I love hearing how everyone got their start running. We’re all born knowing how to run, but running as a sport is still kind of funny when you think about it. “My sport is your sports’ punishment” was always something we joked about proudly. But here’s how I got into running.

Growing up, I loved watching and playing basketball. I was never great at it, and getting picked last made me super anxious whenever I stepped on a court. My parents dropped me off on their way to work an hour and a half before school started, so I started shooting around every morning. I loved shooting. When I went to try out for the team in ninth grade, Coach Blakeley told me that maybe basketball wasn’t my sport, but that it looked like I never really got tired out there, so maybe I should consider going out for cross country. Doing a sport meant that I didn’t have to take PE, which meant room for another AP or elective, so my high school self was very motivated to get on a team. That’s how I got started running cross country. My first practice, my mom dropped me off in the wrong part of Joaquin Miller Park, and I ran around the park, got super lost, and never found the team. The second practice went a little bit better, but even at a small school, running was definitely never really my thing. I enjoyed being on the team, but I never really enjoyed running. I would hear words like “tempo” and workouts, but I never thought to ask what they meant all three years I ran cross country.

I remember coming in second DFL at the NCS meet. I got to Stanford, and despite the amazing weather, I stopped running and got really into weight lifting and basketball now that I had access to an amazing gym and basketball courts for free. I didn’t quite put on the freshman fifteen, but I definitely gained some weight. I was also putting on muscle from all the lifting, so I didn’t think too much of it. But by junior year, I felt really heavy and unhappy with my weight, so I started up running again, mostly just running campus loop and eventually the dish a couple days a week.

The big breakthrough for me came when I discovered Runkeeper and later Strava. The pace information, automatic tracking, goals, personal bests on segments—I was hooked, and these all helped form a running habit that I wouldn’t break. Once I could track all my runs and see the day-to-day, run-to-run improvement, I started to enjoy running a heck of a lot more. When I started my startup, I didn’t have much of a budget for a gym, and while I could still access the Stanford gym for a year or two after while I was on leave from my Masters, when low on time, lacing up my shoes and getting out the door for a quick run quickly became my preferred stress relief, meditation, therapy, and break from coding. Later, I met lots of friends and a great running community and running club that reinvigorated my love for running. Since then I’ve run nine marathons, including my first Boston Marathon in April 2018.

I run with the Excelsior Running Club and the Dolphin South End Runners in San Francisco— come out to a weekly DSE race! They’re only $5 for non-members!

Follow me on Strava or Athlinks, and hopefully I’ll see you soon at a race or on a run around SF!