October 23, 2013

Back when I ran a lot... Part 1

I've never really thought of myself as a runner, but I did used to run a lot. When I say "a lot" I mean by normal people standards...not by psychotic running blogger standards. This is Part 1 of my runner story.

At first, I hated running. Running was punishment...off-season, cold-weather, collegiate cross-training bullshit that everyone dreaded except for the the 2 fastish people who had run cross-country in high school. When my college coach pointed out during my senior year that I was the smallest person on the team and it would behoove me to become one of the faster runners since that was probably the only way I could possibly make a favorable impression, I got really sad. Sad because I HATED running. And also a little sad that I had gone 3 years without realizing this size factor.

Now here's something that I find interesting...

We only really ran in the winter. In the snow/sleet/hail/wind/freezing cold. And there were NO TECH FABRICS. How in the fuck did we SURVIVE?????

As your base layer, you put on your cotton thermal long johns and a nice cotton t-shirt. Then you put on your super thick Champion sweatpants and a cotton turtleneck as your second layer. If you were lucky, you owned a pair of wind pants and nice, heavy Champion hoodie for your top layer. Woolen mittens or ski gloves that would chafe the fuck out of your runny nose and, perhaps, a ski hat would complete the ensemble. You looked like the Michelin Man and felt like The Mummy, but at least you started out warm. And it's getting out the door that is usually the hardest part. Things did get kind of heavy in the rain, however.

Another thing I find interesting...

There was no "building up your mileage" crap. The first land workout of the year usually went something like this:

Okay, everybody.... We're going to run NINE FUCKING MILES TODAY. Out to Turkey Hill and back. Everyone know the route? No? Well then buddy up with someone who does.

And so out we'd go on these sharply-canted, empty country roads in the near-Arctic tundra of central New York, only 2 or 3 people knowing where in the fuck we were going...and they were the fast ones who loved running and would speed off so the rest of us would wander aimlessly, guided only by the knowledge that somewhere out there past the stinky pig farm was a GIANT FUCKING HILL, the top of which would be the turnaround point. There were no Garmins or mile markers, and you couldn't carry water because it was too cold and besides, why would you carry water? what's "hydrating"? And no one ever thought to bring a snack.

Despite the complete absence of: tech fabrics, incremental mileage increases over time, and proper hydration and fueling tactics, I grew to somewhat enjoy the running. And I got better at it. Not great or even fast, but better.

But then land workouts and team runs ended. I know any running blogger worth her salt would've kept running on her own in addition to the daily 60- to 90-minute team practices. But I didn't. And that's probably why I still haven't gotten any free shit.

And that concludes Part 1 in this multi-part series.

Did you take to running immediately?

Were you forced into running?

When did you start running?

Do you work out multiple times a day on purpose?

Did you follow a good nutritional plan in college?

Did you ever wish you could be really good at something but totally felt like the deck was stacked against you?

Can you believe I still haven't gotten any free shit?


  1. I threw a royal blue windbreaker over the super heavyweight Champion sweats when it rained, snowed or sleeted. Good times. I think some freeshit from Champion should be forthcoming.

    1. A WINDBREAKER!!!! You were a fucking genius!!!!!

  2. No, I hated it, but my fatness forced me into it in 2011. Then my asthma forced me to figure it out, now I kinda like it.
    - I wish I had the time to do two a days. I think it would leave me much saner
    - I didn't stick around college long enough to come up with a plan, nutritionally or otherwise
    - I'm pretty sure the teenage deck is stacked against me. Or maybe it's just the teenage deck of child a. child b is still willing to share the deck with me. So yeah, motherhood & running. Ironically, the two things I would like to do best kinda suck some - most - days.
    - Dang, why are they not beating down your door already?

    Finally, SF was kinda meh. I was totally banking on you being the highlight. Another fail.

  3. I ran track in high school in suburban Chicago so yes to this outfit. Though our high school had an indoor track -- super nice. I did short distances so didn't have to put the whole getup on too often. Though of course we'd be outside in April and there were still days where one would need to run with this many clothes.

    I tore cartiledge in my right knee and then had a whole bunch of other complications a few years back so no longer run. I love swimming and biking, so it's all good.

    Did I follow a good nutritional plan in college? ahahaha. Yes, I partook in the four major food groups -- beer, liquor, fried food and pizza. I worked out a good bit but lawd, no, no good nutrition in college.

    1. I did bagels, booze and ice cream. I can't remember eating a single vegetable.

  4. I started running cross country in high school because my friends were doing it. (And then I quit I started doing drugs because my friends were doing it.) I didn't start to like running until a few years ago, actually. When I finally got into the right shoes and realized running didn't have to hurt all the time.

    In college I maintained a very strict diet of pop tarts and beer. I smoked a lot of pot so I really needed those extra carbs.

    I feel like the deck is stacked against me every time I can't reach something on a high shelf.

    I can't believe you haven't gotten any free shit.

  5. Has never been cold enough to even need a top here in cape Town...

    Food: Chocolate, wine, beer, and anything that can be cooked on a fire... I still live like that...

    have always run an love it, but it was hard work this morning...

  6. This is inspiring! I;m still working up to running and am still just in the 'kind of walking fast' stage..

  7. While I eagerly await your next post, I shall catch up on older posts before I learned of your existence. Btw, are you really from CNY? I'm from WNY and since I now live in CA, WNY and CNY are practically the same place.
    -No, I did not run since exiting the womb
    -Yes I was forced, when I played soccer in HS and then by my husband but before he was my husband - he insisted we run together and i hated running.
    -I started running regularly around 23.
    -I have done occasional 2-a-days. Run/bike. Easy/track. Mid-distance/Mid-distance when short on time for a long run.
    -I ate in my college dining hall, so no.
    -I wished I could have been good at getting college scholarships but as a white girl, the deck was stacked against me. I also wish I could have been good at things like playing volleyball or reaching objects in the top of the cupboard, but at 5'2" the deck is stacked against me again.
    -You're totally due for some free shit.

    1. I love it when people read old posts! Know why? MORE PAGEVIEWS!!!!

      I grew up in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, went to college in the Finger Lakes Region of NY State, lived just close enough to DC that commuting in was only mildly insane for 6 months and then lived in a city that just hosted a marathon for 8 years after that. After living amidst all the East Coast conservatism, I dragged my hippie flower child-raised self back to my homeland to start a family of my own. But you're right, WNY and CNY are basically the same.

    2. Nice, my husband went to college in a tiny hippie flower child town at the bottom of the Finger Lakes. Living in CA for almost 2 years has destroyed my resistance to cold weather and being surrounded by mountains is turning my East Coast Conservative-raised self into a trail-loving tree-hugging hippie.

      Sorry for the aside, back to more PAGEVIEW$ !!!


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