I have never been a runner. I have always hated running. Unless there is some sort of game involved (soccer, football, catch, etc.) you will not catch me running for fun. When I played soccer in high school, our coach would make us run a mile before stretching and beginning practice. I know one person who actually ran the full mile everyday before practice.

She was not me.

In fact, I used to show up 10 minutes late, run a lap and try to look as sweaty as I could so it seemed like I ran my mile. Then I stretched with all the other girls and hoped they wouldn’t tattle on me. Most didn’t because they did similar variations of the same act.

Back then I found running to be tedious. When I ran in high school it was on a hot, black-top track that encircled the soccer field. It was just me, the sun, and the track that seemed to be more on the sun’s side than mine. I’d have to go at a pace I chose. There were no excuses, nothing in between me and the run, except time. Why would I want to run just to run? I could be do tons of other more fun and less-repetitive things.

I’ve heard other people say that running gives them time to think and clear away the cobwebs of their brains. When I ran, all I could think about was how weird my foot felt at that point in time. And I’d think about that same thing. Every. Time. My foot hit the ground.

My foot feels weird.
It feels so weird right now.
I’ve never had my foot feel that way.
It just is awkward.
What’s wrong with my foot.
Maybe I’m pounding the blood out of it.
My foot just feels so weird.

You get the point.

I wished I could run like my friend at Maryville College who was on the college’s cross-country team and ran zillions of miles every day, but for some reason I have always detested running.

Until now.

I don’t know why, but when I went on a run by myself Saturday morning (early morning) and it felt awesome. Of course I didn’t take a super-high-speed pace, but I was sweating (for reals, not fake sweat) by the end of it. According to the mile markers, I ran a whole 5k.

Maybe it was because the trail I ran was nice and shaded and the river is a few yard s away. Maybe I felt at peace with the location and what was going on around me. I can definitely tell a difference between an early morning June run through a wooded trail and a 3:00 P.M. August run in complete sunlight, no shade.

It was like a giant sigh of relief. I have run that same trail twice more since then and have enjoyed each time after. I don’t know if it’s the location or the ambiance, but I have a feeling that has a lot to do with it.

I also feel like the mile-markers are helpful to me since I like to know how far along in a run I am. It helps to know that you’re 3k in and can push it the last 2k. The landscape clues help with that too. When I get to a certain bridge I know I’m 1/4 of the way. When I reach the water fountains, I know I’m halfway and can turn back. The bridge on the way home lets me know I’ve only got 1/4 of my run left.

I suppose you should give me a few more weeks to see if I still like it, but you could perhaps call me a convert. I made it one of my 25 Things Before 25 goals to run a half marathon, and now that I’ve given running a chance, it seems more plausible than before.


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