As an athlete (and a girl who always wanted to be skinny!), I have always loved to run and workout, but never really did much racing or competing. We did a lot of running in college for training and I always enjoyed it and was one of the stronger long distance runners on the team. I was by no means fast, but softball is an explosive sport so most of my teammates didn’t care to go much further than home to first base!
About a year after college I did my first race, a 5k with my boyfriend’s (at-the-time) sister. I think I ran it in about 24:00 minutes and LOVED racing. For no good reason, after that I never really raced, other than a corporate 5k in Miami, where I didn’t even know my time. I still ran consistently but it seemed like I could never run further or faster no matter how much I ran.
In 2008, I moved to Hamburg, Germany for work and my running started to change. Before I made friends there, I was bored and since I lived right on an amazing packed dirt running trail, I started running more to occupy my time. I don’t think I got much faster, but I started to try to run further at least once a week.
In the spring of 2008, about the time I got up to around 8 miles, I made plans to go to a great friend’s bachelorette party in Nashville. As part of the party, the girls were running the Country Music 1/2 Marathon! Crazy? Yes, but it was a blast! I didn’t train for the race other than my usual 4-8 mile runs, but we took it easy and enjoyed
jello shots the experience while we ran and ended up finishing in just over 2:30. The fun during the race and the feeling at the finish got me hooked on long distance running and racing!!
Shortly after the half in Nashville, I moved back to the U.S. and began to commit to training for races and trying to get faster. Since then I have run nine more halfs and three full marathons!
My first full was in Indianapolis in October of 2009. Between going out too fast (I think), not fueling properly before or during the race and cramping, IT WAS TOUGH! I really didn’t enjoy it at all and it took me almost an entire year before I was willing to even think about training for another one.
A little over a year later, I had an awesome race at the Kiawah Island Marathon and was hooked! Now my bucket list for marathons is constantly growing!
Where did the swim & bike come in? In 2010, my best running friend, Char, suggested that I start doing triathlons. I obviously ran and since I also swam competitively in high school, she was convinced that I should now become her tri training buddy. I told her that I was afraid of going fast on a bike and wasn’t interested.
Shortly after that, Char found out a biking friend of hers was looking for someone to do the swim and run portion of an Olympic distance relay for a race they were all doing together. She got me hooked up with the biker and we raced.
I loved the experience of it all and after that, I was hooked!! I dusted off my crappy, I mean, sweet mountain bike and entered 2 sprint triathlons in the next month! At the first race, I got 2nd place female behind Char (it was a very small race)!
It was tough going on the mountain bike in those first few races, but that was my last season on the mountain bike because the sweet hubby bought me a shiny new road bike for Christmas. I had a terrible time trying to get used to clipping and unclipping from the pedals. I toppled over more times than I am willing to admit, but eventually I got the hang of it and truly started to fall in love with the bike. Now, I have to thank Char 100 times over because I can’t imagine my life without swim, bike, run!