Running Club

What on earth would ever induce me to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning, pull my hair back, and go running – running! – in the 26 degree weather?

I remember running “The Mile” in elementary school. Mile day was the most terrible, foreboding event known I could think of – worse than getting fluoride at the dentist – on par with being whipped with a belt. If given the choice between running the Mile and being grounded for an entire month, I would have chosen groundage. At least then, I could eat cookies.

That’s the kind of child that I was – never naturally inclined toward exercise. I was a little bit chubby, and a lot bit lazy, and preferred the secret, quiet world of books and music and art to anything physically taxing. My friends were all pretty, long-legged, blond girls who could run The Mile in 8 minutes or less; I pulled up the rear around minute 13. In my world, “mile day” was synonymous with “humiliation.”

I’ve always hated to run.

But this year, I made the commitment to myself to run a half-marathon – simply because it’s something that I honestly do not believe that I can do. Last time I checked, that’s a great reason to do something.

So about 2 months ago, I started running. It started as once a week, and has moved to 2-3 times a week – and surprisingly, I’VE BEEN LOVING IT. I’ve found a group of friends who are reliable and enthusiastic, and who have made the commitment to run together frequently. They’ve seen me without makeup, completely sweaty and gross, and they still like me. They tell me stories to keep my mind occupied while we run. They don’t let me quit, even when I want to.

They are the reason that I drag my body outside in the December chill on the weekends.

Them, and the prospect of a runner’s booty. Just wait. It’s coming.



  1. Lyla on December 9, 2008 at 8:51 AM

    The Mile traumatized me, as well. I went to Pomona elementary and I STILL have nighmares about Mrs. Ewen, the P.E. instructor. Of course, her husband was a substitute teacher who would whack people on the hand with a ruler for misbehaving. I suppose people probably have nightmares about him, too.

    I’m glad that you are enjoying running now and that you’ve got people trying to actually help you get better at it. Somehow, being mocked and yelled at for being too slow never did the trick of motivating me any.

    Incidentally, my word verification is “unjoke”. That doesn’t really have anything to do with my post. I just thought it was funny.

  2. Jodie on December 9, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    I remember having to run for a solid 9 minutes in PE back in high school and feeling like it was imminent death. And now? I love running. Especially with a buddy! Now, with 3 kidlets, I’d have to get up and run at 4:30 and uh, no. Not even for a runners booty would I do that.

    Man, I’m gonna miss that butt.


  3. bec on December 9, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    mrs. ewen was my pe teacher too, lyla!! and her husband was a sub in my first grade classroom one time AND I FOUGHT BACK TEARS ALL DAY, HE WAS SO SCARY!

  4. Emily on December 9, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    THE MILE! Oh man, why start kids out so badly with running? Every Wednesday we had to run the mile in 12 minutes or less or we wouldn’t pass. ACK!

    I’m so glad you are loving it. Where can I find such a club?

  5. giving up slowly on December 9, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Sometimes when I run, I feel like I just want to die. Being a police foundations student, I have to complete a pursuit chase (over stairs, a wall… it’s messy) as well as 1.5 miles in 11 minutes. I’m not a runner at ALL but I’m setting goals.
    Thanks for being an inspiration for all of us “non-athletes”, Annie!

  6. Laura on December 9, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Yay Annie! Now you’re going to be the 8 minute girl!

  7. Alissa Maxwell on December 9, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    After the runners booty arrives (or maybe before), you will need one of these:

  8. Shanna on December 9, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    runners really do have the nicest bootys.

  9. Case and Los on December 9, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Such a funny blog, I loathed the mile. But the race you’re doing is awesome, all the music will keep you entertained, you’ll hardly notice that two HOURS of running are happening. It’s a big party.

    On a MORE important note, cast your net wide to find Roger Federer, wouldn’t it be amazing if he could teach Ben to serve a tennis ball before Ben goes?! Let’s find him:)

  10. Crystal on December 9, 2008 at 7:43 PM

    Yet again, a brilliant blog. But I’m most happy about the proper spelling of fluoride.

    My verification word is: hydravat
    I guess you should drink more water.

  11. Sarah Markley on December 9, 2008 at 8:32 PM

    i hated the mile.

    but now i run.

    love it.

    your pic is so cute. i wish i had a fun running club.

  12. MB on December 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    Super funny! I didn’t worry about the mile run, in fact back in the day (6-8th grade) I usually broke 6 minutes, but that was before the freshman 15 (of hs), another freshman 15 at college, and the newlywed 20. I always hated the day we had to arm wrestle – not my strong point. I wonder if there is an arm wrestling club out there somewhere to help me?

  13. Annie Peterson on December 11, 2008 at 8:38 PM

    I never actually had to run The Mile in school, but I worried about having to run it. :)

    I totally didn’t like running, but decided that I NEEDED to, started going, and ended up LOVING it. Glad you’re doing it and enjoying yourself!!

    (This is my first time reading your blog, so I have to tell you that I love your description of yourself…especially the red dresses part :)

  14. wrecklessgirl on December 14, 2008 at 1:22 AM

    *gleams with pride*

  15. wrecklessgirl on January 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    do you *really* like running, or are you a fake, an imposter?

    either way, i’d still be proud of you, just so you know. if you’re an imposter, you’re still kicking serious butt keeping up with “those people” and if you’re serious–then damn gina. damn annie. that is harder to say than gina. try it.

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