Friday, January 14, 2011

This Journey Started on January 14, 2001

Ten years ago yesterday, I was not a runner.
Ten years ago today I became a runner.

Ten years ago today, I watched other runners and said to myself, "I want to do this. I want to do it and raise money to fight cancer." Only problem with that was, I wasn't a runner. Not even a jogger.

You see, ten years ago today, I stood on the sidelines of Houston's Marathon, not really sure why I was there, except that a friend of mine was running in it and he thought it might cheer me up. That previous summer my husband died of cancer. That previous month I spend a sad and lonely Christmas.

This day in 2001 I found myself standing on University Blvd in Rice Village across the street from a Starbucks, waiting and watching as hundreds and hundreds of marathoners ran past singly, in groups of 2 or 3 or more, all inexplicably looking like they were having the times of their lives. Many were wearing t-shirts with images of people they were running for, shirts saying, "in memory of," shirts saying they were raising money in the name of a loved one.

This experience - this cold but sunny day in January 10 years ago - changed my life forever. When I reconnected with my marathon-running friend after the race, I said to him, "I want to do this, but how?"

I was blessed when I met this wonderful man! He took me under his wing, encouraged me, was my trainer and mentor. We ran the Mardi Gras Beach 5K run in Galveston, my very first race. Then the 2001 Bellaire Trolley 5K.

Then the 2001 Nassau Bay Resurrection Run:

And the 2001 Bayou City Classic 10K:

He enrolled me in a local chapter of USAFit, located in the Clear Lake area. We met after work often and ran together, finding fun and interesting sections of Houston: Museum district, Hermann Park, Memorial Park, Rice Village, Tom Bass Park, Challenger Park.

And we did all of the Houston Warm-Up Series Races: The 10-miler, the 20K, the 25K, and the 30K:

And then in January, 2002 - one year after watching that marathon and resolving to do it myself - I ran my first marathon:
We did the Conoco Houston Rodeo 10K the next month:

Without his encouragement, his long legs, his pushing me to run a little faster, and his friendship, my running hobby would have never happened. I have been blessed to know you, my dear friend!


  1. Good job Barb. Way to go. Paul Partin. Ex-runner, and jealous! Previous Void and Cape Fear rider.

  2. Awesome - this month marks just my one year anniversary of running (30 seconds at a time to start) - can't wait for the next nine :)
    Thanks for your continued inspiration.