All right, here it is…my first running blog entry. Everyone has a running blog, so what makes mine different? Absolutely nothing, actually. You’re probably just reading this because you know me. If not, maybe you should know a little about me before we get started. I’m just a regular person, not a superstar athlete, not particularly competitive, more interested in books and travel and entertainment than sports. But to date I have run 7 full marathons (26.2 miles) and 7 half marathons (13.1), and numerous other races (5K, 10K, 8K, 15K, 4 miler, 5 miler and 10 miler distances) since I started running in 2004. That will seem like a lot of races to some of you, but not so many to others.
I was a reluctant runner. I did a mile on the treadmill only when I had to (read: when a trainer made me do it). But in the summer of 2004 I found that I had a little more time on my hands, and I received a mailing from a charity marathon training group. Normally, I would have chucked it in the trash, but something about it called to me… “Run a marathon in New Orleans” (I’d never been)… “You’ll make new friends” (OK)… “Even if you don’t currently run, we can train YOU to complete a marathon” (really? prove it)… And so it was. My first two marathons:
|Start of the 2005 Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans - I'm toward the bottom, just right of center, wearing a blue poncho, showing you the back of my red head of hair|
|2005 Dublin Marathon: drinking a pre-race Guinness at the Guinness Sky Bar after the tour|
Then I thought that maybe I was done. I had crossed “THE MARATHON” off the life list – twice. More than most people even think to do. Yet, 2006 came and my dad was fighting cancer. I thought that I would run the Columbus, Ohio Marathon at home where he might be able to cheer me on, as he hadn’t been able to travel to New Orleans or Dublin. The Columbus Marathon ended up as a tribute to my dad, who I’d lost three months prior. It was the most emotional race, but also my PR. That’s “personal record” or best time for those of you newbies.
My fourth marathon was the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC only one week after Columbus! This was the first indication that I would become running-crazy. I had no business running Marine Corps as I was injured with plantar fasciitis (cortisone shots got me through the Columbus Marathon) and had just put 26.2 miles of additional stress on my feet and legs. But, I was registered, I was caught up in the excitement, so I did it.
Then less than two months later I ran my first half marathon, the 2006 St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon, where my mom and stepfather got to cheer me on.
|My 2006 Columbus Marathon bib (I can't believe I have no good photos)|
|2006 Marine Corps Marathon - my pace group before the race (I'm in the center red cap with eyes closed)|
|2006 St. Jude Memphis Half - with my mom at the Peabody post race|
And then I stopped. I was injury laden and worn out and stopped running, period. But not forever, as you’ll learn in future blog entries…