In 2010 on a cold, rainy last Saturday of April, I put on all of the cotton things as well as my three-year old pair of tennis shoes and ran my first 5k. With my best friend running next to me.
I created my training plan as I went, logging each interminable mile on the lone treadmill in my apartment building. A wall of mirrors to my left, an empty hot tub on my right.
There is not a week that goes by where I do not think of that race. Not a final 5k of a run where I don’t remind myself that nothing could be As Hard.
Because it’s true. No distance I ever run or race will ever be as challenging as training for and running (the whole time!) that first 5k of mine.
I don’t know why I decided to stick with the training. I don’t know why I didn’t stop during the race. I don’t know why I kept on going.
That race is what made me a runner. I am not a runner because I run. I am a runner because on April 24, 2010 I crossed the start and finish lines running.