Monday, September 26, 2016

Raindrops and Running Shoes

It’s a cool, crisp Autumn afternoon.  The rain is falling in misty sheets onto multi-colored leaves with a soothing “pat pat pat”.  Few people are outside at all, and those who are have umbrellas up or raincoat hoods on or purses held over their heads for cover.  But wait!  Who is that fool out there on the trail, splashing through the puddles and smiling in her wet running shoes?  Why, it’s me of course!!

The chilly rain of Autumn is my very favorite weather to run in, but it is most certainly not the only time I run.  I started running for the first time in my life a little over 4 and a half years ago, and since then I’ve been running pretty much non-stop (aaaaand cue the song now because my brain has been working almost entirely in Hamilton lyrics lately!). 

It wasn't an easy road to get where I am now, but it was unquestionably an entertaining, inspirational, and worthwhile one.  It all started in January of 2012 with a couple of friends at work and a life-changing staff meeting (probably the only time I'll ever be able to describe a staff meeting in that way).  Our principal was announcing the details of that year’s ‘5k for Fitness’… a 3.1 mile race in which school district staff, parents, and even students could run, walk, crawl, hop, or roll their way across the finish line to raise money for their schools.  A friend/co-worker of mine sitting in front of me twisted around and said “You’re doing it, right?”  I laughed (quietly of course, we were still in the staff meeting after all) and nodded an emphatic ‘no’.  Good grief, didn’t she know that running was the equivalent of my own personal He--?!?  Her reply: “You’re doing it… right?”  Hmmm… she wasn’t going to give up on this, was she?  “Ok, we’ll see.”  There.  That was ambiguous enough to appease her and still back out of it later right?!?

Well call it tenacity, fortitude, determination, or whatever you want, but it’s virtually impossible for me to back down from a challenge.  So after 3 ½ months of training with a few incredibly wonderful (and exceedingly patient) friends, I finished my first 5k race.  And I never looked back.  So that brings me to this blog.  In the nearly 5 years I’ve been running now I’ve completed countless 5ks, 1 10k, 3 mud runs, 1 Krispy Kreme Challenge, 7 half marathons, and half of one full marathon (more on that another time).  I’ve run in Wrightsville Beach, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, and the happiest place on Earth- Disney World!  I’ve learned a lot about running and what works for me including hydration, running belts, fuel and nutrition, shoes, music, training ideas, fartleks (yes, that’s a real running term and yes, it’s ok to chuckle when you say it out loud), and the fact that Sparkle Skirts make me run faster.  I swear those sequins are aerodynamic or something.  NASA needs to get in on that! 

My goal with this blog is to share everything I’ve learned about running, race recaps, helpful tips, and inspiration for everyone who ever has or hopefully will take up running, stick with it, and learn to love it as much as I do.  Happy Fall and happy running!!

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