Welcome to my very first blog! Running has always been very important to me, and at the risk of sounding cliche, it is my “therapy”. Worry, sadness or even just stress of the day melt away as I wind my way through the streets of Oak Park. Many times, I am blissfully unaware that I am running or even where I am because I am that “lost” in my own thoughts and the rhythm of my feet pounding the pavement; other times I am made acutely aware that I am running by the elephant sitting on my chest – but nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment and inner peace after a run!
I started running in high school on the cross country team. It quickly became evident that distance running was not my forte, and I chose to focus on sprints and mid-distance instead (200, 400, 4×400). I was fairly good, but certainly not the best of the best…no record breaking here! The summer before my senior year I was in a serious car accident leaving me unable to run. Lesson learned, lap belts save your knees! After many years attempting to find a way to stay fit and active through low impact exercise like Pilates, I injured my knee again while serving part-time at a local pub. This time, the orthopedic surgeon found that my knee caps were grinding and gave me a course of lubricating injections (meant for arthritis) called SYNVISC. He told me I would never run again and should avoid walking long distances, taking stairs, or any other activity that would impact my knees. About a year after the treatment I was out for a walk and decided to test out my old running legs to see how they felt (nobody tells me I can’t do something 🙂 ). I ran a block and my knees felt fine…so I ran for two blocks…still OK…and here we are today!
While sprints are still my preference, I have learned to embrace the world of distance running. I have found joy and excitement in training for and achieving goals, and have found that the distance running community is one of a kind. All other sports are about beating the other side – whatever it takes, but not running (or cycling too, I guess). I have found that runners are kind and supportive of each other. We cheer each other on, help each other out, and wave hello with a smile to strangers running the opposite direction. I recently joined a local running club, which has given me an opportunity to meet a really great group of people with an infectious passion for the sport. I look forward to sharing my love for running with them, learning from them, and to making new friendships along the way.
Since getting back on the horse, I have completed a number of 5K’s, a few 10K’s, a 10 miler, and a half marathon. The next distance on my running bucket list a full marathon. I do not have lofty goals of running the race at elite speeds, I simply want to run the whole thing and FINISH!
This blog will be a documentation of my journey to completing my very first marathon. My goal is to document every step of my training…the good, the bad and the ugly. Please join me in my journey to the Chicago Marathon finish line this October!