A Simple Running Log

About the Runner-Writer

I assume most people who actually read this will already know me, but if you somehow wound up here, here’s what you need to know:

I’m Abby. I’m a 36-year-old newspaper reporter.

In January 2002, when I was not quite 19, I took some time over winter break my freshman year of college to enlist in the Air Force Reserve, so I could use the tuition assistance benefits to transfer to a different college with a journalism program. I knew I wouldn’t make any money as a journalist, so taking out student loans to get a degree was dumb. Yes, we were just months past 9/11, and war was imminent, but I preferred to take my chances with that.

I had eight months between when I signed the enlistment papers in February and left for basic in October. To graduate from basic, I’d have to run two miles in a certain time, so I figured if I could already do that when I got there, it’d be one less reason for anyone to yell at me.

I’d been a decent runner in gym class games and during my brief career as a high school field hockey player, but I soon found out I hated running for running’s sake. The only thing that kept me going was the image of a training instructor screaming in my face if I didn’t do it.

I kept at it all through that summer, and by the time I got to basic training in early October, I kinda liked it. I was also OK at it — I was the fastest girl in my flight when we ran our initial 2-mile baseline test our fifth day there, and again when we ran for the graduation requirement at the end of our fourth week.

For the next several years, through a 15-month activation with the Air Force and then college, I remained a casual runner, just doing a couple miles at a time, a few days a week. I ran my first organized 5K race in 2004 and honestly thought that was the farthest the human body was capable of running.

Then, in April 2009, my brother, who was stationed in Virginia Beach with the Navy, said he was signing up for a half marathon coming up on Labor Day weekend. I’d heard of a marathon, but I had no idea you could do “just” half of one — which is still 13.1 miles, 10 more than I’d ever ran! Without thinking, I signed up for the 2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon too. After a proper freak-out, I found my first training plan and got to work.

I started this blog a couple months into it to keep me on track by making me write about my training for people I know to read. I mainly still stick to posting about running, but sometimes I go off on a tangent about NASCAR, Bobby Labonte, beer, roller coasters or the beach.

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