My passion for running started with a text message from my sister in the summer of 2014.
“The Disney Princess Half Marathon is on your birthday next year.”
My first response to this was, “Okay, but we don’t run.” She then proceeded to say, “But we could run…and it would be fun…and it’s on your 25th birthday.” Easily convinced, I agreed and began researching when and how to sign up for a runDisney race.
You see, running was always my sport’s punishment. During volleyball season, my coach would make us run sprints down the court when we made errors during a game. Four months later during soccer, my coach would require us to run a mile to build up endurance. As I said before, running was a punishment. It was a means to an end, so you can understand why I mildly annoyed by lacing up my running shoes and why I desperately sought something to distract me from the monotonous motion of putting one foot in front of the other.
Training for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon began in November. Prior to this, I used the Coach to 5K app to ease me into the habit of exercising. I would check in with my sister to make sure she was running her miles since we were both registered and making plans about our running costumes. Then everything changed on Thanksgiving.
We were sitting at my Meme’s dining room table when she began cry inconsolably over the lack of sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner. This emotional breakdown paired with the harsh phone call she made earlier in the day about absolutely need cranberry sauce got me thinking. I exchanged looks with my brother-in-law then my mom and I cornered her in the kitchen as she went back for seconds. As I suspected, she was pregnant. I felt immediate joy and disappointment. I was thrilled to meet my future nephew/niece, but I was disappointed that she would have to defer her registration to 2016.
Fast forward to December-February, I was regularly logging miles on the treadmill at Planet Fitness. It was boring and painful. Using the Nike+ app was great because it held me accountable, but I was slacking a little bit. I had decided I would just finish this race then give up on running. Then two things happened: I found a local running club and my then-boyfriend made a snide comment about how I would have to keep running to keep up with how much food I was eating.
So I broke up with my boyfriend, and I laced up my shoes and ran with the run club on Valentine’s Day (the weekend before my race). I remember being so impressed by how everyone was running 6 miles in the freezing cold and chatting like it was nothing. Since that run, and earning my first half-marathon medal, I have been hooked.
I’ve completed 4 half-marathons and my first anniversary with run club is coming up shortly. I’ve put 978 miles on three pairs of Asics and I’ve joined two incredible virtual run communities (which I’ll talk about later). Who knew putting one foot in front of the other would lead me to running 5 times a week and encouraging my friends and family to run races with me?!