I had too many thoughts to wait until later to post...
I was never a runner until high school. My older sister did cross-country and track (and was quite good at it), so naturally, I needed to as well. I will never forget my first day of practice for cross-country. It was a few days before the school year began, so we met in the relative cool of the morning at our course, O’Melvaney Park. The course began with an easy, rolling, well shaded loop around a large grassy area. After the first loop, I was winded but still holding on. Then, I was introduced to The Hill. The Hill was steep enough that if you did not run up it just right, you would end up slipping backwards and could very well have to use your hands to get to the top (yes, I did eventually get to witness others doing this) and once at the top, you just had to let it all loose to make it safely to the bottom.
At the end of practice, I thought I was going to die. Obviously, I did not and I am pretty sure the running bug bit me… hard. I continued to run through high school and The Hill even got easier! When I got to college, I met the track coach but knew immediately I was not going to be fast enough to try out for the team without embarrassment. So, like all other reject athletes trying to make it in college, I decided to try rowing. There is nothing quite like the feel of being out early in the morning when all is quiet, the water is smooth, and the sound of oar blades cutting the water is all you hear. Although I loved rowing, it never did replace my love for running and my alternative work outs for training or extra work outs for stress were always running.
After college came a wedding, a move, and graduate school. This was a big undertaking in and of itself! I ran primarily as an outlet and to maintain fitness. Ben (my husband) would run occasionally just so we could spend some time together amid our busy schedules. He never did love running and was pretty overweight. Before I graduated from school, I told him my goal was to run a marathon within a year of graduating. I invited him to either come watch or join me. I graduated in May of 2009. Since then, we have raced in one 5k, two 10k’s, eight half marathons, five full marathons, and one 120 mile six-day staged race (and Ben has lost over 70 pounds).
Running is a big part of our life and Ben and I continue to train together (along with Brewer, our weimaraner). Running is an area where I find peace and often feel most connected to my Creator. It is a stress reliever and a challenge. Running brings me joy.