Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fondest Running Memories

Despite the fact that I haven't run in a very long time, and I'm not prepared at all, I'm really looking forward to the U Can Finish 5-miler on Sunday. 

(Please, I've run half marathons with less training, I'll be fine...I hope)

So why am I so excited about running the U Can Finish? Because the race course winds all around the campus of UCF, my alma mater. And because running around that campus brings back the fondest memories. 

I always say that I "learned how to run" back in 2006 when we lived in Celebration, but that's actually not really true. I was reunited with my love of running then. My love of running actually began when I was a junior in college, circa 1998. (God that sounds sooo long ago!) 

When I went to UCF I did what every normal teenage girl did, I gained the Freshman 15. And then as time went on that number went up to like 20, or maybe 25, I dunno that was so long ago. But one day I realized that I needed exercise in my life.

I had dabbled in running here and there, running the occasional Turkey Trot with my family throughout high school, but I never did it on a regular basis. During my junior year at UCF I made it a point to incorporate running into my schedule every day. So I started running around campus in the wee hours of the morning before class. And I was an overachiever who had 8am classes, so it was very early.

Looking back, I am surprised (and thankful) I was never abducted or accosted in any way.  I ran in the DARK and I ran in some pretty remote areas of campus.  (That road where the UCF stadium is today?  It was just a barren road with nothing but trees - that's where I primarily ran - crazy.)  I literally cringe when I think about where I ran, alone.  I would never do that now.  But, me being a naive 19 year old, I laced up my sneaks, loaded up my Sony Walkman with an awesome running "mix tape" and I was off.  

Yes, tapes were a thing when I was in college.  I did fluctuate between my tape Walkman and my Sony Discman, but, a) running with a Discman was hard because your CD always skipped, and b) you couldn't make a "mix tape" of running songs on a CD - that technology wasn't available yet.  GOD, how old am I?!  

Anyway, I loved those mornings when I went for a run.  It was just me, my jams, in the dark.  I didn't go far, heck I don't even think I know how far I ran because I didn't have a pedometer of any sort, but I just ran and I loved it.  

So going back to run at UCF is a treat for me.  The campus has changed so much in the  years since I went there, it's fun to see the new and the old.  Much of the course on Sunday is on that road where I used to run alone early in the mornings, so that will be fun.  

Now here's hoping I don't keel over from lack of any sort of cardiovascular movement for so long... 

How about you ... Do you have a special place where you run or ran?  Fond memories of running?

1 comment:

  1. Lots of fond memories of running: My first marathon, Goofy's race and a half challenge, running 5K's with my kids, and of course running my first Spartan Race (AROO!!!).