Thursday, June 2, 2011

Running Through Memories

Today was my last day running the streets and trails around my college.  I've been running here for 4 years and for quite a bit of the run today I thought about some the times I had on the trails.

I ran on the beach with my old swim team... going from running in an organized group to madness as we all dashed the last mile to the finish (and to keep ahead of our coach).

I ran to the old pier just off campus with the tri team... those two running practices were the last two organized running practices I ever had.  Unfortunately, shin splints had me walking for a few weeks before slowly starting to increase my pace.

I saw a grey whale just off of campus one one overcast morning.  I actually stopped running and watched for a little bit.  I eventually continued to run next to the beach and ran with the whale for about a quarter of the mile, maybe a bit less.  The crazy thing?  I saw another in the same spot the next year.

I started running towards the other side of campus and would occasionally see dolphins playing in the waves off the point, or sea lions resting out on some of the buoys around the oil rig.  There were also some of the most beautiful sun rises over the oceans and through the clouds on the runs... sun rises I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate.

When I was training for the Disneyland Half Marathon last year I was running my first 7-8 miler.  I was on mile 6 when I passed one of the girls from my swim team (at this point I had already quit).  I didn't stop to see her, but I did raise up 6 fingers with a giant smile on my face.  She cheered me on as she biked past and we eventually talked later about it.  Still, that was the first time I showed off what I was doing to some of my old teammates.

There were some bad moments as well... crappy days where I just cut my run short or when I got run off the road...

There's one street down by the slough and I was running it as usual when a bright yellow porsche came speeding down, apparently not caring about anything.  The street is frequented by runners, walkers, bird watchers, and children at a special needs school and Boys and Girls club.  You would think this guy would be a bit more careful???  Anyway, I jumped off to the side, scraped up my knee and apparently twisted my ankle.  I kept running (my ankle didn't hurt) and eventually cleaned up my knee at a public bathroom farther on my route.  After a break from running my ankle injury would came back, but has since healed.  I never did see the car again (luckily) and I can just hope the driver is a bit more careful in that area...

One of my favorite running memories hasn't been when I'm running, but when I went to show off my medals.  I went back to my old swim coach to show off my Disneyland medal.  He didn't know I had been training for that race, or anything in general, and couldn't believe that I had done a half marathon.  We talked about the race, how I felt, how I did, etc... He was impressed with my time until I mentioned I had stopped on occasion to take pictures with characters.  He gave me "the look", but continued to congratulate me.  It meant a lot because I always looked up to my college swim coach and he's always been and is still a huge supporter of mine.

Speaking of medals... Disney posted a picture of the medal for this year's half marathon!  You can find the blog posting here.  Awesome isn't it?  Can't wait to show it off along with the Coast to Coast medal!

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