I remember always running around outside and playing with my friends. We would play tag (freeze tag, tv tag and regular tag) We would practice sprints by playing Red Rover (you remember the game where if you didn't break an arm you just didn't play it right..hold hands with the people on either side of you and call Red Rover Red Rover will Bill come right over..and hopefully Bill is a wimp and didn't break through you and your friend's hands. Yeah a emergency room visit waiting to happen) We also played Jail Break..which if you do not know what that is, it is basically tag but when you catch someone you take them to jail and their team members try and break them out of jail by touching the base that the other team is guarding. I think I might have had pretty good endurance for this one. Some of the neighborhood boys would have to chase me down awhile before they could actually catch me. Then we also had kickball and baseball. Now I didn't really run much for baseball since I was permanent catcher (I hated catching pop up balls...but loved catching behind the plate.) As kids we were great runners without even trying. There was no complaining..no "I'm tired" you just ran around with your friends and had fun. I hope running is always fun like it was as a kid, but lots of times it just feels like work. It is so much easier to come home and sit down. It is so much easier to sit down and watch tv. But on some days..when the temps are just right, the sun is out and the run feels easy..it is just like it was way back when we were kids playing in the neighborhood.
Then as I started playing basketball in Jr. High School I started some running. I was still playing with my friends and running around the neighborhood. It was during 7th and 8th grade that I can remember our coach having us run laps around the gym. Coach Dean would make us do lap after lap in 7th grade. Then we would have to do some suicides. Ugh..how I hated suicides! I think that is why he enjoyed making us run them, because he knew the hatred we all had for them. A lot of the players hated the running part of practice. I can remember not minding it. It made it so much easier on game day. We were in much better shape than some other teams we were playing against. Then on game day we were running up and down the court. My face turned beet red, same as it does today. Somethings just don't change.
During 8th grade we would run our laps, but our coach was also our science teacher. Most days we would beat her to the courts and start our laps..amazing how we always started our laps at 12..and then kept going. She would question why some of us were not really sweaty. Some days cheating on our running really hurt our game on game day. Sort of like not sticking to a training plan. Come race day it hurts a bit more because you skips some important runs.
Ninth grade was the first time I started to run on the road by myself. I didn't want to die in basketball camp. Coach Dean was once again our coach, so I knew that he was going to run us into the ground. I didn't want to hate life too badly so I figured I better start putting in some running before basketball officially starts. I wouldn't say that I loved running on the road, but I did it.
College came and so did some added weight. Not sure if it was the freshman fifteen or not, but my weight was creeping up. Junior year I started added running and walking to my day. I was watching my snacking at work too. I was starting to drop some pounds. I found out that the key to losing weight was running. Too bad that is not working for me today. lol
After college, I was working long hours as a retail manager. To cope with the long hours I started running again. I was running and exploring a new neighborhood. I was enjoying running. Little did I know that I would soon not be able to run for years thanks to the car that hit me while crossing the road. grrr...
In 2008 I run my first 5k. It was wonderful! I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it, but I was willing to try. I felt like a kid. I guess it didn't hurt that I had a dad yelling at his kid that he was not allowed to walk. When he finished he could walk! It felt like the dad was yelling at me too! Not sure if that was good or bad. :) Ah I don't think I would have even guessed that five years later I would have completed 38 races ranging from 5K's to Half Marathons!
Sometimes it is great to think back to all of our running, whether it was fun running as a kid or racing as an adult. Just remember that running should always be fun!
Hope everyone had a great National Running Day!
What are some running memories that you have?