As you may have guessed, I love to run. It's been a passion of mine since I was in middle school and it got me through some pretty tough times during high school. I had to give it up after graduation and it killed me. When I started college in my mid-twenties (yes I was a late bloomer) I felt the urge to take it up again. I'm still not sure if it was the stress of school or the fact that I drank like a fish but, I knew I needed a better outlet. So, after almost 7 years of doing absolutely NOTHING physically active in all that time, I started from scratch.
I found myself searching for running programs that could get me back into shape. I stumbled upon a vlogger on YouTube who suggested the Couch 2 5K program. It offered a structured running schedule that focused on a run/walk system to build endurance and even an app for my iphone that would tell me when to run/walk. Perfect! I started right away and after only a few months, I ran my first 5k. I was so excited! I got the whole family involved and they ran the 1 mile fun run with me before my 5k. The kids especially loved it because they served pizza after the race.
Enter the Hal Higdon Training Program
Finish time 2:36:50. I seriously thought I was a rock star.
Finish time 2:10:04, I was making progress!
Things went so well that year that I thought I should branch out and explore ways to cross train.
I had no idea that I would fall in love so quickly! I finished the half marathon in March and by October was I gearing up for my first sprint distance triathlon. What they didn't tell me was that triathlon is one hell of an expensive sport! One thing you need to know about me, is that I'm a bargin shopper and some might even call me down right CHEAP! I purchased a road bike online for right around $300, bought a walmart one-piece swim suit and helmet for about $30 total, and found padded bike shorts at a local discount store for around $20. I didn't even have bike shoes. I was a hot mess! Soooo out of place! I tried to look professional though.
Im not even sure my finish time. The bike killed me. I was grateful I finished under 2 hours.
I continued this race pattern into the next year running one half marathon in spring (the same race series) and one sprint distance triathlon in the fall. In the summer of 2013 I turned 30 and felt the need to do something awesome....wonder why?! There was a race that summer that fell right on my birthday so, I signed up for my first open water triathlon and the only international distance race offered in my local area. I was a HORRIBLE swimmer though! Up until this point I was swimming 50m freestyle, 50m back stroke just to get me through the swims. I cant even begin to tell you how unprepared I was for this race. I chickened out and did the sprint distance at the last minute and I'm so glad I did. My husband actually thought I drowned in that race because I was THE LAST person out of the water.
It was an amazing feeling to finish. I felt 21 again but without the hangover hahaha
So that brings us to 2014. I ran the same race I run ever year in March, the Rock and Roll Half. I think its going to be a tradition. I would have finished in under 2 hours too but I woke up late and almost missed the race all together. Who does that?! I didn't get much time to stretch or go tinkle and I actually had to stop around mile 6 to take a potty break. That was at least 10-15 minutes. My splits the last half of the race were sub 9 minutes so I'm confident I made a huge progress over the last year.
**Note to self: pee BEFORE your race.
Finish time 2:08:22
Every year I work on improving my time and now I'm focusing on increasing my distance. Running is my life and triathlon has become a love affair of it's own. I don't see myself slowing down anytime soon. 2015 I trained for my first full marathon but fell short when the race was canceled due to weather and I was injured. Every year I set higher goals, aim for longer distances, and faster times. Running is something I hold very near and dear to my heart. It keeps me sane and brings joy to my life. Every day I get out there an run, my children are watching me. Learning. I never give up and I keep pushing on; not just for myself but for them as well.