Categorized | Reflections

Remembering That First Run

Posted on 09 June 2014

The years and miles seem to just drift by year after year in the runner’s career.   Have you reflected back on your very first official run? It’s a reminder of how far we have come and all the running life experiences since that first day lacing up the running shoes.

For me, it was probably very similar to those of you who did not come from a running background and just decided to go out for a run for the first time. As a competitive swimmer and baseball player I did not start running till my freshman year in college and have crystallized that first run memory in my brain for life.

As a swimmer, we only swam and lifted weights back in 1985 so when I decided to go for a run after watching a 5K race at my college it was a bit of surprise to my family when I told them I wanted to start running. Of course next step was to buy some “real” running shoes. My very first pair of official shoes, the New Balance 1300 model. I remember those gray, dull looking shoes so well.1


Next up was having my mom drive a loop in the car to measure out a distance from the campus when she visited during parents weekend. The goal was to measure a 2-mile course and just estimated another ½ mile from my dormitory to the best country running roads. As we drove along in the car it did not seem that far and I marked down in my notepad all the various turns, yes I was a bit anal for sure!

The first run was a fall day and remember my chosen running gear, gray sweatpants and a gray college hooded sweatshirt and of course my brand new New Balance running shoes. Do you remember how popular it was to wear your college logo shirts, hats, pants, etc. and The Bill Cosby Show (he wore a different college/university sweatshirt as his signature attire on the show)?


I remember like many of you how painful that first run was especially the first mile.   I thought my heart would explode out of my chest as I was running way too fast for my “official” first run. I was able to run the majority of the rolling terrain and get myself back to the campus all in one piece. I vividly remember that my breathing was a mess as compared to oxygen deficits with hard swimming workouts. It just felt very different and of course my quads and calf muscles were killing me the next several days!

Personally my first run was the start of an incredible journey to amazing experiences. The best thing about running is that we don’t need to go to a running store and buy all of the following:  micro fiber hats, shorts, pants, jackets, warm weather gear, GPS watches, compression socks, water bottles, several pairs of running shoes based on terrain. Just get a pair of shoes and go out the door and run.

Keep your passion of running burning for the next 20 years and take a minute to remember your very first official run and go back and do the original course!

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