If others were to describe me, I am sure one of the first words used would be runner. Funny though, I didn’t start running until my 30’s. Living in Chicago, I was surrounded by so many people running on the lakefront path; both socially and for training. Wanting to be one of the “cool kids” I decided to take advantage of this free option of exercise and try out this running thing. I’m not going to lie, those early weeks, months, years weren’t very pretty. I had no concept of form, and sometimes it wasn’t exactly fun. I kept at it, heck I even ran a few 5k’s and a half marathon. But that all changed when I broke my foot, not by running, but by walking down the street. Being in a cast and crutches for over 4 months, made me realize how much I running had become a part of my life. I missed the lakefront path and I still had dreams…running dreams.
Since then I’ve run 12 marathons, 14 half marathons and over 50 smaller scale running events. I love everything about distance running. This love for the run, grew largely in part to the amazing running community in Chicago. Over the years I have been blessed to be included in so many amazing opportunities, helped lead a women’s run crew, and participated and coordinated some killer running events. However, in the past year or so, something was missing.
As I ran the LA marathon in 2016, it just didn’t feel the same. Halfway through the race, I began to tell myself it was my lack of dedication to this training cycle especially considering I had moved across the country to Los Angeles during the height of my training. As I got closer to the finish line, I still couldn’t find that runners high, or the thrill I had experienced with so many other races. This wasn’t burnout, or anything to do with this race (for the record the LA marathon was one of the best marathon courses I have run) the magic was just gone. I was grasping to find my love the of run that I always could find during the marathon.
After a short recovery break from the LA marathon, I set out to attempt another “cool kids” adventure. Yes, LA has beautiful beachfront, but there are also mountains. Everywhere I turned, people were talking about going for a hike, and being an urban gal I honestly was a bit leery. Much to my surprise, it didn’t take me long to understand the hype. Being in nature, working your butt off hiking some pretty steep inclines (especially for someone from the flatlands of Chicago) is really hard yet incredibly exhilarating. It was there I realized what my struggle with running was. There was a common thread to my running journey…it always involved road races. Boring, road races. Yes, it was time I admit it, road running was boring to me. Yes, there are so many energetic road racing events, and I could work to get faster, set a new PR, etc but the appeal for that challenge was gone. It only took one step on a trail path for me to realize this is where my new adventure awaits.
And so my trail running journey begins. The one thing I know for sure, it’s not going to be easy. Learning how to run on trails with a lot of incline, it seriously like learning to run all over again. I am up for the challenge, the education, the new techniques, building new strength, and immersing myself in a new running community with the best views of nature’s magic as a reward. I’ve hired a coach, committed to a plan and am ready to begin this new adventure.
My hope is that I can share my insight, with truth and honesty as I commit to Run Fierce and Live Fit.