The Year in Running

I’ve been running since late July, 2007. I kind of started on a whim, but I embraced the sport almost immediately and now I’m hooked. I like it for the challenge of improving, the thrill of racing, and the great feeling of just looking at the sky or trees while cruising (slowly, at this point) along on an easy run.

What follows is a little history of my previous running experience and a summary of 2007. I wanted to write it down as something to look back at later, and to compare with future results. Feel free to ignore it.

I ran both cross country and track for two years in high school, sophomore and junior years. For both of these years, however, I was not very motivated. I liked racing a lot, but I wasn’t particularly fast and didn’t like running for the sake of running, or even really for the sake of getting faster at racing. So I took weekends off, even when I wasn’t supposed to, and I definitely didn’t train in the off-seasons.

Back then, I started because I had just moved to town and wanted to meet some people. So out I went. I had started running probably a month before practices started, but I was not in good shape. Now, I pay attention to and keep track of how fast I run and how hard it is every time I’m out, but I have no idea what my pace was like back then or how easy it was. I do know that I was always struggling to keep up or go the distance on “easy” runs with the team, and that I was improving constantly through the season. I think these two things together point to the fact that a) I had very little aerobic base and b) a good coach would have noticed this and made me run slower/more. Perhaps at that point in my life I would have just quit rather than work harder. Who knows. Anyways, here are the best times I ran in HS, at least as far as I remember.


  • 400: ~59
  • 800: 2:10
  • 1500: 4:44
  • 5k XC: ~21:00

By the end of the track season I was just running 800s and 4x400s on a second or third string team and my 800 times were getting faster quickly. I think I went from 2:24 to 2:10 in a month or two. The 2:10 and the 4:44 are reasonably respectable times, while the 21 minute 5k is not really impressive at all.

I quit after my second year because I had a pain in my knee that wouldn’t go away. That particular pain came back in the fall of 2006 when I started playing soccer and ultimate frisbee semi-regularly, but I got it figured out with the help of some physical therapists. The solution? Gain some flexibility and strength around the knee, especially in my hamstrings.

So here I am, eight (nine?) years since I ran in high school, and I’m giving it another shot. I’ve been taking it easy to start, and recently got a heart rate monitor and slowed down even more. I’m basically just running aerobically for now and gaining fitness. Seeing how my times at the 5k are already approaching how fast I was in high school, I’m excited to beat every one of my high school personal records. This “having endurance” thing is going to work wonders for my race times.

2007 PRs (full list of races)

  • 3k: 13:02 (6/20/07), 12:19 (7/18/07), 11:51 (8/15/07), 11:31 (11/21/07)
  • 5k: 22:53 (9/15/07), 21:13 (10/6/07)

2007 Notables

  • Longest run: 10.1 miles
  • Miles in a week: 30.2 miles
  • Miles in a month: 114.4 miles (December)
  • Miles in a year: 404.4 miles
  • Races in a year: 9

2008 Goals

  • Run a lot
  • Run the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

I definitely won’t turn this into a running blog or anything. It’ll still be a very occasional, write something when I feel like it kind of thing, but running is part of my life now, and I’ll post about it every once in a while.

Happy New Year!

Comments (3)

Europe Has Neat Stories

The Free State of Bottleneck, via Strange Maps.

We may have things like this in American history, too, but I don’t know about them.

Comments off

Civil War Video Map

This video is neat. It shows a time-lapsed history of the U.S. civil war along with growing casualty counts. Lots of history viewed in four minutes.

via Catholicgauze.

Update: The video is from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Also, it looks like whoever posted it on Youtube has decided to delete it. Get it while it lasts!

Update 2: I downloaded it and here it is. I assume few enough people read my weblog that I won’t have any copyright troubles.

Comments off

hey ya

I’m eating paella right now. It’s from the cafeteria here at work, and it’s surprisingly good. I like seafood paella.

In other news: I’m going to New York this weekend. Get this: I’m going for no particular reason. A good thing about living a reasonably short and cheap bus ride away from a very cool city. I think we’re going to go the Mets game tomorrow, and maybe we’ll see a play or something. Who knows! That’s the beauty of it.

I have two very dead camera batteries with me, so I’ll try to get them charged up and take some pictures.

If you like weird/funny internet history then you should check this article about internet jargon and funny pictures out. If you don’t know much about crazy internet memes then watch out — you have lots to learn here.

Comments (1)