I was not a runner in high school. And when I get asked about running or how I got into it –there’s 2 stories I like to share.
The summer before I graduated college I was 21 and interning in Los Angeles. I rented a guest house in Manhattan Beach, CA and was meeting up with some new friends for beach volleyball. One of the girls was 25 and from Texas. She was by no means obese but she was not a double zero either. She was a normal, healthy girl from Texas. But I will never forget her telling me, “Yeah, 25 is the age your body just kinda goes!” I remember thinking 25?! So in 4 years this is what I was in store for??
A few years later, I was working a promotion, a gentleman I was speaking with was wearing a triathlon t-shirt and a knee brace. I told him I had been thinking about running a marathon. Come to find out he had ran 104 marathons and triathlons and started when he was only 40 years old! That was all the motivation I needed. This was July and I was turning 25 in October. I signed up for the Duke City Marathon, I would run it 11 days after my 25th birthday.
For my first marathon I didn’t have anyone to train with–I was on my own. I googled marathon running/training tips. Came across one tip that I choose to completely ignore….”Don’t make a marathon your first race”–too late I was already in!
I had read Katie Holmes ran the New York City Marathon in 5 hours and 29 minutes. The morning of the race my parents were in town to cheer me on. Not really knowing how long it would take me, I told them to come back in 5 and half hours–going off Katie’s time. My mother was in tears and in shock when I borrowed a friends phone at the finish line to call and tell them I had finished. An hour earlier than my prediction… 4 hours 30 minutes and 2 seconds. I crossed the finish line and I knew this was something I would do again. My second marathon would be New York City a year later (2009).
Since my first marathon in 2008, I have ran 6 marathons and lucky number 7 will be….The Chicago Marathon this October on my Birthday! I’ve ran it twice and have been waiting since 2011 to run it on my birthday. I know most would choose dozens of other ways to celebrate their birthdays. But there’s something about crossing that finish line after 26.2 miles feeling very accomplished.