The First Mile

It was February 9th, 2008.

I woke up with a nervous stomach, not sure what to expect from this adventure I was about to embark upon, not sure if I even wanted to go at all.  It is always easier to talk about doing something, but to actually commit to doing something is a whole other story.  

After some breakfast, I put on my loyal gym worn Adidas shorts, some warm up pants, a cotton t-shirt and my $40 from Costco no-room-in-the-toes "running" shoes.  Chris and I drove over to the local hospital where this meeting we had decided to attend was being held.

We wandered around and finally found the signs for "Train to End Stroke" then found our way to the conference room we were supposed to be in.  I kind of wanted to turn around right then and forget this whole thing.  But I didn’t.  I walked in, very unsure of myself, but was comforted by looking around at all the other nervous faces.  We signed in and picked some seats for the meeting to begin.

In the meeting we learned about fundraising, we learned a little bit about running, we learned about strokes.  We heard from past participants and we heard from stroke survivors.  We introduced ourselves to the group and declared what event we were going to be training for and raising money for.

"Hi, my name is Aron and I am going to run the San Francisco Full Marathon."

There were only a couple other people who uttered those same words that day.

As fate had it, this girl (Kristin) just happened to be one of them.


Soon after, we headed outside for our very first mile.  This would be my first official mile of marathon training, the mile that started my mileage tracking, and the mile that I identify to when people ask about when I started running.  I may not have been a "runner" that day, but I was sure on the road to becoming one.

I have no idea how fast I ran that mile, but I remember it wasn’t that easy.  I had no idea if I would be able to complete TWENTY SIX of them 7 months later.  I was afraid, nervous, but so excited.  So excited and ready for this new challenge set in front of me.  So excited to start on this very new journey that I had no idea how it would unfold. 

I was sick of the gym, I was tired of being on the elliptical, I was tired of being inside, I was just plain bored without any challenges. 

That all ended this day. 

From that day on I have fallen more in love with running every single day.  There are most definitely days I hate it and it hurts and I question it all, but those are the days that end up making me love it even more. 

Four years ago, I set out with a goal to run 23 miles further than I had ever run in my life at that point.  Four years later, I haven’t stopped.  11 marathons, 25 half marathon, 8,398.8 miles, countless tears, a ridiculous number of shoes, 900 blog posts, so many amazing friends, and an unimaginable amount of happiness, smiles and pure joy.

Running has brought so much to my life, pure simple happiness, structure and release, and I will forever look back at February 9th, day one, with a big huge smile.  My life changed for the better than day and I had no idea at the time. 


Happy Anniversary running, I can’t imagine my life without you.

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33 Responses to The First Mile

  1. Tonia February 9, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    Happy Runniversary! You’ve accomplished so much in the last 4 years and I know you still have so much in store!

  2. Morgan February 9, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Happy Runniversary!!! As soon as I saw your runniversary I was like, I’m pretty sure Aron and I always post about our anniversaries around the same time and sure enough, Feb 9th, 2009, first blog post. Cheers to many more miles, blog posts, and friends!

  3. Marlene February 9, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Happy Runniversary!!! I wish I knew my first day, or that I had made a conscious decision that day to take up running… I just hopped on the treadmill out of boredom and it was weeks later that I decided to sign up for a race. Kind of anti-climactic! lol

  4. thepixelsuite February 9, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Congratulations on another Runniversary. Keep on running and inspiring.

  5. Missy February 9, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    YAY!! Congrats!!
    Keep up the good work.

  6. B.o.B. February 9, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    aw! happy runniversary! i was also sick of the gym and running outside is just soooo much better. 11 marathons is amazing! i’m at 6 and just trying to get to 10.

  7. Jen February 9, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Happy Runniversary Aron! Lovely post. I am so proud of you!!

  8. Ricole Runs February 9, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Love this post! Can you believe how far you’ve come in such a short time? I used to absolutely hate running, it’s hard to believe what a big role it plays in my life now!

  9. Page February 9, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Happy, happy runiversary! I love this post and how it emphasizes that one seemingly scary choice can change your life for the better…all it took was a bit of bravery and some dedication and you did it.

  10. Naomi February 9, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    i have personally benefitted so much from your love of running – not just by reading about it (which always inspires) but also by the runner meet-ups you’ve organized. i’ve met so many amazing people through them! thank you and happy runniversary!

  11. lindsay February 9, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    i’m impressed you remember the day! happy runversary!! how cool that kristin was there on day 1 too :) it is absolutely amazing how far you’ve come in a few short years. i don’t think i’ve accomplished as much, but i am amazed that i’ve been running for 13-ish years give or take. i mean, my running “career” will be old enough to drive soon!

  12. Kristy February 9, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    i LOVE this post! look how far you have come — soon to be ultra runner!

  13. Chicken February 9, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Congratulations! That’s an amazing story! I’m happy you love it so much! I sure do too!

  14. katie February 9, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    <3 happy running anniversary!

  15. JoLynn February 9, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    One never knows where that first step will take them. ;)

  16. Audrey February 9, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Happy running anniversary! You’ve accomplished so much in the past 4 years – truly an inspiration!

  17. Layla February 9, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Happy runiversary! I never would have met you and so many amazing people if it hadn’t been for your blog.

  18. Celia February 9, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Happy runniversary! This reminds me of my own first meeting with Team for Kids the charity that I did my first marathon with. We didn’t do a mile that day though. That is a cool idea :)

  19. RoadBunner February 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Happy Runniversary!!! I feel the exact same you do about how running has changed life for the better. Just catching up with your blog — you’re doing awesome with all the miles!

  20. Liza February 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. You’ve come so far and you are moving forward. The best thing about running is you could always do more to challenge yourself and become better at it. Running is the answer. What is the question? :)

  21. Rena @ February 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    That’s great! I wish I can say that I’ve done as much as you have some day in the future.

  22. Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen February 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Hi! I’ve had your blog in my GR for awhile and never really read it and I’m so glad I decided to click on it today! This is a great story and I think it’s so awesome that you have that vivid of a memory of your first run! Great post!

  23. Lynda@ Hit The Road Jane February 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Aww, I love this post. You’ve come so far!! I already see the positive effect running has has on my life only a year and a half in. It really is a game changer :)

  24. Laura February 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Love this post :) Happy anniversary!

  25. Corey February 10, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Awwwe! I love this post! So cool that you can look back and remember that day so vividly! Congratulations and good luck!

  26. Nelly February 10, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Great post, that is awesome that you still remember your first mile. You’ve only been running for a short time, but you’ve done more than pretty much everyone I know in terms of number of miles run and races run. I think you’ve done more races in 4 years that I’ve done in my life, lol Impressive stuff!

  27. greengirlrunning February 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Happy running anniversary! I just recently celebrated 1 year running and will be running my first marathon (Napa Valley) in less than 4 weeks! Your running accomplishments are truly inspiring. Congrats on 4 years and sooooo many miles :)

  28. Betsy February 11, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    I love this. I’ll never forget my first mile as a real runner about five years ago. I was so proud of myself for finishing a whole mile, and totally caught the running bug from that moment. Congrats, Aron!

  29. Becca February 11, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    This post is very inspiring. I have been a casual runner for a couple years, and have just started becoming excited in trying to do more distance trail running. It is nice to have those excited running butterflies again and I admire your own commitment and love of running.

  30. Christine February 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    You are amazing!

  31. Claudine February 12, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Just lovely. Happy runniversary!

  32. Susan - Nurse on the Run February 13, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    I can’t believe how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time, and how one day you simply decided to become a runner. I love it. Happy runniversary!


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