When I crossed the finish line smiling at the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler this year, I forgot that my very first race was the GW Parkway Classic 5K on April 22, 2001, almost 10 years earlier. Yes, this is officially my 10th year as a runner.
I finished that first 5K in 31:28 (10:09 pace). I think that’s a respectable time for a first 5K, especially considering that the course that year ended at Mt. Vernon, meaning that the last 1/3 of that 5K was a steady uphill climb.
When I was going through my old running mementos, I found this June 2001 journal entry:
I can’t believe it took three 5K’s and a 10K to convince myself that “I am a runner!”
(I did sign up and train for the October 2001 Army Ten Miler, but it was canceled after 9/11.)
I also found a postcard with the results from the first time I ran the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler (April 21, 2002). As proud as I am of this year’s 1:26 finish time, I remember being ecstatic at the 1:22 finish time (8:15 pace!) that first year, for my first 10 miler.
It is fun to look back and remember the many races and training runs I’ve logged in my first 10 years as a runner. I have notes on my old neighborhood routes and journal entries from days I reached distance milestones or set personal records. I don’t have records of the many issues I puzzled through while I ran, but I know they included work strategies, family worries, and other personal dilemmas.
Ten years later, I have no doubts: I am a runner!
When did you start running?
When did you first consider yourself to be “a runner”?
Do you have journal entries that you like to look back on?