I Run This Town

Of all the changes that have been occurring the last few weeks, and all the ones that are still yet to come in the near future, this is the one I've been dreading the most. I have 2 runs left before I move. TWO. That's it. I can still run after I move (obviously) but it just won't be the same. I may be biased, but I think I have the most beautiful, most adorable neighborhood. Historic homes and a waterfront path...I mean, it really doesn't get any better than that. I have run...I don't know, I think 1700 total miles is a conservative estimate...on these streets (which is even more impressive given that I'm never more than a mile from my house as the crow flies at any given point on my runs). I've completed 37 races and I've trained for them all right here. I've run every distance from .2 miles to 22 miles. I know every corner, every uneven brick (...because I've tripped on my fair share of them). This is where I, quite literally, learned to run.

Where I began my first ever "run" (if you could even call it that back then), on Day 1 of Week 1 of Couch to 5k.

Where I ran down the block and through an entire song on my iPod for the first time (it was "Monster" by Kanye West in case you were wondering...and it's like six minutes long so it's kind of a big deal!).

Where I ran 10 minutes straight (an almost-mile) for the first time. And called my dad immediately after because I was so proud of myself.

Where I cried for the first (but certainly not last) time during a run - because Ben tried to push me to run one mile at an 11-minute pace, which was too fast for me and I couldn't keep up with him (almost 3 years later, I ran my first full marathon at that pace).

Where I ran a long-coveted sub-30 minute 5k for the first time.


Where I looked at my running app and saw "Distance: 13.1 miles" for the first time (and then collapsed almost immediately).

Where I crossed the finish line of my first 20-miler and my recent 10k PR.

I run the same routes every day. They are familiar to me; they are home. I think about these milestones every time I pass each special spot. I know the exact spot, the exact moment that they each occurred. I think about how far I've come, and how far I still want to go. As much as running has defined who I am, running here has defined who I am. Going on runs here has become a part of my routine, and it won't be the same without them. These streets have seen me at my best and at my worst - in terms of running, and in terms of life in general. Likewise, I have seen them at their best and and at their worst - on gorgeous, crisp fall days; in the sweltering summer heat; covered in ice from a freak winter storm; in the I have run these streets in times of celebration, and in times of despair. I've reached into the depths of my soul, pondered life's biggest decisions - including the decision to leave this city. If I'm lucky, I'll have a lifetime of running ahead of me. I'll have many different cities in which to make new running memories, and I'm excited and hopeful about what the future will bring. Still, nothing will ever compare to all the memories I've made here.

5 comments :

  1. I think it's cool you know exactly where all those milestones were! I'm sure you'll find some awesome spots to run in at your new place, but it is sad to leave I'm sure.

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  2. That is so cool how you remember all the places! You've had a great running journey so far and I'm sure you'll have fun making new memories at Tech too :) Happy 4th friend!!

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  3. This is so sweet :) I feel the same way about MY Roanoke River Greenway and am so happy to run there every time I visit. But after moving to Norfolk, I eventually fell in love with my Elizabeth River Trail too. You'll find a great route at Tech and it will become yours too. (Good luck with those hills!)

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  4. This is such a great post Tracy! You and I have that in common — that we hold these running milestones so dear and know how much they've shaped us as people, not just as runners. How great that you've been able to hit all those goals and can say you remember each and every one. That's a gift I know you'll hold onto for a long time. I hope you find some routes as wonderful and important as these in your new home :)

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  5. Moving really brings out every emotion! Hopefully you'll find some amazing spots to run at your new home - and I know you'll accomplish lots of new milestones :) Hope you had a wonderful holiday yesterday!

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