Today is an important day in the history of my running life. Today marks the 10th anniversary when I officially became “A Runner”. In Late February back in 1998 my friend Gray was visiting me from Richmond VA and said, “Hey, You want to run an 8k?” And like the classic non-runner that I was at that point I responded, “What’s an 8k?”
Finding out that it was near 5 miles, I figured that I better get out and do some “real” running. Up to this point, I was heavily into winter indoor soccer. I played on 3 different teams: 2 very competitive teams and one not-so competitive teams. So I knew that I was in shape, sort of, but I had no clue how I would do during the 8k. At least the soccer games consisted of 2-20 minute halves, so I was playing soccer for nearly 3 hours a week, sometimes back-to-back games. Little did I know that soccer would do little for my running, but running would intensify my soccer!
The race we were doing was the Smoky Mountain 8k, which was held in conjunction with the Smoky Mountain 1/2 marathon being held on Feb 28th 1998. At this point in the running scene in Knoxville, this was a long standing race of both duration and consecutive runnings. The race was held in Townsend TN, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountain. However it being in the mountains, the 8k was one of the flatest course I have ever run in the Knoxville area.
I remember being at the starting line (which happened to be roughly 1,053 feet above sea level) not having a clue what to do. I remember having Gray there kinda showing me the ropes, but so much was going on. There were some freaks running in tank tops or shirtless. Some other’s with belts of water and stuff I had no clue what it was strapped to them. I could sense the excitement of the starting line, but I felt like an unbridled horse trying to start the Kentucky Derby.
I can remember a few things from that race. I remember running along thinking that I wasn’t running fast enough, but Gray telling me that things were okay. I remember thinking that t the turn around that I didn’t feel all that bad. I don’t really remember the actual finish line crossing, but I do remember being in the food area thinking that I had a blast. I then proceeded to grab a bunch of race entry forms and that was the start of ALL THIS!
So what has happened in 10 Years?
4615.32 miles total
508 average miles per year
19 Pairs of shoes
12 Age Division Top 3 awards
2 Age Division 1st Place awards
Race that I have done EVERY year since 1998: Scholar’s Run 5k, August
Most Miles in a Month: October 2000 107.7
Most Miles in a Year: 2006 665.4
Months with 0 Miles: 2 (June 1999, January 2000)
Month with highest average miles: October
1 Pulled Hamstring
1 Pleural Rub