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Although I've been running on and off since I was 13 years old, I have a lot of trouble trying to fit running into my life. I often find myself too exhausted, tired, sleepy, hungry, lazy or busy... basically, I have a lot of excuses. This blog is about simply finding the motivation to get out the door... and the adventures that await once I'm out there!
During my sophomore year of high school, a friend convinced me to join the cross country team, just so the girls would have enough runners to compete at meets. I still remember my very first practice; I never imagined I could run for 3 miles! I couldn't keep up with any of the other runners, and actually had to stop to walk and catch my breath. My new coach was unbelievably encouraging, supportive, and uplifting; he walked beside my the entire time and didn't doubt for a second that I would eventually be able to run with the team at practices - and he was right.
I was told to supplement XC practices by running on my own. My very first run around my neighborhood was a tremendous accomplishment. It felt like I was outside for ages, and I thought for sure I must have ran at least 1 mile. When I got home and measured my route, it clocked in at .4 miles. yikes! I had a lot of work to do! I eventually became a middle-of-the pack runner. Out of our team of 5 girls I usually finished third. My fastest 5K in high school was somewhere around 22 minutes.
Running has remained a part of my life ever since. Over the past 10 years, it has been
my personal outlet, my stress relief, my solace, my escape from the world and time for myself, my way of adventuring, exploring, and getting to know my surroundings. Most importantly, it has become a major part of my identity.
Despite running countless 5K’s and 10K’s, and half a dozen half marathons, the full marathon has remained a relatively elusive endeavor.
My first - and only marathon to date - was Philadelphia in 2008.
The entire experience was so incredible that I immediately signed up for the Ocean Drive Marathon in NJ the following March. However, after a car accident seven days before Ocean Drive, I went through a series of major life changes that seriously derailed all of my training progress. The thought of the commitment to training became far too overwhelming, and growing complacent, I lost all motivation to enter another marathon. I managed to have my registration for Ocean Drive deferred to the following year, but wasn't conscientious about training at all. I was also unemployed, and just landed a new job in NYC. My first day was the day after the marathon, which forced me to move during the marathon weekend. That was over two years ago, and I haven't done another marathon since.
It was easily the most moving experience of my entire life. The second I crossed the finish line, floods of tears rushed uncontrollably from my eyes. They were tears of disbelief, joy, pain, exuberance, relief, and a myriad of emotions that defined a moment in my life that will never be adequately described by words.
Half marathons are definitely my favorite distance to race. They're long enough where you can take it easy and pace yourself, yet short enough to keep that racing feel, plus you don't have to sacrifice your life to training. My first half was Danbury, CT in 2008, I've completed 6 half marathons to date, and hope to do many, many more!
I am not the fastest runner out there, but I'm never at the back of the pack. I love running for the sake of running and explorig the great outdoors. Treadmill running bores me to tears. Formal training plans make me feel stifled and restricted. My idea of a great vacation is getting outside to run every single day. My definition of a hectic week is one when I don't get to run AT ALL - and it happens a lot. I work my running schedule around my life, and not the other way around. There are drawbacks to this; I know I've never reached my full potential in my running career, and I'm okay with that. I am content knowing that if I ever decide to push myself, I know that I have the discipline and willpower to suprass my wildest expectations. I am a runner, but not an athlete. Throughout the years I have run on-and-off, but I always come back to it. It's a part of who I am - I will be a runner for life.