. . . About . . .


In the beginning
I joined cross-country in 7th grade.  I was not the fastest in my class, but I was alright.  I continued on when I went to high school.  In an even larger and experienced team I was less then mediocre.  It was not until a few races in that I realized, I was not terrible it was just that my 2000+ student school held so much talent that I got lost in the pack.  At any other school I would have probably been on the varsity team.  

My first day of high school cross country my coach looked at me and then asked my name.  The first thing out of his mouth was, "Are you related to DJ?"

"Yes, he's my brother."

And yes, my brother was a cross-country legend.  He was one of the top runners in the state.  Ten years older then me, he would swing me on his shoulders after he won a race.  I adored him.

Unfortunately, in high school I could not live up to his standards.  Coach quickly learned that I did not have DJ's raw talent.  He would put a bit of a fuss when I would miss cc meets to go to debate tournaments instead.  But only a little fuss.


Fell off the wagon 

In college I went away from running.  I missed it, but replaced it with other interests.  The freshman 15 became the sophomore 30.  

I was content, but I wanted to be happier.  My first post-college job took me out of state.  On my own in a new large city, in a new job I tried finding contentment.  

My efficiency apartment was on a beautiful historic boulevard.  One weekend in early spring the street was closed off for a marathon.  Two of my office mates were running the race, although they were joking about it more then training for it.  I sat in my lawn and cheered them on as they ran down one side of the boulevard.  They never even finished the race.

The epiphany 
But seeing all of the runners made me feel a little nostalgic.  I went back into my apartment and dug through my tiny closet to pull my old workout clothes.  That night I jogged around the block following a part of the marathon route.

I year later I received a job offer back near my hometown.  Excited to be with my family, I moved back.  It was during this time I decided that I wanted to add another item to my bucket list: complete a full marathon.

The First Half

For my first half marathon, I had a running buddy and we trained together.  She was not a runner, but I knew enough about training that I was able to muddle us through the race. Mind you, I am built more like a mule then a cheetah. So while my plan was not to necessarily make us the fastest runners in the race, I did plan on us at least finishing the darn thing.  The moment I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted to cross that line again and again.

It was nice to have someone to talk to and pass along the miles. We even went out and bought matching bright pink running shirts and black shorts.

Yes, we were those girls.

The girls who probably spent more on gear then the seasoned runners. We would look good while running, but choke on the dust of everyone passing by. But we were in it together

My running buddy and I did run the whole half marathon together and finished with matching times to coordinate with our matching Pepto-Bismol pink shirts. Tired and chaffing, we crossed the line with our hands joined and thrust into the air. Together we shuffled through the chute and received our finisher medals. We allowed ourselves to be herded like cattle with the other runners to the food lines where we proceeded to gorge ourselves on Keebler cookies and fruit.

We proceeded to take several dozen photos posing with said metals and to later proclaim or victories on facebook. I arrived home some time later and immediately collapsed on the couch.

Still wearing my metal of course. That thing was awesome. And shiny. A girl likes to have her bling.

Fox Cities Half Marathon Finisher Metal

Lessons Learned

The thing I learned from that half marathon is that I am a lone wolf. As much as I enjoyed the comradeship of my cross-country team in high school, and a running partner for training, to me running has become something of an individual journey. The balance between finding encouragement from others and finding the motivation to do it on my own has been difficult.

So in a way this blog is really just a therapeutic outlet for me. I have some personal fitness goals, as well as some purely personal goals and I need something to keep me accountable. I doubt anyone would find this in cyber space and want to read it on a regular basis.

But if you are, I guess, umm, welcome?

I am not fast. I am not strong. And if I am being brutally honest I am slightly overweight. Okay, moderately overweight, but I am keeping the scale number to myself, thank you very much.

But I am built like a mule, so will continue on strong.

And continue to wear the Pepto-Bismo pink shirt. The darn thing is so hideously bright cars swerve to avoid hitting me.

What can I say, this mule likes the attention.