I'm a mid-pack runner, who mainly runs for fun. I get bored easily and change my hair color often, so don’t be surprised when I appear with a different look. I'm an environmental scientist, numbers freak, and mommy to the most amazing kiddo on the planet. When I'm not managing the cleanup of toxic chemical spills, I'm juggling running with housework, yard work, being a mom, hanging out with friends, and still waiting on Prince Charming to knock on my door. I've run 4 marathons and countless half-marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, etc. My most memorable event was the inaugural Blue Ridge marathon in Roanoke, VA in April 2010. It’s a good thing I didn’t know the marathon involved running up and down TWO MOUNTAINS beforehand, or I would have never registered and missed out on the most rewarding accomplishment of my running career.
In the Beginning
I started running as a toddler, but didn't we all? I've always been athletic. I played softball as a young girl, since that was the only girl sport option in the tiny town that I grew up in. I tried basketball in 8th grade and totally sucked at it. In high school, I joined the track and cross country teams, for all the wrong reasons... Yes, you guessed it, because of a silly BOY! On a family beach vacation I met a boy that caught my attention... He lived a few counties away from where I did and as luck would have it, Berrien county would be coming to Ben Hill county for a track meet the next spring. (He ran track.) I had never been to a track meet before, but made a point to go to this one so I could see his dreamy self. At the meet, he said that next year the meet would be in Berrien county. Hey, I can run, so guess what? I joined the track team so I could see him next year. Silly reason, right? Well, thoughts of him faded as I fell in love with running. I have many fond memories of running on that high school track; mostly with my real high school boyfriend.
In college, I played intramural sports for fun. I ran in the late hours of the evening for stress relief. I would run for hours to pound out those emotions of anger, stress, fear, etc.
After college I ran on a more regular/routine basis. In 1995, I ran my first race, the Peachtree Road Race 10K, in 1:03:47. In the goodie bag from the race, there was a training plan for a half marathon. Sounded like fun! I like challenges. So I started keeping a log book with the first entry on 7/4 and began following the training plan. I ran my first half marathon on October 21, 1995, and I still have the sweatshirt! It was the "Run the Reagan" half marathon and I completed it in 2:13:18. I ran my second half marathon, "Atlanta Half Marathon", a month later, on Thanksgiving morning, in 2:08:16. I ran numerous races after that, but can't find any of my other log books, so I guess those are going to have to be my PRs.
In 1998, I was thrilled to finally be pregnant and my running mileage decreased. I gained too much weight. For Christmas, my then-husband, bought me a baby jogger stroller. Woo hoo! I was excited to try out this new toy, but was horribly out of shape. It was like starting all over gain. I eventually lost the weight and got back into running again.
My goal of running a marathon by age 30 had been dashed by pregnancy, so I reset my goal to run a marathon by age 40. I wanted it to be a scenic/destination race to really keep me motivated. I decided on the inaugural Sarasota Marathon which was scheduled for March 2006. I created a six-month training plan so I could build up mileage safely. I registered for the race and began training. But as luck would have it... I tore my ACL and meniscus and had to have knee surgery in December 2005. Bummer! So, I called and asked if I could defer my entry until 2007. Unfortunately, it took me longer to recover from knee surgery than I had anticipated. So once again, I deferred until 2008. Training was going well, but in December 2007, I had another minor meniscus tear. My sister had registered to run the Sarasota half marathon with me and I didn't want to totally cancel the trip. After weeks of therapy and recovery, I was able to run again. I decided to switch to the half marathon option and enjoy our sister bonding trip to Florida in March 2008. I ran that race slow, on purpose, to enjoy the scenary and not risk further damage. I totally loved it! So then I decide to go for a fall marathon. My sister had the bug now too. We researched and compared notes. She wanted to run the inaugural Spinx Run Fest marathon in October 2008, in Greenville, SC, because it's not too far of a drive.
I completed my first marathon on October 25, 2008, in Greenville, SC, in 5:27:01. I was so happy and proud! (I started this blog in 2008, so if you'd like to read about my experience of that race, feel free to search through the archive.) I finished my second marathon on October 11, 2009, in Chicago with two awesome friends! I attempted a third one on March 21, 2010 in Wrightsville Beach, NC with my sister (her first marathon), but had to DNF because of illness. I overcame the DNF with a successful Blue Ridge Parkway marathon on April 24, 2010. It was my proudest running moment! So hard, yet so scenic. On November 5, 2011, I finally PR'd in the marathon with a finish 41 minutes faster than my original PR (first marathon). Now I'm bored and floundering with what to strive for next. An ultra? a trail marathon? a triathlon?