My Journey

My running journey is really two fold.  I started running my junior year in high school after I moved to Colorado.  Not on a team or anything, just purely for fitness and to enjoy the crisp mountain air.  Fast forward to my senior year; I blow out my knee.  Hmmm…. that sounded a bit more dramatic than it was – let me try again.  I tore my MCL, had to go to physical therapy for a few months, and then had to wear a horrible, ugly, huge knee brace for what seemed like forever.  People, listen to your body! Don’t ignore warning signs or you’ll end up sidelined.

Staying active with my husband.
FYI – I’m terrible at snowboarding!

Over the years I half-heartedly attempted to run again but quickly abandoned any attempts at the first sign of discomfort.  My mind was like a record player telling my that I was going to injure myself again if I pushed it.  I stayed semi active through other activites (biking, yoga, fitness DVDs) but always felt unsatisfied.  Finally last summer I had the ‘ah-ha’ moment and realized that if I’m going to mess my knee up I might as well mess it up doing something I enjoyed!

After a few weeks (and I mean like three weeks) of ‘running’ on the treadmill at the gym, I signed up for my first 5k.  Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking when I signed up to run a 5k in July…in Southern Mississippi….in 90 degree heat…without any training.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  Not only was I slow, but I tweaked my knee by stepping in a small pothole.  I went home, iced my knee (and my pride) and considered the merits of giving up – again.  I was so discouraged; however, after a few days of sulking I put my big girl panties on and hit the gym. Discouraged had turned in to determined.

Taken at my first 5k. Notice the smile? I was blissfully unaware how terrible I was going to do.

Taken at the Double Bridge Run 15k in Pensacola, Florida. This was an amazing run! I was so happy to run it with Mary, my running inspiration – she’s a beast on the road! (And also happens to be like a mom to me.)

My 2nd5k (Thumbs up for Bill) was 4 months later and went much better.  It was after Thumbs up for Bill my friends Stacey and Lorena and myself became running buddies.  BOOM! Running buddies = instant accountability & motivation.  We started running together in December and less than 4 months later completed our 1st½ marathon! Woot-woot! I’m still not speedy by any means, my 5k PR is 27:25 and my 1/2 marathon PR is 2:14:47.  Racing isn’t only about the time; it’s about enjoying the training, friendships, and the sport itself.  I’ve been running in between 20-25 miles a week for the past 6 months and I’m lost without my Saturday long run. I can’t really remember what it was like to sleep in and I wouldn’t change that for anything!

The most wonderful part is that through this journey I feel like I’ve regained a part of myself that I thought was gone forever.  After my brother was killed, I had a really hard time.  The best way I can describe myself would be like a china doll that had been cracked and super glued back together.  I was myself, but not really.  This past year has really freed me of a lot of emotional baggage that I was carrying around and I finally feel whole again.  Roger and I used to run together and I somehow feel closer to him; like I’m carrying a part of his spirit with me every time I hit the asphalt.  In October I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon, my first marathon (yikes!!), in honor of his sacrifice.  I know it’s going to be emotional but it’s also going to be equally amazing.  Am I worried about injuring myself? Somewhat, but I feel confident that I won’t.

3 thoughts on “My Journey

  1. Pingback: Garden of the Gods |

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