Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Running Story

While I was growing-up, my dad was an avid runner. He'd head out for a few miles just about every other day. He'd sign-up for a few 10ks here and there. He was consistent, and he was going farther than I could ever dream. I was the girl in gym class who would run a quarter mile and then walk and talk with friends for the other 3/4 of the time.

It wasn't until after high school that I started going out with my dad for a run here and there. I would run half a mile with him before he continued on. It was a slow process, and I remember how accomplished I felt when I reached the 2 mile mark. I didn't go too much farther before going off to college, where on occasion I'd go out for a run. That year, I watched the Boston Marathon for the first time. I strolled over the Kenmore Square, and though to myself that I could do that. About 2 years later, I ran my first 10k. The race was sponsored by a track club who included a training plan for their half marathon in the bib packet. I remember thinking that anyone who did a half marathon was really impressive.

Two years later, I had graduated college, moved back home, and was running more and more. I started running with a neighbor, and she told me she was doing the half marathon for a 2nd time. She said I could definitely do it, and the seed was planted. My dad had filed away the old training plan. He and I talked it over, and plotted out my training calendar.

My parents are great cheerleaders!
I knew nothing about training. I didn't train with water or fuel. I ran 3 times a week, and I don't think I tapered at all. At the race expo, I saw more running gear than I knew existed. The race had a full marathon portion, and as I saw all the 26.2 t-shirts, stickers, and other gear, I knew that one day I would run a full. I finished that race in 2 hours and 25 minutes. My dad was at the finish and drove me home, where I proudly wore my race shirt then fell asleep on the couch until Thanksgiving dinner.

I didn't run a half marathon again until 2 years later. I was back in Boston. I had been dating Rob for about 6 months when I met his sisters. One is a runner and she and I began to chat. She raved about the Boston half marathon, so I went home and looked it up. It was T-accessible, so I signed up. I knew no one else doing it, and when I was in line for the port-a-potty before the race, a father and daughter were talking in line behind me. It made me miss my dad who had been my primary running buddy thus far. I ran alone but loved every moment of the race. I finished and felt so great that I started to walk home. I stopped at a Starbucks before deciding to just take the T. After all I had just run a 1hr and 57min half marathon.

I couldn't wait to do another half, so I signed up for the Atlanta Thanksgiving day race. It was rainy and my poor mother stood out in the rain at mile 12 cheering me on. Seeing her out on the gross day was amazing.

My next race was a full Marathon that June, which Erin talked me into over drinks at the White Horse. It was scary, but she told me that the first step was just to sign-up. During training, I found out about the NYC lottery. The marathon was scheduled for my 26th birthday. The deadline was the same day as my first marathon. I was nervous about signing up for a 2nd marathon before I'd even finished my 1st. I figured it was a lottery, and if it was meant to be, then it would happen.

Sure enough, it did! I rocked that race, and I and my amazing cheerleaders wound up on the Runner's World website.

At noon today, there will be another NYC Marathon Lottery. Once again, I wait to see if I'll be running in NY this fall. It won't be my birthday, I probably won't be photographed by Runner's World, and I will have a slower time, but if I get in, it will be a race to remember.

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