It’s no secret running is a big part of my life. Back in 2000, I allowed my friends to peer pressure me into joining the high school cross country team. At that time, my high school’s varsity team had won six consecutive state titles. The junior varsity team had more than 100 members. A member of the girls’ cross country team had been named homecoming queen more times than any other sport. Cross country at many schools is a smaller, often-forgotten sport. Not so at my high school.
I wish I could say I found my love for running as a high school runner, that I ran in state meets, that I helped my team win championships, and that colleges came knocking at my door for my athletic abilities.
I could say those things… but none would be true. While I stuck with the team all four years, I never excelled at running cross country. Call me a back-of-the-packer. A slacker. Someone with wasted potential. Whatever you call me, I have already called myself. Cross country running and I just didn’t click back in the early 2000s. Instead, I performed much stronger in the 400-meter, earning a varsity letter my freshman year and making it to the district or regional meet every year.
Given my much better experience with shorter distances in track, I figured I’d never be a long-distance runner. I spent four years suffering through 6-mile runs during cross country season and figured anything further than that would, quite simply, kill me.
Through college, I’d lace up my running shoes and knock out a couple miles here and there, but I didn’t run any races. Nor did I feel compelled to do so.
When I graduated and moved to D.C., I struggled to fit exercise into my busy schedule. At the urging of my boyfriend, I began running again in 2009. For six months, I committed to running 3-4 times per week. I ran one race in November. I did okay. Then, I stopped running. In 2010, I tried again. This time, my commitment stuck around for about nine months. Then, again, it faltered. When January 2011 rolled around, I decided to be as dedicated to running as I am to other areas of my life. My best friend encouraged me to sign up for a race in April – a 10K in Charleston, SC. I made a training schedule and stuck to it. When I crossed that finish line, I knew I’d found room for a new hobby in my life… long-distance running.
I ran a few more races in 2011, including the Army 10-miler, and became involved with a nonprofit organization called Girls on the Run that instills young girls with healthy values (both physical and emotional).
Now, running is more than a hobby. It is my passion. Through running, I have gained self-confidence, independence, sanity, and – best of all – friends.
A lot of people ask me what races I have/plan to run or what gear I use so I made this page to answer those questions. Visit the links below for more information: