Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Things

This has been floating around Facebook for a few days, but instead of telling you oddities from my childhood, I thought I'd make it 25 things about running. Actually, that will still include a lot of childhood moments, but with a theme!

1. I once got a free pair of 1993 Nike Air Max shoes for being filmed in a Nike commercial with champion decathlete Dan O'Brien. I ended up on the editing room floor and they used footage of my little sister instead. She got a couple hundred bucks for it, but I still had sweet shoes with the clear air bubbles in the soles.

2. My parents were so proud first time I was awarded a trophy for running (the Track City Track Club "Coach's Award" in 1989) that they got me a cake.

3. I nearly gave up running for racewalking...

4. ... because as a teenager I racewalked at nationals and placed in my age group.

5. I frequently get lost while trail running alone.

6. I never thought I'd be one of those people who need an iPod to get through a run, but I've come to rely on mine (broken screen and all) while on really long runs.

7. My first "run" was two laps around a cinder track with my black rubber boots on the wrong feet. As a high schooler - and much to my chagrin - my dad (and coach) told this story at every cross country and track awards night to show how far I'd come. Now I think it's kind of cute.

8. I think running shorts might be my best look.

9. I've never been fast, but I can run forever.

10. For about five years, I insisted on wearing my hair in braided pigtails for races. The fad ended for me partway through college.

11. I've never dropped out of a race. Ever.

12. My favorite place to run in Santa Cruz is Nisene Marks. Back home, it's Dorris Ranch, an old filbert orchard-turned-city park.

13. I've been accused of caring about running more than relationships with people, and I'm OK with that.

14. When I won the 1,500 meters at the 6th grade track meet, I saved my T-shirt and shorts (and the ribbon I won) in a clothing box and retired it to the attic for posterity. I'm pretty sure they're still up there.

15. I learned how to drive by making slow loops around the high school track in our 1976 extended cab two-tone Ford pickup. Then I crashed into a fence.

16. I didn't think I would ever run a marathon, but I got tricked into training for one when I moved to Santa Cruz. Now I've finished four and one ultra.

17. I hate track workouts. Running laps makes me dizzy.

18. My favorite post-run treat is a soy mocha with whipped cream and chocolate shavings from Aptos Coffee Roasters, sometimes accompanied by a toasted bagel with cream cheese.

19. Save one spring of kiddie soccer and a couple summers on the company softball team, I've never been on a team that wasn't running-oriented.

20. I love running with dogs, but don't have great luck with it. Once, a dog ran me through a yellow jacket hive and the family dog we got when I was in high school - Miles, so he could run miles and miles with me - was a herding dog. You might say that endeavor fell flat. My dog now, Callie, pulled so hard when I first got her, I strained my Achilles.

21. I ran in college for a few years. I find many people don't know this about me.

22. Even though I know better - and my mother always urges me to - I never carry pepper spray.

23. As a first grader, I told my classmates I'd win an Olympic gold medal in the 800m someday. Later, I made a list of accomplishments I'd need to achieve on my way to that golden goal, then tore it to pieces a few years later when I realized I was already off-track.

24. I have an amazing ability to run a finish line crew. It's a gift, really.

25. After a lot of thought, I decided running was up there on the list of things that are most important to me, so last weekend I covered up a bad tattoo from college with the winged track shoe icon. I haven't told Mom yet ...

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"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."