A main push to start this blog was to log my training, so it is very obvious I LOVE TO RUN. It sounds so cliché, really who loves to run. Well I am shouting out loud “I LOVE TO RUN”. I live in a small town of 4500 people, so I run up and down every street year round(weather permitting-I live in Minnesota). So people see me run, and I get asked “How far do you run, how do you do it, why do you do it”. I simply answer it is something I can do for myself and I feel good when I am done.
I was not “born” a runner, I hated running in school, complained with all of them. Especially when it came to run the timed mile for physical fitness. I only ran when I had to, when someone forced me. As a competitor I ran it and I ran as hard as I could because I had a goal of making the presidential physical fitness. Do they even have anymore?
Then in my mid twenties, I was still physically active but was not burning the same calories as I once did in my teens. So I started to run at the gym on a treadmill. I was not the fastest nor could I last a long time. Starting out I did a lot of intervals, 2 minutes run 2 minutes walk and I just gradually built my stamina to run for longer periods of time. I began to running outside which was different, it felt more difficult. I did not have the belt under me pushing me, but I began to push myself. Running outside I would mentally challenge myself to run one more block, run to that stop sign or that house.
I was 27 when I entered my first 5k, it was for our local summer festival, so not a big race. I remember feeling extremely nervous. I felt I trained well for it but this was my first “race”. Garmin set, headphones on I took off with all the other runners. I was truly in aha of everyone participating in this event. I know something clicked after this first run, I wasn’t hooked but I was enjoying running. I ran a few smaller 5k and some 10k but was ready to challenge myself when I turned thirty and had my second child. I wanted something bigger, more difficulty. I was ready for my first half marathon. I asked my husband if he would be interested, and him being a non-runner but a competitive athlete he agreed. So two months after having my second child I began training for my first half marathon. And not just any half marathon but Gary Bjorklund/Grandmas Half marathon in Duluth MN. This is a well know race so I set my standard high and I was ready. We trained together and really pushed each other. Race day came and we were both extremely nervous, like go to the bathroom nervous. The national anthem was playing as we were standing in line for the bathrooms, but we made it to the race line in time. We were amongst 6,000 plus runners. I ran this ½ marathon in 2 hour and 5 minutes. I was happy I finished but disappointed in my time and that my husband beat me. This did not ruin my spirit of the day I was happy I finished and was among an unbelievable atmosphere of runners.
As we sat down to watch the marathoner come into the finish, I was overwhelmed with emotions. The memory still gives me goose bumps. Seeing the lead car turn the corner with anticipation knowing the lead marathoner was making their way. Like the WAVE you see the crown begin to stand, clap and cheer. Here they come…and boy were they booking it. What a speed 25 plus miles later they are coming into the finish at such a strong speed yet they look so eloquent and poised. It was at this moment my thinking about running changed. I no longer looked at it as exercise or a chore but as a sport. A sport I am now proud to be a part of. After my first ½ marathon experience, I knew I was not done running.
Since June 2008, I have finished 2 marathons, 5 half marathons, one Warrior Dash, several 10k’s and continue to participate in our local 5k. 1/2 marathon PR is 1:48:33 and 10K of 45:09. I To add to this I finished my 5 season as boys and girls assistant cross-country coach. I continue to LOVE running and all that it gives me, now I get to share this with young athletes.