official time. If I had to guess I would say I finished around 1:20.
Martial arts took precedence and I didn’t even think about racing until 4/24/04 – The “Kick-Off to Spring” 5k. My husband (well BF at the time) and I ran it with friends. I remember pushing really hard (again no formal running training but a butt-load of martial arts training) and finished in 27:32.
And look! I found a pic: