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Location: PDX, United States

Saturday, April 08, 2006


When I told people I was going to start running a few months ago, everyone laughed at me. I can understand why. I am not the sporty type and running is completely out of character for me .But I knew I needed to exercise, and that it was ridiculous to pay for a gym I didn't go to. When B. told me she was going to start coaching a running group, it seemed like a great reason to finally quit the hated gym full of trainers I didn't relate to. Since B. lives downstairs from me, I knew she would hold me accountable. I told her she had permission to kick my ass if I got flaky.

I had no idea how naturally running would come to me, and I have been shocking myself for the past two and a half months. Today I ran my first race, the five mile Tulip Run. I was nervous, because I had never run more than four miles before and because I've had the flu this week, but B. assured me I could do it. I wore my new pink running shirt and was looking forward to seeing some tulips.

We left Seattle at 7:45 and stopped in Everett to look for coffee. We drove around for 15 minutes and couldn't even find a Starbucks. We got back on the road, and then proceeded to get lost. B. had printed out a Yahoo map that gave us the wrong directions. The race started at 9:30, and by 9:15, we were a little panicked. I called my mom and had her get online to get us directions. Just as we found the race, it started. We had to wait in the car for hundreds of runners to go by before we could even go in to pick up our numbers. It was like waiting for a train to pass.

We started running maybe 15 or 20 minutes after the race had started. About a mile into it, we passed some walkers. The track started to get pretty around the second mile, though I was surprised by the total absence of tulips.

I was really glad to see people waiting with water around the third mile, but appalled by all the cups thrown down on the ground. I had no idea this is a standard thing, or I wouldn't have stopped to drink my water and then throw it in the garbage can. Despite the stop, I was speeding up, and I have to say it felt good to pass people who had started the race on time.

I feel great about running the whole time and completing the race in less than an hour after it started, despite my late start. I couldn't run a mile two months ago. It makes me wonder what other things I can do that I've never tried before.



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