26 miles later…

I’ve always been unconventional. This includes my running philosophy.

I suppose you could say that my running career started early. My sister was the star runner in my family, winning the Turkey Trot (our elementary school 1 mile race) when she was in the 5th grade. By the time my 5th grade year rolled around, she was determined to make me her protege. All I remember is that I whined, complained, and she literally had to push me across the finish line. I placed 11th in that race, which made me angry because the first 10 got a special award. I just missed it and in 5th grade special awards were thebomb.com!

After that, I poured a little more time and effort into training. I joined my middle school track and cross country teams and ran my fastest mile ever: 6:41! But I fell off the wagon once I got to high school. I focused more on organized sports (ie. soccer and basketball) because of the team atmosphere. It was an easy way to make friends, something I needed due to the fact that my family moved multiple times.

But soon enough, college struck. As did those dreaded Freshman 15. By a lucky happenstance (or perhaps some kind of subconscious decision), I had registered for a general health class (GHLTH 101 what up!) my first semester which required that I log a certain number of gym hours per semester. I made a plan for myself and dedicated an hour, three times a week to go to the gym. Instead of wasting that hour of my life drinking smoothies and sitting in the atrium, I decided to try my hand at running. I headed up to the indoor track, which appeared to be the least crowded part of our newly opened gym and started out by running a mile. Eventually, running just one didn’t seem like enough, so I upped it to two.

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I couldn’t run less than 5 miles without feeling like a lazybones. Luckily, around the same time, my former roommate Rachel decided to get serious about training as well. Knowing about my running prowess, she asked me if I would sign up for a half marathon. I ran the Virginia Beach Rock ‘N Roll half marathon on one of the most humid days of summer. I was disgustingly sweaty and incredibly tired, but I was IMMEDIATELY hooked. I loved the atmosphere of races, the community of runners surrounding you, and that feeling of accomplishment while crossing that finish line. Plus, all the free SWAG didn’t hurt either!

Most recently, even half marathons aren’t cutting it. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even feel the need to train for the half anymore which is one of my main motivators for signing up in the first place. I completed my first full marathon in January 2011, and I have more planned for the future. I’ve signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon at the end of November and judging from the pain in my calves, I am definitely in the full swing of training.

But seriously, don’t ask me for running advice. I don’t have any. In fact, there is no real method to my madness. I know so many runners are hyper aware of time and pacing. Not me. I’ve never, ever timed myself. In fact, the first time I was actually timed was when I didn’t have a choice during my first half marathon. I finished in 1:57 and ahead of 92% of women runners. I suppose that’s around the time I realized, “Hey, I might actually be kind of good at this whole running thing!” Still, to this day, I don’t time my runs. At the risk of sounding like a total hippy, I just do what feels right. If I’m tired, I slow down; if I’m feeling great, I go a little faster. For me, timing my runs takes out the fun. I don’t really have a rhyme or reason (and I’m not even really sure why), but I could literally just run all day. I know my style is not “typical”, but it’s what works for me.

But I don’t love running all the time. And running is not my passion; it’s just something I do. Kind of like brushing my teeth. If I don’t do it, I feel disgusting and lethargic. So it’s something I do a lot. It’s not always easy, somedays it’s hard to get off the couch and hit the pavement. The mental challenge is half the battle, but it’s what keeps me motivated!

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5 Comments

  1. Running is the worst!! Ah! I hate it! So boring!! Kudos to you for being disciplined. I’ll stick with “rugby” and “p90x” – aka, laziness.

    Reply
    • Hahaha I feel that way most days too. I’d rather be eating fondue and watching The Little Mermaid! Hopefully this little blog thing will keep me accountable!

      Reply
  2. Sister – I was laughing so hard when I read this post. I remember that Turkey Trot race with you like it was yesterday! And now you could kick my butt! Haha…keep training!

    Reply
    • I knew you would like this one sis! How does it feel to know you are the reason behind my running career? 😉 And I remember that race like it was yesterday too: WORST. DAY. OF-MY-LIFE! haha!

      Reply
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