This write up is in progress…more updates to come.
2007 (age 31)
I was never a runner. The most I ever ran was just a mile on the treadmill at the gym to warm up to do other activities. I would even say I hated running and the idea of it. I always liked being active, but my diet was poor and my activity level low and not consistent. I was searching for something to do.
I had a boss that ran and raced regularly. She is awesome and I loved hearing about her racing, but I still couldn’t see myself being like her although I very much wanted to be. Then one day (March 2007) a co-worker asked me to run a 5K the next day. I’ve always had an adventerous side and just doing something new and daring considering I had no training was all I needed and said ‘Let’s do it’. It was a very cold race and not flat. It was 8 degrees and snowing. I had shoes that were too tight (as I had not yet been to a local shoe store for a proper fitting), two coats (yes two), two hats (yes I was over dressed) and I “ran” my first 5K. It was a miserable site, but afterward I thought I had climbed Everest.
Here I am near the finish, working my heart out to complete this race.
The feeling of pride and acheivement was so amazing. I was hooked. I was ready to see if I could improve on my efforts and said ‘When is the next one?’ Two weeks later I was at it again. I completed 25 races that year with my longest distance being a 10K and I set 2008 to continue to run as many races I could and train for my first Half Marathon.
2007 Lessons Learned
After the first six months of running my body aches and pains subsided and it became more enjoyable. Learning about injury prevention, staying consistent with running, and eating better all helped me stay on track. I learned quickly that having races to look forward too keeps me committed. The belief that I could do better kept me moving forward.
2008 brought 28 races, including my first half marathon, Go! St. Louis.
My times continued to drop in all distances that I ran and the half marathon brought about another level of pride and accomplishment. Running 13.1 Miles felt like running across the country and it made me feel so alive.
2008 Lessons Learned
I learned that I love longer distances, but there is value in racing all types of races, short and long. I learned about training plans (Runner’s World Smart Coach) and how to fuel for longer distances. The opporunties to improve in running are limitless. There is always a new race course, PR, weather conditions to over come. Each accomplishment brings with stories I will share for a lifetime…..bring on more!
2009 I decided to set my goals to run 3 half marathons. My husband Rob had always done the occasional race here and there with no training. 2009 he made the decision to become serious about running as well and requested to be registered for every race that I did. That meant 29 races for the year! The biggest part of the year was Rob encouraging me to run my first full marathon, Chicago Marathon, that he too would train and race for.
Marathon training invloved a lot of learning and a lot of work, but I felt at home in long distance training. By sharing my experiences with blogging I had my first meet up with my friend Nic. 🙂
The 2009 Chicago Marathon was an experience like no other. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of having so many people watching your race, giving off all of this positive energy.
Along the way Rob and I have also lost weight and improved our nutrition, something that has made running and life in general more enjoyable.
2009 Lessons Learned
Rob and I are motivating others with our love of running to get out there and try it for themselves. I find a sense of community on the Internet and in everyday life from other runners. Hearing about others accomplishments keeps me motivated to keep going. I’m so proud of Rob and know that we are saving our lives by having a healthy lifesytle that we will keep forever.
2010 Rob and I continued to run many races, but we then trained and raced three marathons, Merecdes Marathon, IL Marathon and Chicago Marathon. Each one was very special to me, especially because I qualified for Boston Marathon and improved my time in each of them.
I also met:
Olympian, World’s 2x Bronze Medalist, Half Marathon Champion, NYC and Boston Marathon 3rd Place, the amazing, Kara Goucher
2008 Beijing Olympics Marathon Winner, Constantina Dita
I also got to be a part of the Often Running Racing Team. 2010 was also the first year that I ran over 2,000 miles!
2010 Lessons Learned
I learn that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I would find myself discounting a new race pace or PR without even going for it. I learn that belief is so key. And when disappointments do come, because they will, to know it’s not just about one particular race….it’s a lifetime commitment to get up and try again. I also learn to stop comparing myself to others or even my very own self in past performances. I realize that it’s not fair to say “I ran better last time” or “that person doesn’t train as hard/want it as much as I do, why am I not able to perform like that?”. It’s an unfair and damaging cycle to entertain thoughts that won’t help me become a better runner. Acceptance of myself has become key. I will never give up running, even if I never achieve a particular race pace or accomplishment. And I have stopped comparing myself to others as well. I feel forever changed from the inside.
2011 did bring a lot of new experiences in running. I ran my first indoor track meet open and it was painful, like racing a new distance for the first time. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity and be able to say I got to try it.
I continued to suffer with stomach issues. Over the year I tried so many changes to my diet, trying to figure out what was triggering my issues.
I ran my first Boston Marathon!!
Still my love for running was tested with very terrible stomach issues while racing. My limits both physically and mentally were tested at this race.
I met some more amazing people!
Ultra-Runner, Dean Karnazes
FlyRunner reader, Omar
FlyRunner reader and fellow Team Steam runner, Jamie
Biggest Loser, Ali Vincent
I did have some races that were enjoyable considering my stomach was an issue so often.
2011 RNR Chicago Half Marathon
2012 would be a bitter sweet running year because of no new PRs, but the best gift of all, becoming pregnant!
For the highlights, I got to run my second Boston Marathon in upper eighty degree weather. This became a race of just doing enough to make to make it to the end without bonking in the heat.
While in San Francisco for work, we did a long run of 13 miles and we got to run across the Golden Gate Bridge, little did I know I was pregnant.
And then I ran the following 2012 races pregnant….
To end 2012 I did long runs of 16, 18, and 20 miles before ending my long runs after the first trimester.
…more to come…
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