One year ago I started running. Ok, as some have reminded me... it was really the 1 year anniversary of me running this time. Yes, it's true that running and I sort of hung out for a while but it was totally casual. I mean, I did buy a (terrible) pair of running shoes, and I did do two 5k races, but no one on this planet would have considered me a runner.
Not that I identify myself as a runner today, I just run. I am still far more comfortable on my bike. But I have enjoyed this last year of running.
Anyway, as I was saying, it was one year ago that I "started" running. One year ago that I walked into Fleet Feet, was fit for a (much better) pair of running shoes, and went home and ran. You see, the reason I didn't run much before was I always started hurting after just a couple of miles. And did I mention that I had terrible shoes? Well, what I had described as a pain on the outside of one of my knees was probably really Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). "Probably" because that was never diagnosed by a doctor. I was shown some stretches that completely alleviated the pain I had always had. Regardless of what ailed me, the stretches that the fine folks at Fleet Feet showed me helped me a great deal. As did my new shoes. After trying on shoes for half-an-hour, and learning that everything I knew about running and shoes was completely wrong, I settled on a pair of Brooks. I liked them so much, I bought another pair when I wore them out.
I started running after doing a 5k mud run. I finished it, but barely. I thought I was in good shape, but clearly not as much as I believed. My motivation was set: complete the Tough Mudder, a much harder mud run than the Mud on the Farm I barely finished. With that goal in my head, I started running.
I have really enjoyed running. I have completed four half marathons, the tiny Half in Galt, the Modesto Half Marathon, the Pleasanton Half, and the Avenue of the Vines, and even completed a Tough Mudder. I enjoy half marathons and have no plans to run a full marathon. After a year of running, I have mad amounts of respect for the hard work it must take to train for a full marathon. What I have enjoyed the most about running this last year isn't the miles (just under 600 miles), the half-marathons, or even the shoes. Running has introduced me to early mornings. I prefer running early in the morning. That is something I never experienced as a cyclist. There's just something special about lacing up and getting out on the road before most of my neighbors were awake.