Looking Back On 10 Years of Running

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?

This entry was posted in Fitness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Looking Back On 10 Years of Running

  1. Vicki says:

    Congratulations on 10 years as a runner, Coco! I started running and logging in March of 1986, first in a little date book, though every year since 1987 I've logged in "the complete runners's day by day xxxx calendar" (john jerome, now marty jerome) . I refer a lot to my old logs. It's fun to read how and what I was doing years ago or even last year! I like to check out old races, though today I often use it to compare how I am doing today vs a more recent time of say a year old..always happy if I can run faster than last year! I too don't write much personal stuff in the logs, it's usually just splits and a quick weather note. If I could go back I would add more personal data about other events going on. I can check out a day in the past that I know a lot was going on.. and I'll just say..went for a run.. 😉

  2. steena says:

    That's so cool you have your journal entry from 10 years ago! Hopefully I can still find my blog posts 10 years from now!
    10 years of running is awesome, you should run 10 miles this weekend to celebrate!

    When did you start running? — 2 years ago
    When did you first consider yourself to be “a runner”? — last year
    Do you have journal entries that you like to look back on? — Just my blog, but sometimes I don't "like" looking at it, just interesting to see where I was last year, 6 months ago, 3 months ago, etc.

  3. SuperBabe says:

    When did you start running? — when I was in middle school… I was in the track team, 100 and 400 m 🙂

    When did you first consider yourself to be “a runner”? — I guess since middle school as well… but more seriously once I was in grad school and started training for a half marathon (to me, running 3 mi is the very least I should do… calling myself a runner was more serious when I could run at least 5 mi :P)

    Do you have journal entries that you like to look back on? — My blog… I have my first half and my first (and probably only, ha!) marathon featured as some of my favorite posts 🙂

  4. David H. says:

    Happy runiversary! I regret not keeping better track of things in the first few years, but am very thankful to have four years worth of blog entries to go back and learn from myself.

  5. What a great anniversary to celebrate!! Congrats!

    I officially started running in August 2010 to train for a 5k as part of my weight loss journey. I first considered myself a runner in October 2010 when I ran a 5k non-stop! I keep some running notes on my blog, but much more on dailymile.com. There is something to be said for pen and paper journals, but at this stage in my life, it's easier to log everything electronically.

  6. Tina @ Faith Fitness says:

    Wow! How cool to look back on that. It makes me think how interesting it will be down the road to look back on my running journey since it will all be on the blog. 🙂

    Even though I just started running in February, I already feel like I can call myself a runner. I make the time for it regularly. I love it. I love racing. I love challenging myself regularly.

    • Coco says:

      Yes, Tina, you are definitely a runner! There's that age-group prize you won in your first 5K, but more importantly, your attitude and desire to keep running. 😉

  7. Janice - The Fitness says:

    Great post! I started calling myself a runner after people started asking ME for running advice…. Me? A runner? That was 10 yrs ago after I ran my first marathon. I have no journals, or training journals or anything like that – despite how much I LOVE to run, for some reason I can't stand writing about it – I feel like I can't adequately put into words the joy I feel while pounding the pavement. Thankfully I've been using the Nike+ system for several years to track my running progress otherwise I'd have absolutely no history of my running (or why I get injured).

    • Coco says:

      I'm not very good at keeping training journals either–at least I wasn't until I started this blog in August–but I did keep a journal for a few months when I first started running, and I have kept almost all of my race bibs.

      It is hard to write about running. How many ways can you say "great run" or "sucky run"? But I do enjoy finding a little something that makes each run worth remembering.

  8. Katey says:

    When did you start running? Last January when hubs and I signed up for Bloomsday. My first 5K was Race for the Cure in honor, now memory, of my cousin Jamie

    When did you first consider yourself to be “a runner”? I am by no means fast. My fastest pace is some peoples walking fast. ( I did get passed by a speed walker in that first 5K) And after reading some comments on other blogs about what others perceive as runners are, I don't fall into that category.

    Do you have journal entries that you like to look back on? Just blogging….probably should print them

    • Coco says:

      Katey, I'm sorry to hear about your cousin, but glad you were able to run in her honor.

      I wonder how many of us got started with Race for Cure 5Ks? It wasn't my first 5K, but it was my second a few weeks later.

      I don't think pace defines a runner, and I certainly wouldn't let anything anyone else says define you as *not* a runner. Judging from the name of your blog, your blog posts and your race schedule, I definitely would say that you are a runner–but that's up to you!

  9. Yum Yucky says:

    Running? I'm always starting and stopping. I'm in stop mode again right now. I think I need to come to grips with the fact that I am more a plyometric-er and Pilate-er and Yoga-er and bodyweight exercise-er than… a runner. (I do pretty good when I DO run, though)

    Congrats on 10 years. And here's to the next TEN!!

    • Coco says:

      That's a great point. Running is not the be all and end all of exercise and fitness. I've gone through running slumps myself, where I took a break from running for a while because I just didn't wanna run, but that hasn't happened since I was involuntarily sidelined for 6 months! Maybe absence made the heart (legs?) grow fonder.

  10. I've only been running for a year. I do consider myself a runner, but I think it took 3 5K's and a 10K to get to that point, so that was only a few short months ago. I love that you have your journals from 10 years ago. So cool.

  11. Jeannie says:

    I started running regularly about 5 years ago. I considered myself a runner from the start as my goal was to run, not walk most of the time and eventually compete in races. Before then, I would take a lot of hikes with a kid in the backpack or brisk walks with a little jogging pushing kids in a stroller. But 5 years ago, I wanted to run more in order to improve my speed and stamina for soccer. I ran in the mornings so I wouldn't have to push kids in a stroller and then I got hooked on racing. I don't have a journal. Never been good about writing it down. But I will have my blog to look back on now and I have my various finishers medals.

  12. Sheri says:

    I became a runner in December 2010 after walking my last 5K. Once I found my Hoka One One shoes and had no pain in my feet I decided it was time to try. I struggle calling myself a runner because I am slow, but I am a runner I can run 3 to 5 miles without stopping…holy moly! That sounds weird saying it and seeing it. I love it and pray I never stop.

  13. Pingback: Race Recap: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler | Running With Perseverance

  14. Pingback: The 30th GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler - Running With Perseverance

  15. Cassie says:

    I’ve done 3 5Ks and I still don’t really consider myself to be a runner!
    Cassie recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run- My first raceMy Profile

  16. I ran my first 5K almost 3 years ago. It’s so crazy thinking about where it all began! I considered myself a runner probably after finishing my first 10 mile race and especially after my first half marathon!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Rock & Roll Half Philly Training: Week 1 RecapMy Profile

  17. Those are some great running times! I wish I had kept a journal. I have kept all of my old race bibs and I love looking back a them and reminiscing
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Foam Fest 5k- Mud, Sweat & FearsMy Profile

  18. Jessie says:

    WOW! Congrats on 10 years of running!I just started 2 years ago but it’s been such a fun time, I hope to never stop running too!
    Jessie recently posted…Bryce Canyon Half Marathon Recap | Race 10 of 14 for 2014My Profile

  19. April at RunTheGreatWideSomewhere says:

    Congratulations on your ten-year runniversary! That’s quite an accomplishment. I do think it’s funny how long it takes some of us to “admit” to being a runner. Thanks for linking up with us today!

  20. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations on your running anniversary!
    Isn’t it the coolest feeling when you find old momentos and journal entries and the memories flood back in?
    Jennifer recently posted…Attention, Writers: The Next Blogging U. Challenge Is HereMy Profile

  21. Pingback: Living On Mountain Time - Got2Run4Me

  22. Very cool to see where it all began. Running is such a journey. Congrats on 10+ years of running…I hope to reach that milestone come 2021!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Why Do I Run?My Profile

  23. I think it is so cool that you kept a journal. One of my college professors made us keep one for a semester and when I come across it during one of my cleaning binges, I’ll take the time to read it. I mark my mileage in a journal now but i’m glad I have the blog for all the other detail!

  24. HoHo Runs says:

    How wonderful that you have been running 10 years and can look back and see the notes you made. I started running in 2008 and ran my first 5k in 2010. I have a very difficult time calling myself a runner. It’s just a weird thing I have. I would definitely call you one!!
    HoHo Runs recently posted…I Run Because (TotR)My Profile

  25. Carla says:

    Recently I began rereading some of my writing journals. Because I’m a crazy person 🙂 I simultaneously wrote my first full manuscript while journaling about the process. Quite frankly I look back and marvel. I don’t know where I found that grit and determination while working full-time during the day. I need to re-find grit
    Carla recently posted…Whats your drishti in the world?My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge