Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why I Run

I've been wanting to start a blog for quite some time, and what better time is there to start something than at the beginning of a new year?

Since I'll mainly be using this blog to ramble about running, I figure I should give some background about how I came to call myself a "runner."

I've been running since I joined my school's cross-country team in the sixth grade. I went out for the sport every year until I graduated high school, save for my sophomore year. I was a four-sport athlete in high school, but cross-country was never the most important to me- I  mainly used it as a tool to get in shape for the other sports I played. Running was always on the back burner.

After I graduated high school, I didn't run much in the years that followed. In fact, I didn't take care of myself very well the first three years of college. Sure, I ran off and on, but exercise wasn't exactly my priority.

In October of '09, during my senior year of college, we found out that my Grandma had stage IV breast cancer, and she was given less than two weeks to live. I was able to fly home during fall break to spend time with her, and was lucky enough to be able to see her again in December when I went home for Christmas break. We said our good-byes when I flew back to school in January, as we both knew the likelihood of her surviving was slim. I will always cherish those last days I got to spend with her.

In March 2010, my mom called me to let me know my Grandma's health had taken a turn for the worst, and on March 15th, she passed away. I was a senior in college, taking 18 credits my final semester, and trying to keep my grades up so that I could graduate magna cum laude. Grandma would not want me to dwell on this, I was sure of it. But I had all these feelings bottled up inside of me, and I had no idea what to do with them. So although I hadn't in awhile, I decided to run.

I ran 5 miles.

It was completely exhilarating. I had never viewed running in such a positive light. In high school, it was almost something I suffered through. Since I told my Grandma about how I wanted to run a half-marathon one day, I decided to register for one in May. Over the next couple months, I fell in love with running. Not just the activity itself, but how I felt while running and after I was done running. It brought a whole new meaning to "runner's high" for me.

I've since run two more half-marathons, and various other races. However, with finishing my graduate certificate, planning my wedding, starting a new job, and getting married, I haven't run quite as consistently over the last year and half as I would have liked.

But it's a new year! So here are my running resolutions for 2012:

1. Run a sub-24:00 5k (something I haven't done since high school)
2. Run a sub-50:00 10k (PR is 53:35)
3. Run a sub-1:52 half-marathon (PR is 1:57:54)
4. Run my first marathon!
5. Run 1,000 miles in 2012

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