When I went on my first run - on July 29, 2009 - I didn't know about the journey I was about to embark upon. I didn't know how running could make me feel, how it could transform my body, how it could show me places in the world that I would otherwise miss.
On that warm, summer day in Denver, I didn't know if I even wanted to be a runner. After all, running was always just a part of other sports for me, and I had never been particularly fast or graceful or good.
My first run, consisting of multiple laps around the pond near my brother's house, was painful. My heels quickly bloodied, and I could take exactly sixty steps before my side ached and my legs begged me to let them walk. Even as I was running, I didn't consider myself a runner.
I entered my first 5K three days later on August 1. I ran in black yoga pants, a black shirt, and my K-Swiss tennis shoes. I finished in 37:49, and I couldn't wait to tell my running friend back in Pullman how I had done. I didn't think I was fast, mind you, but I was happy about my accomplishment and felt - for the first time in a long time - the pleasure one feels when her muscles are in absolute anguish but her heart and mind are happy and satisfied.
In the past 2.5 months, I have been loving this surprise journey of running. Whereas I had once thought that running was only for those being chased, I now chase my own goals and hopes down the paved paths of Chipman Trail, down the railroad tracks behind Jack in the Box, through the hills of the Palouse, and to the peak of Paradise Point. Whereas I used to gaze upon the mountains from a distance, I am now jogging through their trees and feeling the dirt and rocks and pine needles beneath my feet. My entire perception of running has changed.
Yesterday I ran my 200th mile, and with that, I think another change is in order: a change in my own self-perception. As I write this now, I do not feel like a woman who runs; I feel like a runner. So today I am creating this blog so that I can share my thoughts and successes and struggles with anyone who might be interested. My vision for this blog is that it is not just a record of my runs, but an album of sorts that documents my journey. And I will compile my album with images and with words written from my heart. <3