October 20, 2013 was the day I ran my very first road race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5K. At this point I'd already registered for a second race with my sister later that month. I think it was some time around that fall that I truly felt like I could call myself a runner. ..Wow, if I only knew how my life would change over the next five years!
Given that I've been 'benched' for a couple weeks, I've had an opportunity to reflect on the past few years and where I'm headed. For one thing, I've realized that I've run a lot of races! I've tried track, trail, cross-country, and relay races. I've been an ambassador for several races. Our team Endorphriends was sponsored by Reebok for an incredible 300km Ragnar relay journey. I've helped coordinate an inclusive group of runners called JPsTeam. I've been able to better my race times. I've done a destination race. I've run in costume or tutu--a few times. I've run race distances that span from 600 meters to 30 kilometres. I've joined Ontario Masters Athletics and participated in all of their running events. I got a run coach. I've improved my health physically and emotionally. And I've made the most incredible friends ever.
I've kept every one of my medals and bibs since that first race. While some races don't have medals, all but one has had a bib (Ragnar trail had one bib for the whole team). I've always intended to have some sort of display, but have never been able to decide on what I wanted. Today I sorted through all the bibs and medals and placed them into decorative boxes by year. It was so fun to look back on each and remember parts of each race.
Hopefully I'll be lacing up my shoes and hitting the roads again soon. On the plus side, this time 'off' has been fun to reflect on what will soon be five years, and possible ways to commemorate this milestone.