Throwback Thursday – My First Mile

I have decided to jump on this throwback Thursday thing, but my #tbt will be bloggy style. From now until god knows when I will post a throwback story about something that happened to me in my running. It may be something that happened earlier in the year or it may be something that happened to me in the early years.

This is only the first post, but you can see all of my #throwbackthursday posts by clicking on that hash tag you just passed.

So let’s go time traveling.

My First Mile

When I think of the first mile that I ever ran, it really isn’t my first mile I ever ran in my life. It is the first mile that started pulling me into this running thing.

I remember running four laps around a football field in school. This happened a lot and I hated it. Some sort of test that was really meant to torture the kids. I would cut the corners and I vaguely remember cutting across the middle of the field one time.

I remember jogging a mile around an apartment complex way back in 2001. The loop was a quarter mile according to the odometer on my car so I ran four loops. I wore a swim suit because I did not have any shorts that weren’t jean shorts. I don’t remember why I never did that more than once.

The first mile though–the one that mattered—was run sometime during 2007.

It was summer time. I know this because it was hot, and I wore a plain white T-shirt and cotton shorts. The reason for this first run was because I was getting fat and spending a lot of time on the couch. I had been riding my bike off and on, but I heard that running would me help lose weight faster than bike riding.

So running it was.

Once again the odometer of my car became very useful. I watched the digits tick off as I left my driveway and drove down the street one day and made a note of where the .5 came up. The street corner just before the Heritage’s Convenience Store. I can run there, turn around, and run back to my house. Simple enough.

I also heard that you should warm up before you run. I did not really have a clue how to do this, so I took a guess and figured jumping rope would be a good warm up. I attempted to do that in my driveway for a few minutes. Workout montages in the movies made this look much easier than it actually was. Finally I gave up on that poor attempt and walked to the end of the driveway.

Now, of all the things I had heard people say about running, no one had ever told me how to start running. So in my mind running meant RUNNING. Like go as fast as you can and don’t stop.

Well…I went as fast as I could, but I didn’t “don’t stop”. I was barely a block from my house before I had to stop. I slowed down for a minute and tried to run again. And then stopped again.

I arrived at the main intersection just as the light turned red. Thank God! An opportunity to stop and not feel bad about it. I stood there jogging in place as I waited for traffic to pass. I must have looked like a tool, but again…I had heard somewhere that you shouldn’t stop moving and keep your heart rate up.

The turn around point came after what seemed like an eternity. A mile was a lot further on foot than in a car. My chest was heaving, I could barely breath, my cotton clothes were heavy with sweat, and my legs were throbbing. It was another long series of sprints and walks and sprints and walks back to my driveway.

I gulped some water down, flopped in my chair, and reclined so my legs would be up. They were beating just as hard as my heart was. And my lungs still burned.

In some strange way the pain and suffering and burning started to feel good as I sat in the chair. And it felt better still later that night.

But not good enough to get me out there the next day. I wouldn’t run again for at least a few more weeks. The bike was a lot easier.

Do you remember the first time you tried running? Tell me the story.



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