1) I started running when I was 14, as a sophomore in high school. Mostly because I thought I needed to lose weight.
2) I ran my first race (a 5k) soon after that in around 35 minutes.
3) I ran my first half marathon as a junior, and then joined my high school xc team the next year.
4) I hadn’t learned how to control my exercised-induced asthma yet, so I was usually one of the last runners at every race. I have finished last at a race before. It’s a shitty feeling.
5) I joined XC in college because I love running. Now I’m a junior in college. And captain of my XC team. And my PR is 10 minutes faster than my first race.
6) I ran my first marathon at 17 because I wanted to prove that I could. Then I ran a second one 6 months later. I’m planning on running a third next spring, with one of my teammates, as a precursor to graduation.
7) Half marathons are my favorite distance to race because it’s strategic, tests your endurance, but I can do well in it running 9 minute miles. In XC, I’m trying to run under 8 minute miles, and I end up not breathing. Asthma attacks during a race are awful.
8) This past season, I ended up almost puking as soon as my foot crossed the finish line after every race. I’m pretty sure that means that I ran as fast as I possibly could.
9) In 3 months, I’m running 2 halfs in one weekend. The first is a ridiculous trail run. The second is a road race that I want to PR in. I’m relying on my teammates that I’m running with to push me through the second race. I want victory.
10) Let me be honest here, I run long distance because I love feeling badass. I do it for the bragging rights. I told someone that my New year’s resolution was to run faster for XC, to which he replied, “If you run cross country, you should run farther, not faster, those races are short.” So I told him, “I do. I’m a marathoner. That’s 26.2 miles. I think that’s far enough, don’t you?”
I also run because my situation at home sucks. So whenever I’m not at school, I’m running away. Literally. It’s liberating.