Welcome! Forums Running Forum Seriously?

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    • #10744

      How old were you when you started seriously running? Was there anything that someone said or you read that just made it click for you (that you wanted to run)?

    • #26739

      Well, I started running when I was 13. When things really clicked for me and I took it as something to really seriously pursue, instead of something to just do in my free time, is a time I recall very well.

      I was 16 years old, going through the T&F season of my sophomore year. I had earlier run the 1600 and was watching the 800, when I realized that everyone on the team who was better than me was in that race and they were all seniors. Next year, I would be the top returning distance runner for a school with a big reputation and history in distance running and I was only a 5:30 miler/11:30 2 miler. At that moment, I decided that the continuation of the school's distance running tradition was on my shoulders.

      The following season, I ran 4:57/10:24 and those times pretty quickly became fairly pedestrian for me. Seemed to work pretty well.

    • #26740

      two level of 'serious' for me… adult onset jogger about 18 years ago (I was 36)as a co-worker who had run in HS (lot younger than me) thought she needed to 'run' after work to relieve stress…we ran 5K, then I did a 10K after she moved away…

      got 'serious' after my husband divorced me and I needed something just for “me”…one weekend (in Jaunary 2000 I was 46) I sent in entries for a 10K, a 10 miler and a fall marathon… actually got remarried that summer to a very supportive man… three years (a several marathons)later HE suggested that I find a coach if I was 'serious' about wanting to BQ… got increasingly serious, raced all my PRs and got the BQ the year I was 52…

      finding a GOOD coach and having family support were key… both kept me from doing TOO much and hurting myself, delicate balance unless you are truly indestructable… one of my favorite quotes (who said it originally?) is about getting to the starting line uninjured…

    • #26741

      one of my favorite quotes (who said it originally?) is about getting to the starting line uninjured…

      I credit a former coach of mine (Dan Conway) for that quote or at least something similar. To paraphrase, you can be at the fittest guy at the race but that doesn't do you any good if you're injured and just watching.

    • #26742

      Hmm.  Coolness.  🙂 I just started recently (though I ran cross country, but didn't enjoy it). I just kind of decided one day that I was going to run, and it has been excellent. I think it's pretty awesome how people start at all different ages.

    • #26743

      Well, I've had my hollows and highs with running. If I'm not mistaken, my history in part is thus.

      When I was 14 in the fall of my first year of high school (2002 I think), I became infatuated with a girl, and I had seen a movie in which a guy infatuated with a girl began jogging to get in shape, and that's what I did.

      I never did go out with that girl, but continued jogging at times. One day in gym each student was doing what he wanted, I was doing laps, and the substitute teacher, a former cross country coach I think, seemed to think that I was motivated to be doing laps on my own, and that I could go far in running because of my motivation.

      So maybe that was an impetus for me to join the track team, which I did in the spring. But even then, maybe it wasn't until mid-season that I became more serious. In the first half of the season, I was running very slowly compared to others on the team, and let's just say our team wasn't the fastest in the area. In fact, some might say we stunk compared to the other teams in the city, and that I was on the lower end of this team. In early season, I also couldn't complete the distance runs without having to stop to walk. But I asked advice from the coach, did workouts on my own that he told me to do, improved some, and was awarded most dedicated on the team.

      After that season I trained hard and read a lot on the internet about running, and wanted to be really, really fast by the end of high school. But, some injuries came, and later an excessive fear of injury, which may have been part of my obsessive compulsive behavior. My obsessive compulsive behavior reached a pretty high point in my senior year, at which time I was homeschooled. Running without being worried was so hard, I eventually stopped running.

      But this past March, after some spiritual failure, maybe I felt I should start back to help spiritually. The competitive desires returned, maybe especially when watching this past Olympics. With all the depression and struggle I've been going through, becoming a competitive runner and achieving some success can seem like something that could enrich my life. 

      Sorry about this being so long.

    • #26744

      If you're looking for a long term goal consider training for your hometown Battleship half-marathon. I ran this in 2001 and thoroughly enjoyed the run, the people, and the atmosphere.

    • #26745

      Thank you for the suggestion. How is the course for the Battleship half marathon? Is there good footing, decent space, and good aid stations? Thanks for the information.

      If you're looking for a long term goal consider training for your hometown Battleship half-marathon. I ran this in 2001 and thoroughly enjoyed the run, the people, and the atmosphere.

    • #26746

      For most of my life I have been a “runner” but really it was only to stay in shape for soccer.  I actually used to joke with my friends who were runners that I only trained so I could get through 90 minutes and the occasional 120 (which is pretty rare).  So, I have always run, just not seriously.

      In 2001 I went to Vegas with some friends.  Smashed at a Pai Gao table (best game in Vegas by the way) my friend announced he would be running Chicago for the second time.  Stunned (we are best friends) I asked, “Wait, you ran a marathon?  Why didn't you say anything.”
      His response, “I guess I didn't think about it.”
      “And you are doing it again?  Was it hard?”
      “Oh yea.”  (He is a very understated guy)
      “I am doing it too.  When do I have to start training?”
      “You aren't being serious right now.”
      “No, I am doing it.  It sounds fun.  How do I train?”
      “Go to”
      This all went one while we are playing Pai Gao.  Which is one thing that makes this game great.  You don't have to pay attention at all.  It pushes about 51% of the time so it's really hard to lose money, or make it for that matter.  But you get lots of drinks.  I digress.
      I got home, signed up for Chicago, then followed a basic Hal Higdon plan and was playing soccer 4-5 days a week on top of it.  Ran a 3:40 on a sprained ankle (not recommended).  This was in 2002.  My next race came in 04'.  Sometime in early 06 I started training again and have been ever since so I guess I am now serious since 06.  Actually, I have gone marathon mad if you will.

      Chicago 2002
      Chicago 2004
      Detroit 2006
      Charlotte 2006
      ING Georgia 2007
      Rhode Island 2007
      Atlanta 2007
      ING Georgia 2008
      Denver 2008
      Atlanta 2008

      Next year I hope to run ING Georgia again, Marine Corp, and Charlotte.  Depending on how I feel, and the time frame I may try to run Atlanta as well.  I am learning more that I like to test myself against multiple races rather than against the clock.

    • #26747

      …as i say I'll bite….  it's been more of a series of levels as opposed to one singular one..

      stage 1) 16 yrs old and play all sports with a 4:52 PE 1500m PR…break my arm wrestling in PE class (nasty hyperextension) and cannot do any contact activities (no hockey) for 6 mths…..what else to do….hmmmm….maybe try training seriously…by the end of the yr I am down to 1:59 for 800 and 4:09 for 1500m… 
      stage 2) uni athlete and never really had much of a late HS career (long story but involved lotsa beer)….PRs from gr 11……within 2 yrs at uni i drop down to 3:45……next 2 yrs injured…..but stay healthy my last yr (figuring I would pack it in) and win my collegaite nats and finally run well again……decide to take my shot, but get in a car accident and any major dreams fall by the wayside
      stage 3) finally get over my car accident injuries, but i ain't no spring chicken (hitting 30) but running well so keep on training and one very lucky yr things come perfectly and i win our XC nats….
      stage 4) i train harder and harder and get quicker and  quicker even though i am getting closer to 40 rather than 30…..actually hit a 5km PR at the age of 35 and take on the young bucks ……
      stage 5) will begin in about 2 weeks when i turn 40…..i will hopefully go from being a good runner to a great masters and the training will start all over again….. to answer your question…IMHO it's a neverending process of learning and challenging oneself….

    • #26748

      …oh and to answer your question about why it happened…..once again a seris of serendipitous events such as coaches, books ( reading once a runner had a major impact on my running after uni)…..but mostly i was always able to find some new challenge to keep on going…….

    • #26749

      IMHO it's a neverending process of learning and challenging oneself….

      Very true. It's rare that a person can pinpoint one moment where everything changed, it's more of a constant transition. Even for myself, I can pinpoint one moment when I began to take it much more seriously but there was still a constant transition even before and after that as I built myself up from a novice to someone who was serious about finding just how far I could go to now backing off just a bit and maintaining all I can while exploring new challenges in other areas of my life.

    • #26750

      took it seriously at 34.  no one said anything, it was more the attitude from other runners that ran for the local shoe store, the “you suck” attitude.  Of course the best thing I ever did was going off and working out with very experienced older men that were past their prime running years, but a wealth of knowledge and good behavior

    • #26751


      I think sometimes we only remember certain situations where things 'clicked' as opposed to the more realisitic situation where were constantly building , but never realized it….

    • #26752

      Very true. It's difficult to remember the daily, weekly, monthly, yearly progression. Those single moments are what stick in our heads. That day on the track for me was probably only a small part of the progression, though it may have a bigger influence than most other single moments, but it's obviously the one that I most recall.

    • #26753

      OK, I'll throw mine in there. I've always run recreationally (started in '82) but never really cared all that much about speed, just time on my feet and enjoying it. I did a 5K after a spring of some very unstructured self scheduled speedwork – told hubster to watch for me around 24 minutes and could not believe I got in under 22. (pre first baby-'98)

      Then in 2003 I decided to try my legs in a half and registered for Disney 2004. Had no idea what training was, just added a longer weekly run in which I peaked at 12 miles. Knocked out a 1:34, ran my last 5K in 19:30 (guess I had a little left?). Been all long stuff ever since.

      Ha, ha, I still don't think I'm “serious” about it yet. Always more to try. ;D

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