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
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?