This weekend’s Run: 16 miles
Route: Twin Peaks, Castro, Mission, ATT Ballpark, Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort Mason, Marina, Presidio, USF, Golden Gate Park, Kezar– Map my Run Route!
So this month, I’ve asked runners to tell me why they LOVE running, when they became obsessed, tell us your story. Well, I don’t plan to actually enter the challenge but I figure it only makes sense for me to tell my story if I’m asking others to share theirs. So here it is: my love story…
I always played sports in high school. Soccer, volleyball… But by junior year I was worn out with the politics of team sports and quit altogether. I seemed to like working out alone much better, I joined our local health club and went after school to do my workouts. My dad had always been a distance runner, and he asked me one day to go running with him. I went, although I admit, he had to drag me.
Over the next few months, my dad would take me running and coach me about form, breathing, and distance. We would talk the whole way (which was something we didn’t do much at that time) so I looked forward to the bonding time with my dad. He taught me to run at a good endurance pace, a talking pace, and it was our time. Later on that year, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and went through Chemotherapy, and during that time his biggest disappointment was not being able to be active. He was grumpy and frustrated, having to spend all of his time indoors. He’d always wanted to run a marathon before his 50th birthday.
I kept running, and my dad recovered. When I went off to college, 2 states away, I would call home and tell my dad how my running was going. I just kept increasing my distance and I decided to register for my first half marathon. Nervous, I called my dad from the start line. “Go at your own pace“, he told me. It was a big success! Over the next few years, my dad and I ran a half marathon, and my senior year I decided to run a full marathon. I told my dad and of course he booked his flight out right away. Race weekend, we went to the Expo where I saw my coworkers from The SF Marathon, and I ended up running with our Race Director. My dad cheering me on the whole way, I finally made it to the finish line. I couldn’t have been happier to see my dad at the finish line with the biggest smile on his face I’ve ever seen.
Now, 3 full marathons and a handful of halves behind me, I still call my dad for advice. I call him when I cross the finish line and tell him how I ran. When I go home to visit my parents, we schedule runs and when we’re out there, it gives us time to catch up on life. As for my dad? His health is improving and I know the day will come soon were I greet him beaming at the finish line of his first marathon. Running may not have been “love at first jog”, but it is a love that I’ll have my whole life, because of who I share it with.
THAT is why I Run Happy!