“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”
I used to think that I could only call myself a runner after a certain point. After my first race, when I had a 7-minute mile, if someone else called me a runner, or when I finally felt like a runner.
Truth is, I AM a runner. Not a very fast one or one who’s finished a lot of races. But a runner nonetheless. I’m inconsistent and often make excuses why I can’t run today, can’t go as far, can’t run as fast, etc. I’m only human.
For some reason, though, despite my love-hate, roller-coaster relationship with running, I love it. I love clearing my head and just going for it; I love the pounding of my feet on the road; I love getting to explore new places; I love the way it makes me feel; and yes, I love hating it.
I started running when I was in high school. I was a cheerleader for four years in high school (and three in middle school), so I ran during practice. But my favorite time to go running was after dropping my little sister off at gymnastics so I could run on the beach. I even included a story about this in one of my college admissions essays.
When I started college, my running moved primarily indoors. I went to USC, and let’s just say that the area surrounding campus is not the ideal place for a jog around town. Not to mention the smog.
After graduating, I started working for Men’s Health in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Where’s that you ask? Good question. I got to learn what it was like to run in actual weather (I’d lived my entire life in Southern California until that point). Eventually, it was that weather that drove me back to SoCal.
I moved back to Los Angeles to work for a start-up that makes video-driven educational apps (at least that’s what they were doing by the time I left). This time I lived in the more outdoor-running-friendly Culver City. Those were probably some of my favorite running routes for the sights and diversity alone.
And that brings us up to today. I’m back in San Diego, the world’s most beautiful city, freelance writing and, of course, running. It’s a lot hillier than I remember, but I do love a good challenge.
This blog is to keep a record of those crazy runs, share some of my running insights (though I have precious few at the moment), and build a community around a mutual love (sometimes loathing) of running.