Four years ago, I became a runner. Well, not really, but I ran my first "race". I was previously an adamant believer that one should only run if being chased, like by a bear. A coworker who'd recently given birth asked me to run with her in a 5K, the Heart Run. She said it was cool if I ended up walking; I'm a sucker, I was trying to be make nice with fairly new coworkers and said yes. Thanks to my love of talking when in not normally talking situations, I "ran" the entire thing. I say "ran" because it's not REALLY running, but more like gentle self-propulsion. A month later, I ran most of 5 miles in the Alaska Run for Women in one hour flat.
The Moose came the following year at the end of March, so I didn't run in the May Heart Run, but I sure did run the June Run for Women. And I beat my time! I finished in 55 minutes! w00t!!! Now, somehow, this race had become important to me. I try not to be competitive, but running allows competition without all the hurt feelings. It's a solo sport that is made even better by solo-ing with 7,000 other women in this event. There is something incredibly liberating about running through the middle of the streets in downtown Anchorage with this insane posse of women.