Falling in Love With Running: An Epiphany

When I’m asked “When did you start running?” I wish I had a simple answer. In my mind, the answer is conflicting.

My first answer: I, like many people, have been running since childhood. Running is a natural movement that we all do. In elementary school, I always loved racing “the boys” at recess (because I knew I’d always win thanks to an early and serious growth spurt), running around my neighborhood, and a playing ALL the sports that involved running. I was just a busy body. A long, lanky, twig that adults thought just “ate like a bird” but in reality: just loved movement. In my mind, a completely normal child.

My second answer: Since middle school. 8th grade is when I was recruited by the nearby high school to run Varsity track. They saw me running for fun and asked me to join in on a practice. I thought, why not? I never (even now) thought it was anything special. I just thought they needed someone. And there I was. I continued running Varsity track (as well as school and club volleyball, school and Select soccer, and cross country) and excelled in the 400m, 800m, 4×4, 4×8, high jump, and long jump. It was a true miracle for me to get to all my track events on time – often (literally) running from one to the other, still huffing and puffing from the last sprint or jump. My most successful moment in track was running the 4×4 at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. This is a huge event. I ran the 400 meters in 60 seconds flat. My fastest time. I only knew it was a PR because Coach told me I looked like a “real runner” and beat my record. I never even knew what a PR was, kept track of records or time, wore a running watch, or even knew what a “good” or “bad” time was for any of my runs. I just knew to run hard. I didn’t work out outside of school or really take it seriously – I didn’t even consider myself a “runner!” (which is just now sounding crazy as I type this!)

My third answer: Two years ago. Early 2016, I was asked if I wanted to go on a girls’ trip to Las Vegas. Sounds fun, right?! One tiny detail: it was to run a half marathon. At this point I’d just started enjoying running during and after college for 10-20 minutes at a time here and there outdoors (again, no running watch so no idea how far, fast, or anything – 20 minutes was a “long run” then). So I thought why not? Sounds fun (I think!)! I go to the website to sign up and – what do you know! – the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series was running a special deal! The Half Marathon and Full Marathon were the same price! I didn’t even hesitate (and probably didn’t even know how many miles a full marathon was) once I saw “free finisher’s jackets for Marathoners” and signed up to run 26.2 miles (more bang for my buck, right?!). Next thing you know, I’m training to run 26.2 miles. I got really into it. I started a Twitter and an Instagram (and this blog) to track my progress. I took it seriously, and rarely (if ever) missed a workout. So. This is when I was like “OK, I’m a ‘runner’ now!” I was now a dedicated runner. Ran daily. Kept track of my miles. The works.

So. There you have it. These are three points in my life that I became a runner. I’ve never been good at multiple choice tests – there is always more than one correct answer.

My point to all this is: is it really when you became a runner that matters?

I think the important part and the more relevant and interesting question is: When did you fall in love with running?

If you would’ve asked me this yesterday, I would have struggled to answer. I know I love running because I love being outdoors, exploring, and it just plain makes me feel good. Nothing complicated. But why do I love it?

Today, I had an epiphany.

It was a chilly winter morning in Minnesota. I was maybe 15 years old. My mom, dad, and I were there because my grandmother was at the Mayo Clinic getting the best treatment possible for her Pancreatic Cancer. I was told it “wasn’t a good cancer to have.” Before we went with Grandma to her appointment, my Dad woke me up from a family member’s pull-out couch in the basement. (My family lives in Minnesota). Ready for our run? Ugh. I forgot I said I’d run with him. I’m tired. I always struggle to keep up with him, so bed sounded better. But I couldn’t say “no” to my dad in his long socks, basketball shorts, neck warmer pulled over his face, and mittens. I rolled out of bed.

We get outside and it feels good. It’s daylight outside and it’s cold, but feels nice. The neighborhood is gorgeous. So green and open. Tall buildings don’t mask the beautiful sky. When I normally run with Dad, I’m counting down the minutes until the run is over, but before I know it we are running around a gorgeous lake. I remember the way the water looked, the blue, cloudy sky, and the stone bridges. There was a paved trail and we passed by a few people, but not many. It was quiet. Everything is so vivid, even now in my memory. I remember this whole trip like it was yesterday. My grandmother was like a mother and best friend to me. It just seemed like a dream.

I didn’t realize it until now. This moment. Running with my dad in Minnesota. This was when I fell in love with running. I felt free. Truly free. Like nothing was real. Like everything would be OK. Forever.

I didn’t even know how much time had passed. We just kept running. We played follow-the-leader through the trail and over a bridge. I didn’t feel tired. I just ran and looked at everything that I could.

Little did I know that these few days that I remember so vividly would be the last moments that I spent with Grandma. I thought she was invincible. It brings me to tears to remember the feeling. Tears of sadness and joy.

I love running.

11 thoughts on “Falling in Love With Running: An Epiphany

    1. Thank you, Ben!! I don’t know how I did it haha but it was good enough to get me pretty far. The Texas Relays in Austin was the most nervous I’d ever been in my life. Surrounded by these amazing athletes… it didn’t seem real! The stadium is HUGE and FULL of people. I think I peed my pants a little. lol.


  1. Loved the story about running with your dad in MN. I don’t know if I could point to one moment or one run when I fell in love with running. It was more of a gradual process for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! It must have been a day for epiphanies. I wrote a blog post yesterday about my inspiration and WHY I love running also. It is nice to have the space and time to consider the depth of our love for this sport. The Minnesota runs sounds perfect! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow!! That is so neat! Yes. It’s nice to have the platform and the running community to talk about what we love – something that the seemingly majority of people hate doing and think is “crazy!” 🙂 😛


  3. Hey Ms Texas glad things are going well. 4:05 AM – That’s when I finally fall asleep :). I guess being an evening runner worked out for me. However, I do agree with the benefits of getting it done early. Next point – You are correct – Running is a “mysterious journey”. I remember having weeks where my runs were mindless. No energy or desire.- I would just let it come back to me. This was a mantra I actually would say during these times. As always it would. Now I’m in a different place with my running. The NYC Marathon is a go – all for charity ( Cancer research). Money already donated so – ready – set – go ( Just much slower.) It came back to me – just with a lot less go :). The fact that I can actually train for this marathon is beyond anything I expected. My runs are very slow and controlled. There is also tons of core work and cross training. Hills are a created by doing the ARC machine at max for 2 hours. My back just won’t handle running them on the road. This is a very unorthodox way to train for the marathon. However, like you, I trust in thy coach. I keep thinking about Salazar’s mind set when he won the Comrades Marathon.He said It is easier to run long and slow then fast and short. Of course I know the Comrades is a little over a 90k. But we are banking on using the same principle for the marathon distance. It is also difficult to manage the constant pain and potential serious injury. Like you, I’m always using alternative treatments and cutting edge supplements to manage my pain – And yes I agree as you noted in our last exchange, it all hurts and makes one feel like shit”. It sums it up lol. I have actually resorted to Botox treatments to manage my migraines. Of course acupuncture, reflexology, and PT that never seems to end are all part of the program lol. Ok it’s your blog so I guess I have to throw you a bone and tell you how great your doing LOL. I actually do feel so happy for you. It is just so uplifting to see how you have embraced the running life style. I also have enjoyed watching your hard work pay off. Of course as you know the faster we get the slower the PR’s come. But I have always measured improvement not only by speed but also endurance and strength. I think I already sent this – Not seeing it. Hmm, is Ms Texas tired of my long winded comments lol. Fortunately I have a thick skin and will resend LOL. I love your story regarding the path to you’re running. It seems like it was just a natural progression for you. I became a runner as a result of the family I was born into. My father, cousin and uncle were accomplished runners, so it just seemed like the sport to do. No regrets at all – It has been a life long love affair. As you know I had major back surgery last year. It was one of the lower points in my life. Although I had other work related injuries, I knew I would run again. However, this time it was different. As I was leaving the hospital, I was holding back tears ( Normally not an emotionally person). The aid who was wheeling me out saw my sadness and asked what was wrong.I stated that I would not run again.She happened to be runner and said “remember once runner always a runner – you will run again if you want to”. That stayed with me – so here I’am. Well Ms Texas keep posting and as always – Runs and travel safe!!!!

    Dr. Joey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Joey! So good to hear from you! I’m glad you’re running again. Chicago Marathon is one on my bucket list! IF I am ever brave enough to do another full. I think (???) it’d be better the second time around… maybe… 🙂 Anyway, yeah it has been an interesting journey getting into running! I was really good at it yet didn’t appreciate it… now I’m just OK at it but love it no matter what. Back then I would’ve NEVER run while on vacation (even though Coach always tole me AND my parents I “had” to)… now its my favorite part of traveling. Funny how it works! Neat that you come from a long line of runners. My dad still holds the record in the Decathlon at a college in IL and he did some sort of Olympic trials or something! He’d never tell you that but I like to brag about him. Well I’m glad you’re doing well and running for charity. Keep it up!! Thanks for checking in!!


  4. Very nice story! Loved your Gma dearly. My wedding reception was held at her venue nearly thirty years ago. She had a heart of gold and always shared a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karen! Grandma was very special. She was smart, hardworking, and kind. She brought joy to so many people’s lives! I’m lucky to be related to a Super Woman! She will forever hold a special place in my heart.


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