Today I write with tired eyes and sore legs. My sister Emma, Kevin, and I ran the Newport Half Marathon yesterday! It was my fourth half marathon and Emma’s first (go Emma!), and it was the most beautiful race I’ve done to date. We will definitely be back next year!
If you had told my high school self that I would someday run 4 half marathons and the NYC marathon I probably would have laughed or ran away in fear. I HAAATED running. I hated most physical activity that wasn’t dancing to Britney Spears in my bedroom, making bizarre music videos with my friends, or heating up corndogs in the microwave after school. I’m not a natural runner or athlete, and I would dread the day we had to run “the mile” in gym class like the plague. When I went to college, I started going to the gym with my friend Hayley more as a social thing at first, but eventually it turned into more of an obsession. I went through a bit of an identity crisis in college, trying to find my place within the vast and structure-less NYU (and NYC), and this anxiety manifested itself through my exercise and eating habits. These were things I could control; how I fit in to the millions of people in NYC as an 18-year-old was not (at least that’s how it felt at the time). So even though I was working out and watching my diet constantly, I still HAAATED working out. It was something I had to do. Calories in, calories out. There’s nothing enjoyable about that.
It wasn’t until I started doing road races through New York Road Runners after college that my mentality with running and working out started to change. With races, I felt like I was running towards a goal, not just running to burn calories. Also, the time I would spend alone, pounding the pavement, started to act as therapy for me. Running became a release. For 30 minutes or an hour (or 3+ when training for the marathon!), I could think about all the crazy things that go through my head, uninterrupted, and not be judged. Not to mention how great it feels when you finish a run. Endorphins are a real thing!
Now several years and miles later, I can’t imagine my life without running. Sure there are days when I don’t want to do it, or days when I don’t do it and then usually feel worse that I didn’t just go out, but I think that’s just part of the love-hate relationship everyone has with running. It is not an easy or fun thing to do. It takes discipline and hard work, but if you stick to do it, I promise you will feel the rewards (both mentally and physically). I know that’s a lot easier said than done, so I’ll also be sharing some of my running tips, favorite gear, and experiences on this blog. I mean, we’ve got to do something to offset the Salted Caramel Cookie Bars and Spicy Cocktail Meatballs we’re making over here, right?!