I started running right before I started college. I always played sports when I was younger: volleyball, basketball and softball. In college I wasn’t going to be playing on any team sports, so I decided to run towards to end of high school. I started running each day, longer and longer. I started racing in local 5Ks and I realized they all gave back. I was going to be a nursing major in college and I decided that I wanted to give back too! I ran my first major race in 2009, a half-marathon! I ran it with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. I raised over $2,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help cancer patients and research further for treatment. After racing with Team in Training I continued to run throughout college, and finished 4 marathons! Once I became a nurse my time became limited, and racing was not a top priority. 5 years after my last marathon and 5 months before our wedding day I decided I wanted to get back to racing.
Running has always been a stress reliever for me and I have always found strength in myself in running. Being a baseball player R was always athletic too, but once we started running together we found a new type of strength in running. We ran a half-marathon 1 month before our wedding and I ran the Vermont Marathon 1 month after, 26.2 miles at the exact age of a 26 years and 2 months. Getting back to running, I have never felt better and to accomplish it with my other half is an amazing feeling! In 2 months we will be running the Disney Marathon– it will be R’s first marathon and our first full marathon together! Going on my 5th marathon there is so much to reflect on– looking back at pictures of past races reminds me of times in my life and how running has really given me strength and drive through life’s challenges. Running is really so great for your mind, body and spirit, I am thankful it is something we are able to do together. In remembering years of competitive sports growing up there is one quote that reminds me of how wonderful running really is:
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger
So, while we may not be the fastest and running may not be the easiest, looking back on our accomplishments has taught me how strong we really are and can be. Running 26.2 miles is easy once you dig deep for strength in your mind and body. Anything is possible!