Why I Enjoy Running

Enjoying running is a new adventure for me. Up until high school, I did not enjoy running and totally detest the 1-mile fitness test every school year. I was the slowest person in the class for that test. Wait, correction, I was the second slowest person since the class clown would be tailing me and making funny movements for laughters. That certainly did not make me feel better. I actually had to try to NOT be the slowest person.

It wasn’t even like I was “unfit”. I was in the volleyball team as well as basketball and soccer. I even went to gym AFTER those practices! I just did not like running for the sake of running. Give me a soccer ball and I could run an entire 90-minutes game. Tell me to get on the track and run one-mile, I felt out-of-breathe after 30 seconds.

Believe me, I can’t even fathom how I change to a “runner” recently. But here I am, plotting when and where I would run during our vacation last week. Running was going to happen, somehow, especially running shoes/gears were packed. We went away to Tahoe with some good friends, renting a cabin with alpine views. Really beautiful. Really serene.

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We were at Truckee, northern Tahoe, at an elevation of 5800ft. Normally, this was never an issue BR (before running). Now that I was determined to get a run in, all of sudden 5800ft was a cardiovascular challenge. I knew I had to adjust to the altitude so I started with a mild hike with my friend and her two puppies second day. I even attempted with a jog and I felt out of breath very quickly!

I did not know if a run was even realistic mid-way through our stay in Tahoe, especially, after a very fun, but taxing day on a boat on Lake Tahoe. The sun was amazing, the view was beautiful, and the tubing was tiring!

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The tubing fun left me sore on my neck and arms (and some sunburnt). I decided that I would forego the “must-run” idea. I would see how I feel the next day. I did not want to risk the chance of injury. Training for a half marathon has taught me to be flexible and listen to my body.

I was glad I did because the next day while everyone was recovering and staying in bed. I woke up feeling pretty good at 7.30am. I knew I could run. I grabbed my belt, my iPhone, headphone and put on my shoes and left the cabin. I still wanted to take it easy (the elevation would be the challenge already) so I went to Donner Memorial State Park and just jogged on the trail along Donner Lake. It was mostly flat but absolutely gorgeous!

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I ran a total of 2.5 miles. I felt breathless from both the insurmountable beauty as well as the elevation. I definitely had to stop both for pictures and for breathe. It was perfect, which brings me to the final point: why I enjoy running.

Simply, running has pushed me to do things I otherwise would not have thought of. Because I’m in training, even during vacation, I look for ways to be active. Because of this, I discovered Donner Park via running the trails. I was the only (crazy?) person to take a step further to explore another place out of our group. I was also super curious to see I would do at the almost 6000ft elevation. Not bad, 2.5 miles was a proud accomplishment! Again, running pushes me to challenge myself. This is why I love running, even on the days I just can’t find an ounce of energy to do it!

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(This pair of shoes has ran at 5800ft)

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