Today’s post is a part of my ongoing Mile Markers feature. The purpose of this (almost) weekly feature is to recount the memorable and meaningful runs and races that serve as signposts on our running journey. If you have a story of your own to tell, you can find the writer’s guidelines and my contact information on the Mile Markers page.
In college, I was no longer part of an athletic team, but I still worked hard to keep the Freshmen 15 at bay. I lifted weights in the Scholar’s House “gym,” and I walked everywhere on campus, including up and down all four flights of Strong Hall to my history classroom. On occasion, my roommate Amy and I would go for a run around campus and downtown. We would run just far and just long enough to work up a sweat before hitting the cafeteria to eat our weight in pizza.
I was a part of the Baptist Student Union, and two of the guys I associated with had taken to stopping their studies around 10 PM every night and going for a run. Neither were unfit; Brad had run cross country in high school, and so did Mike. When I got word about what they were doing, I opened my big mouth about joining them some time. I’ve no idea why*, but they took me up on my offer the very next night.
I sauntered out of Scholar’s House, did a few light stretches, and met them outside Hammons House. And off we went. I had no idea how far we would run, whether they would leave me behind, or if I would need a taxi to get back to campus. But I managed to keep up with them. Or they managed to slow down for me.
Down National to Sunshine. Across Sunshine to Campbell. OMG, I ran from campus to Bass Pro. Up Campbell to Grand. Across Grand to the Missouri State campus. It hurts. Oh, everything hurts. Must. keep. running. Sarah, don’t you dare puke in front of them. Through campus back to our dorms.
We made it back. I stretched. A lot. The next day, my calves screamed at me all the way to each and every class, up and down every single staircase.
I measured our route in my car for a rough idea of how far we ran. Five miles. Five whole miles. Certainly the longest run of my life up to that point.
Today I live in the middle of the neighborhood around which we ran that night, about a mile from campus, and I smile a little bit every time I remember this run. Five miles is not so far these days. And I’ve run similar routes to Bass Pro and back more times than I can count. But this one, the run when I ran with the college boys, I’ll always remember.
* Not true. I think we all know why two boys would want a cute college coed to join them for a run.
- That Run When Sarah Made a New Best Friend
- That Run When Sarah Got a Speeding Ticket
- That Run When Coach Cornell Made Sarah Run One Mile
- That Run When Sarah Annoyed Her Classmates