My Humble Runner Beginnings
Before 2011 I would never have considered myself a runner. I ran half of one season of indoor track in high school and hated it. I rarely went to practice and never suited up for a meet. I mostly joined because my best friend was doing it and I wanted something to do after school. Running on it’s own was never appealing to me and I stayed active playing softball and soccer. After a difficult day my freshman year of college I decided to hit the gym and run one mile on the treadmill. A mile seemed daunting at the time but I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I decided to run it as fast as I could to see what kind of shape I was in. I ended up running a sub-7 minute mile and was so excited I ran back to my dorm to tell my roommate, who was a long distance runner in high school and therefore not impressed by my one mile feat. Despite her lack of amazement I decided to start running with a friend once in a while after class. It was fun for a few weeks but ended once the winter season began and it was too cold to wear shorts.
Fast forward three years to my senior year of college. I was going through a pretty difficult break up and decided to try running again as a way to de-stress. Unfortunately I became obsessed with exercising and ended up losing an unhealthy amount of weight, running twice a day, and barely eating. I was a mess and after a few months I burned out on running.
By the end of 2010 I decided I needed to make a change. I wasn’t happy with my current situation. I was living with random roommates in Baltimore, not exercising, eating way too much ice cream, and spending a lot of time watching 30 Rock re-runs on Netflix (proof: I had the high score on NBC’s website for Season 4 30 Rock trivia). I felt stuck in my situation but decided I would work hard to change things for myself in 2011. When New Year’s rolled around I decided I would make one resolution – to run one distance race (distance to me at the time was anything more than a 5K). I set my mind on my goal and by March 2011 I had run my first half marathon, the DC National Half-marathon. It wasn’t easy but having a training plan and a long run on Sundays gave me something to look forward to each week. I held back tears as I crossed the half-marathon finish line for the first time and hugged my dad once I had made my way out of the finisher’s area (with medal and chocolate milk in hand!). It was an amazing feeling to see my hard work pay off and to accomplish a goal I never thought I could do. I would have loved to have a running buddy or someone else I knew running the race but it was a huge sense of pride for me to have completed it on my own.
Sado picture (peace signs are cool, right?) of me before my last long run of my DC National half-marathon training plan.
By the end of the 2011 fall running season I had run four half-marathons and one 10-miler.
During the Hamptons half-marathon (This shirt will be making a lot of appearances on the blog and in races. It’s my freshman year high school soccer shirt. Spectators always yell “go falcons!” to me as I run by)
I also spent more money on running shoes and gatorades this year than I care to admit. Running has become a huge part of who I am and how I identify myself and it all started with one small resolution to run a race.