I hope you got to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day yesterday. Thank goodness for social media because I had no idea about this wonderful holiday until I saw all the mouth watering photos on Instagram. I celebrated with some chocolate chip banana bread with PB for dessert!
When I first started Will Run for Boston three months ago I didn’t know the first thing about blogging. I had been reading running blogs for awhile and always dreamed of having one of my own. And one day I just did it – I jumped in with two feet. Kinda like the first time I tried steeplechase…
I wasn’t quite sure how to start a blog so I began with no introduction, somewhat explaining my the battle I was waging with anemia in my first post, but never mentioning the events that really led to the creation of Will Run for Boston.
So today, I want to share that story with you. From the beginning.
I started running in middle school. I desperately wanted to be on a sport team – ideally field hockey – but cross country and track were the only teams that allowed seventh graders. I joined XC figuring that I would run the one year and try out for field hockey the following year. But in that one year of running I fell in love.
I followed running through high school and although I was never wicked fast I made varsity all 4 years and placed well in our league meets and sometimes even at the state level. In my last 5k race of high school I broke 20 minutes for the first time ever! In 19:58.
College was when I really hit my running stride. I worked really hard during the summer before my freshman year and that fall I PR’d in the 5K by over 2 minutes – 17:54! Over the next 4 years I committed myself entirely to my running (while also staying on top of my studies, because those are important too). I had what I consider to be my “break out” during my junior year cross country season. That year I won my first, and only, cross country meet, and ran my all-time 5K PR of 16:50.
The track season that followed started out great. My coach urged me to try the steeplechase again (I had run it freshman year) because he really believed that I had a chance to qualify for the regional meet – so I did.
I injured myself mid-season during a hurdle session (strained glute) but saw a chiropractor for treatment and was able to cross train through it and return to racing two weeks later. However, later on in the season that first, minor injury led to a major one. I was high enough in the rankings to make it to the regional meet when I started to realize that something was not right with my hip. After an awful experience during a 9-mile run I finally went to see a doctor. He ordered an MRI and we soon discovered that I had a stress fracture in my femur. My season was over.
I was unable to run for 3 months and spent my summer waking up at 4am to go to the gym to cross train/weight lift before working a full time internship during the day. I was able to start running again a few weeks before we reported back to school but I clearly had not been able to get in the base mileage that I had the previous couple of years.
My senior year was really difficult for me mentally since I wasn’t able to run anywhere near the times I had been hoping to run. And what made it worse was that my favorite assistant coach, my inspiration and motivator, had left to coach another team. The most discouraging thing that happened during that cross country season was that I placed 25th in the cross country meet that I had won the year before.
I hate to admit it but that year the relationship between my coach and I became very strained. I was upset and angry and the struggles of that year took all the joy out of running for me. I just wanted to be done with college, and even considered quitting the team before track was over. I still thank my parents and Henri for not allowing me to do that, but at the same time at graduation that spring it was liberating to leave all that behind.
Henri and I went backpacking around Europe, during which I didn’t run a single step.
I ran when I wanted, where I wanted, and however far I wanted – I did a lot of running without a watch during that time. The only race I ran in the year after college was the L.A. Marathon, and even that was almost a year later. I didn’t want the pressure of running distances that I had expectations for – like the 5K or any track distances – so the marathon seemed like a great thing to try. As long as I finished I would have something to be proud of. I honestly had a blast during that race and my passion and drive to be a competitive runner was reborn!
Following L.A. I had a few more important things on my mind than training for my next race. Like planning a wedding! 🙂 But I did have a race on the schedule and the day we got home from our honeymoon I began training for the Santa Barbara Marathon. During that training I struggled through a weird foot issue and then the aforementioned anemia. I was in no shape to run a marathon and once again I found myself taking a short break from running. It was during that time in October that my eyes were opened to how much I missed serious training, running races regularly, and the camaraderie that comes with being on a cross country team!
I needed an outlet to talk about my passion for running. A place where I could talk about my training and people would understand. Communication with other runners to inspire and motivate me to work hard an reach my goals. And a platform to be that inspiration and motivation to others.
And so, for all of these reason Will Run for Boston was born! 🙂
A special thank you to all of you who have read my little blog over the past three months. It is because of you that my running has taken on a new meaning! You guys are awesome!
Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!
Did you know yesterday was National PB Day? How did you celebrate?
Why did you start blogging?
What gives you the motivation to run?