When I was younger I had severe Asthma and was unable to run. I was hospitalized several times in my youth and once even had a needle shoved in my chest, ala Pulp Fiction, to inject me with medicine to help me breathe. Even up through graduation of high school I wasn’t even able to run a mile on the track. I took up weight lifting because I was naturally built for it and it didn’t require much cardiovascular endurance.
About 9 years ago a good friend of mine was going through a divorce and she started taking stock of everything in her life and decided she wasn’t happy with a lot of it. She started working out and I started to run with her in the evenings. To my surprise, I realized that unless it was really hot and humid or really cold my Asthma was pretty well under control and I was able to run. We trained for a few months and together with her daughter we finished a 5k. I even won an age group spot. However, I had taken the place of another friend whose name is Kyle and they mistakenly put me as Kylie so I won 2nd place in the girls 19-24 category, but hey it was still exciting…until I gave the award back.
In 2009, I got married to a wonderful women who devotes a majority of her free time to roller derby and I decided I should expand upon my hobby and completed my first half marathon that May. Since then I’ve completed 14 half marathons and 4 fulls including the 2010 Goofy Challenge. I’ve started trail running in the last year or so and have completed a few 15 and 25k trail races and am preparing for my first 50k in October. Also, I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the Active Ambassador program and represent Team ReGen last year and am proud to be part of 2012 Team Aquaphor.
Basically, I started running to help a friend, but continued running because I gained a vast number of new friendships and developed a sense of accomplishment. There have been some struggles and I’ll probably never be a podium finisher or age grouper, but I wouldn’t trade any of the time I’ve spent training or racing for anything.
If I could give any advice to beginning runners, it would be to not worry about time or how other people tell you you should be progressing. Sit back and enjoy the ride and get the most out of every time you lace up.
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