Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Running Story

I've been meaning to sit down and write this post since I changed my blog name to Enjoying the Course at the beginning of 2012. No real reason why I never took the time, but no more excuses. :)

Have I always been a runner? Well, no. I wouldn't go that far, but I would say that my running story does go back to my high school days.

I wasn't what you would call athletic growing up. I didn't run cross country. I wasn't on the track team. No, I was much more interested in staying indoors and reading or watching TV or just hanging out with my mom or siblings.

Still, every now and again, I'd get the running bug. I'd come up with a plan to go running in the mornings before school. I'm not sure what my motivation was. It definitely wasn't to lose weight. Maybe just to be healthy and active??

Sometimes, I'd be successful in dragging my little sister out with me, but more often it would just be myself.

Best guess at my typical before school route. Thank you, Google maps!

These little running bugs never lasted long. A day or two. Perhaps a week. And then that snooze button would win.

When I went off to college, it was more of the same, but at least I had some friends who I'd go running with. Actually, I think it was more me going with them.

Even then, I never would have considered myself a runner. I was far too inconsistent.

2001 rolled around, and I probably hadn't run in years. I'd gotten chubby enough that I really didn't like that image staring back at me in the mirror. Truth be told, I was just about 5 or so lbs heavier than I am now. Oh, how my perspective of fat has changed!

So, I started running. It wasn't much, and it still wasn't all that consistent. But it was another start.

In May 2001, I moved back to MN. The move was kind of stressful, and running was once again put on the back burner.

I can't remember whose idea it was, but my sister and I signed up for our first 5k in Aug 2001. I can't remember the name of it, but Avon was the sponsor, and it was a women's only event. The problem was that it was the morning after my 24th birthday. Let's just say I was a tad hungover (my sister, too, maybe) and untrained. Yeah. We walked that entire 5k, but we had so much fun!

My first 5k
One of my sister's kids took this pic - barely getting us in the frame. :)

Early in 2002, we I got the crazy idea that we should do a marathon. I somehow convinced my older sister to sign up with me. We joined Team Diabetes and were excited to run our first marathon before I turned 25 (and she turned 30) in HAWAII!

Unfortunately, the fundraising goals were too steep for us. We pulled out of the program, and opted to run the Twin Cities Marathon instead. We wouldn't make it before our birthdays - but very shortly after.

We trained mostly individually; sometimes we'd meet for a long run. I don't really feel like I trained properly or consistently. I skipped runs when I just wasn't feeling it. I went into the marathon excited, but not feeling super confident.

I'm not going to do a full recap, but I finished in 4:49:58. I was definitely glad to be finished. My sister finished in 5:40:58, and we agreed that we'd be one and done for the marathon.

Until the following spring when we received a flyer in the mail about the 2003 marathon.

Somehow we decided to give it another whirl.

My 2nd marathon was a bit faster (chip time - 4:47:34), but not any easier. I was definitely DONE when I crossed that finish line.

Crossing the finish line of my 2nd marathon
Crossing the finish line of my 2nd marathon.

And then life got super busy. So busy in fact that other than a 5k in Oct, I really didn't run again until Oct 2004 - more than a year later - when I ran/walked a 5k with my family.

I got married in Dec 2004.

And somehow convinced my husband to run a 5k with my family in February. In Minnesota. Must have been that newlywed love. ;)

Those two 5ks, spread months apart, still didn't manage to kick-start my running bug again.

We moved to NYC the following fall, and I truly regret not starting running again while I was there. I did try to run a few times in the spring of 2006, but that's about when my shins started giving me huge issues.

I never thought I'd be able to run again.

The summer of 2006 brought a move to Oregon, and I was determined to get past the shin pain. I started running/walking 3x a week. We were living with my mother-in-law, who had a small dog who became my running partner.

The following summer, we found ourselves back in Minnesota - land of the running.

Despite the continual shin pain, I signed up for my favorite 5k - the Torchlight. I think I just really love running in downtown Minneapolis. My shins still hurt during this race, but it was still lots of fun running it with my friend, Marla.

Powering through a fun, but painful, 5k
Powering through a fun, but painful, 5k

After this race, I really never thought I'd be able to run again. My shins were just always in too much pain, but in July 2009, I decided that I would at least start walking - good for me, good for Sallie. That lasted about a month or so.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but one day, I found myself able to run again. No shin pain. I wish I knew exactly what it was that helped the chronic pain go away, but I'm not complaining.

By the summer of 2010, I was running again, pretty regularly. I even ran my favorite race again that summer, the Torchlight 5k.

April 2011, I joined DailyMile, and my running became even more consistent.

Jan 2012, I changed my blog to Enjoying the Course - because I wanted to focus more on blogging about running and fitness.

I also registered to run Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in June 2012. It would've been my 3rd marathon, but our plans changed, and we decided to move to Belize (but ended up in Vegas).

Jan 2013, I set a goal to run a sub-25:00 min 5K.

July 2013, I decided to postpone my sub-25:00 min 5K and instead begin training for my 3rd marathon. Again.

This time there will be no excuses. Katie from From Ice Cream to Marathon is even flying in to run it as well. I'm super excited!!

So, that's basically my running story. So far.

Deep down inside, I guess I've always been a runner. Even when I didn't know it. Even when I couldn't. In my heart, I always wanted to run.

Deep down inside, I guess I've always been a runner. Even when I didn't know it. Even when I couldn't. In my heart, I always wanted to run.

What's your running story?

Other ways to follow Enjoying the Course:
Twitter → @EnjoytheCourse
Facebook → EnjoyingtheCourse
Instagram → enjoyingthecourse
Pinterest → clarindad

Twitter → @EnjoytheCourse
Instagram → enjoyingthecourse
Facebook → EnjoyingtheCourse
Google+ → Enjoying the Course
Pinterest → clarindad


  1. I loved reading your running story! I didn't realize you had moved so much! I'm glad your shin pain finally went away.
    I can't wait to run our marathon!!

  2. That is a good running story! I think most people start out with the running, then not running, then running again. I am definitely guilty of that.

  3. What a neat story about how you got to where you are today with running!

  4. Always kind of cool to hear another runner's story. So far, all I've run is a handful of 5k races and can't possibly imagine doing a marathon EVER so I think you're doing awesomely! Would be interested in knowing how your running life's changed, given the move from a cold weather state to a warm one. Enjoyed the post!

  5. I loved this story! your motivation is inspiring. I love cycling and I'm wanting to incorporate other forms of exercise into my lifestyle too.