We all have a reason for running, so here’s my little story.
It was early spring 2009, and I needed an outlet to help relieve the stress in my personal life. I was in an unhappy marriage and was also taking care of four children under the age of 4. A friend recently started running, and I thought if she can do it, I can do it too! I took off one day, made it about .5 miles, and wanted to die. I had always been in pretty good shape but hadn’t really done much since the twins were born. The next day I did it again, and then again, and I just kept running and improving. I grew to love the time spent on my own, just me and the road/sidewalk. During that time I didn’t have to listen to anyone else, take care of anyone else, worry about anyone else. I could just run.
I began racing in 2009 but stuck with 5Ks, although I was not really good at them. In 2010, I ran my first 10 miler, and you would have thought I conquered the world! It was a great, empowering feeling, and I knew that my days of short races were through.
2011 was a huge year for me in terms of distance running. I completed my first half marathon in Cleveland, Ohio and my first marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2012 I had two more marathons under my belt – Cleveland again and Columbus, Ohio. I have fallen in love with this distance. I love how I push myself during my training runs, and I love how I feel when I cross the finish line after running 26.2 miles. It’s a powerful experience. Then there was one more marathon to add to the list – the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in 2013, when I also was lucky enough to be an official blogger! 2014 was another great year for me, as I was again an official blogger for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and ran a nearly 20-minute PR in the marathon! And you can add 2015 to the list of awesome running years. I was again asked to come back and support the race that I love (CLE Marathon), set a new PR in the half marathon and 5K, and kicked my mileage and training in high gear.
2016 was great in terms of running! I was back as a CLE Marathon ambassador and set a huge marathon PR – 3:57, my first sub-4 hour! And if you didn’t hear, the weather for the 2016 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon was awful – snow, rain, sleet, ice, wind, cold, and thunder. I also ran my best 20-miler at the 20 Mile Drop in April and ran my second fastest half in bad conditions. This year really gave me a lot of confidence in my running, something I needed.
In 2017, I’m very excited to be back as a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon ambassador and help them celebrate their 40th anniversary. I also plan to run the 20 Mile Drop and Brokeman’s 20 Miler in April. As far as other races go, I’ll take them as they come.
Good luck and best wishes on your running goals!