I have always loved to work out. I was a competitive tennis player in high school and my coaches always stressed the importance of cross-training and conditioning. I love the game of tennis, but I always loved the conditioning a little more. Then I went to college. I stopped playing tennis and moving basically. (That is a lie, I actually moved very quickly to the keg, cafeteria line and self-serve ice cream bar in the dorm.) I successfully put on the Freshman 15 or really more like 20. I think I topped at 150 by the time I was 19 years old. The summer after my freshman year, I lost most of the weight, but maintained my fighting weight of 130-135 throughout my college career by sporadically working out and eating/drinking a lot of comfort food. (I still dream about Mad Mushroom cheese sticks dipped in ranch dressing. Yum.) Even though I was chubby, and my self-body image was pretty low - those years were sooooo fun. I have never laughed or loved so much or so hard.
After college, it was much easier to control what I ate and drank and I pretty effortlessly dropped 10 pounds and could maintain 120 -125 without too much struggle. There were no bad influences around me. Ha. Some may argue I was the bad influence, but whatever :-) I was able to maintain a fitness routine which consisted of a little running, the dreaded Stairmaster, bike and some weights. Then around age 25, when I moved to Cleveland, I started running a little more and began thinking about running a marathon before I turned 30. I was running 2-3 races per year, but nothing serious. I don’t know what is was about a certain day in February 2005, but I was running on the treadmill in Rocky River and decided I was going to train for the Cleveland ½ Marathon in May 2005 and then depending on how that went, I would continue my training and run the Chicago 2005 Marathon. Over those 8 months of training, I fell in love with the sport. I went on to run the ScotiaBank Marathon in Toronto in September 2006; San Diego Marathon in June 2007 and then the Las Vegas Marathon in December 2007. I took a break from marathons for a while after that. Life got crazy and there were a few bumps in the road. I continued running though, doing smaller/shorter distance races, maintaining my 9:30-10 minute per mile pace.
By February 2010, I was ready to start training again and signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon which would take place October 31, 2010. I invested in a Garmin Forerunner 210 to help my training efforts and was shocked with how fast I could really run if I put some effort into it. I broke every PR (personal record) in every race I did in 2010 – including a 3:39:45 at the Marine Corps Marathon which qualified me for the Boston Marathon. 2010 was a great running year for me. I feel stronger, healthier and better than I ever have. Depending on what my training schedule is like, I maintain my weight at 110-115. Once I start putting in over 40 mile weeks, it gets hard for me to maintain the 110 - just have to concentrate on eating more.
So, now I get to purpose of this blog. Running is part of who I am. Running keeps me sane. It has saved me in every way a person can be saved. It exposes all of my weaknesses and helps me become stronger – mentally and physically. The original intent of this blog was to document my experience training for the JFK 50 Mile Race...now it’s all about the journey for me.