For more than 2 1/2 decades, I’ve used running as a source of therapy. I started running in junior high school as a way of trying to find my place in a time where I felt very OUT of place (who didn’t as a young teen, right?).
From a young age, I never felt like I really ‘belonged’ anywhere, and for most of my teen and adult life I suffered from sometimes, quite severe depression.
In 2007 I hit my WALL in life. That moment where in a marathon you feel you just CAN’T take another step, where it hurts to breathe, and even blinking seems painful….Yes…I was there…and it was scary to say the least.
Yet the love I have for my family came bounding to the forefront, and I knew I had to change, to lift myself up, and to start moving forward.
So I signed up for my first half marathon in September of 2007, with only 8 weeks to train. The San Antonio Rock and Roll half marathon will always hold a special place in my heart.
I could barely run ONE mile without walking, but I was moving…My training brought me a new found respect for running, and re-ignited a fire that had been lying dormant for many years. I would work all day, come home to make dinner and feed my then 8 and 1 year old daughters. As soon as my husband got home from work, I’d pass off the kids, and head out the door to run. And after 8 weeks of hard and grueling training, I completed my first half marathon in 2 hours and 19 minutes. Just typing this recap brings tears to my eyes. THIS choice, to train for a half marathon despite my hardships that I was going through, was life saving.
Since then after retiring from the Air Force in 2011, I have completed several more half marathons (Half Fanatic #3915), and 2 full marathons, with my PR’s being 2:02/4:25 respectively. My favorite race of all time, is the Fox Valley Marathon. The Fox River trails are my home away from home, and also volunteering for this race has made it near and dear to my heart.
My goals for this year are to focus on my half marathon speed, but regardless of the race, you’ll be sure to see me smiling.
Some say running has saved their lives, and I piggy back that sentiment, partially.
Yes. Because for me, MAKING THE CHOICE to run, to train, to race, THAT has saved my life. And this ongoing choice, has made me both stronger, and happier all around.
I don’t run to win races. I run, to keep movin’ forward. #pacesetter @womenraces #keepmovinforward