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On Running

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I can't believe there was a time when I used to be fast.

But it did happen.

I'd run six or seven miles a day in high school. The mile was too short for me; I only once broke six minutes. But a two mile or a 5K or a 10K? Those belonged to me. My girl friends and I were indestructible-- we could high jump and throw shot put and then go out for a five mile run up a mountain, singing Disney songs the whole way. And we did, often. 

Now Shawna and I barely have time to get together on our favorite trail here in Charlottesville. Emma and I find ourselves running the Thanksgiving "Drumstick Dash" a little slower every year.

I wish I knew what happened. I know it's not about getting older yet, because I'm only twenty-three. But sometimes I find myself exhausted just at the thought of putting on my running shoes and stepping outside the door. 

One thing I need to learn is to be kinder to myself. I'm not competing anymore. These days it's not about fast times and medals and college scholarships, it's about the memories and not letting go of something that you love so dearly.

So I still run.

You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
Steve Prefontaine


  1. i think its older in the sense of so many other things taking our time, attention and energy.

  2. ditto what olivia said. but I do think the whole "becoming a woman" thing and getting curves and hips also slows us down, and that definitely happens between high school and college. i watched lots of girls on my college track team "peak" freshman/soph year and struggle to PR after that. as for me, I've always been slow :)

  3. I love this post!!!!! And that quote.

  4. I love this post...so well written and so very true. Im so incredibly glad I started running...its amazing!

    xoxo from Trinidad

  5. I completely understand. I ran track in high school (and sucked because I never took it seriously), but it wasn't until graduating college 3 years ago that I started pushing myself and really got good. I used to run a 6 minute mile in the morning before work, and if I had time, a long 5 miles after work. I've stopped running so much (I think it started to become more of an obsession than an enjoyable hobby) and even though I still run and exercise, I rarely run over 5 miles and my mile run is closer to 9 minutes. Its comforting to know that it is attainable if you want it that bad, but my time with friends and family is more important to me now than dedicating those minutes to a faster mile. Put your time into what makes you happy. You could be fast again, but it also doesn't matter. xo

  6. I think some of the other commenters touched on this: I think our priorities change over time. I don't know about you, but when I was in high school, I didn't have to go to work, pay bills, and clean my house/apartment like I do now. :)

    That said, if being fast is important to you, you'll have to run fast during training... and that's tough to do unless you have a race coming up. Just a thought!


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