It may have transpired more than 18 months ago, but I remember my first 7-mile run like it was yesterday.
I remember plotting the route in advance – two loops of the reservoir followed by a straight shot down 1st Ave to my then-boyfriend’s apartment. I remember the monsoon-like conditions that forced me out of the park after one loop and disrupted my meticulous pre-run planning. I remember finishing, showering and subsequently inhaling a small nation’s worth of Korean fried chicken. I just ran SEVEN miles – I remember thinking to myself – I can eat as much chicken as I want!
My first 8-mile run is equally fresh in my mind. Layering up in borrowed sweats because I didn’t yet realize how clothing worked. Running 4 miles to a Virginia pharmacy, buying a drink and running 4 miles home. Celebrating with an oversized platter of bar snacks at an Arlington pub. EIGHT miles! – I sputtered through a mouthful of nachos – Bring on the potato skins!
My first 10-miler, 13-miler and 18-miler have secured similar spots in my memory: Philadelphia/soft-pretzels, Baltimore/Maryland-crab-soup, New York/bagel-and-lox, respectively.*
*Yes, I realize it’s unnatural to recall with such clarity my post-run food choices, but I like to believe my unparalleled gastronomic memory will come in handy someday. This is how I see it going down:
Serious scientist in white lab coat: “I’m sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with this emergency announcement, but the Martians have detonated an earth-annihilating nuclear bomb and the only way we can stop it is if someone can recount for us a minute-by-minute replay of everything he or she ate on May 12, 2007. Help us, Anne-bi-won Kenobi. You’re our only hope.”
But in all seriousness: why do I remember these runs with such clarity? Because they were the first of their kind. I’ve run 7 miles dozens of times since, but that first experience will be forever branded in my memory. Like first loves and first concerts and first Hanson cassette tapes, one doesn’t forget these things.
You know what else one doesn’t forget? First kisses. Here’s a picture of mine.
What’s one run (or post-run chow down) you’ll never forget?