Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
My relationship with running is a roller coaster. I started running in high school as a way to lose weight and to give myself a challenge. The summer after joining track, my friend and I became addicted and would run in the mornings and at night after work. It worked-I lost a lot of weight that summer (about 30 pounds). In college I kept running more because it was something that I had to do not something that I really wanted to do. I ran to keep up with my PT for the Air Force and to try to keep those college el bees in check (late night food and unhealthy choices caused the weight to slowly return). After I graduated and moved to Chicago, I signed up for my first ever race. I needed something to distract me: I was in a new city 2 hours away from home and my then boyfriend (now husband) was getting ready to deploy for 6 months. I needed something to keep my mind off of that-so I ran. And I loved the freedom that it gave me. It was my time think about everything or nothing at all. It also made me fall in love with Chicago. It’s by far my favorite place to run. Now I run because I just love it. I love the way it makes me feel and that it’s time out of my day that I devote just to myself.
2011 Lake Country 1/2 Marathon- Oconomowoc, WI. 2:25:37. Another 1/2 marathon ran on a whim. You thought I would’ve learned the first time. I was over at my best friend’s house one day and she told me that she was training for her first 1/2 marathon and talked me into running it with her. I had already missed out on a few weeks of training and I was still feeling the effects of an ankle sprain that I had suffered from 4 months prior. I probably should’ve sat this one out, but I wanted to keep myself in shape after our wedding, so I ran it anyway. I was not prepared, not mentally or physically. I remember laying in bed the morning of and hearing the thunderstorm outside. I prayed that they would cancel the race so that I wouldn’t have to run it. That was a first for me and from that day on I promised myself that I would never run that long of a distance without being prepared first. I woke up and ran it and did better than I thought I would. Still…the itch is there: I know I can do better. I can run faster.
2010 Haunted Hustle 1/2 Marathon (PR)- Middleton, WI. 2:25:26. The race to redeem myself. I knew that after running my first 1/2 marathon that I could do better. I could run faster. I decided to run with a friend of mine who was running a 1/2 for the first time. This time I followed a training program and I improved my time drastically. It was a tough course. I wasn’t used to the hills (Chicago is very flat for running) and I was used to having lots of scenery. This was my first time running in rural Wisconsin and I realize that I like having things to distract me when I’m running. There’s nothing like the energy that comes from the crowd cheering you on in a big city race.
2010 Chicago Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon – 3:12:02. My first ever 1/2 marathon. The 2nd race I ran with my sister. I underestimated the importance of following a training plan-I can tell by my time and the fact that my whole body felt like it was hit by a truck the next day. The heat was pretty bad and volunteers were passing out ice cold sponges toward the end of the race. Melissa and I kept pace with each until about mile 6 and then she urged me to go ahead without her. I ran by myself for a few miles and at the mile 10 marker I decided to wait and run the rest with her. I waited and waited. Finally, when I didn’t see her, I went ahead without her. Just as I was crossing the finish line, I saw the back of a very familiar head: it was Melissa, just steps in front of me! We high-fived and hugs each other as we both finished our first 1/2 marathon.
2010 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k (PR) - 53:42. The race I bought my Garmin for. I trained for this when I was stationed in Biloxi MS for tech school training. I persuaded my sister to sign up with me and together we completed our first race together. We woke up that morning to sleet & snow, looked at each other, shrugged and went ahead and did it anyway. Afterward, we treated ourselves to brunch at Orange.
2009 Turkey Trot 8K - 55:34. LC and I ran this race in Lincoln Park, one of my favorite spots to run in Chicago. It was the first race that we’ve ever done together and it was right before I spent my first Thanksgiving ever with his family. This was by far one of my favorite races.
2008 Nike Human Race 10k - 1:08:22. My first race ever. I had just moved to Chicago the a few months before. LC was being shipped off to Afghanistan and I was all alone in a new city, 2 hours away from my family and friends. I signed up for this race as a distraction and something to do in my free time. It ended up being a wondering distraction and the beginning of a hobby that I love.