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.
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!
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!
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!
(This pair of shoes has ran at 5800ft)