I am thankful to have the opportunity to be a Road Warrior. I’d like to tell you a little about how I got here. 30 pounds. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but I gained it in less than a year when I went from working in the hospitality industry to an office job. On my small frame, it was noticeable. I was trying so hard not to have to buy new clothes, but buttons were nearly popping on almost everything I owned. It was either start exercising or come up with money to buy clothes that fit. I was a poor college student, so exercise it was. My sister. She has been active throughout her life, playing tennis, cheerleading, and running. I started expressing my frustration about my new weight to her, and she encouraged me to run a 5K with her. She promised she’d stick with me and pace me through the race. I knew she was fast, and I didn’t want to slow her down. I kept procrastinating and making excuses, but she was persistent. Finally, near the end of the 5K season, I started “training” only three weeks before the race. I couldn’t even run for a half mile when I started. I trained on my own, embarrassed by my slow pace and frequent walk breaks. I would alternate walking and running, trying to go a few steps further every time. I think I ran/walked 2 miles one time before the race.
The race. It was 2010, at the Susan G. Komen 5K, when it was still in Grandville. On race morning, I didn’t want to go, but I did. I mean, I paid to do this. My sister was my encourager through the entire race,sticking by my side, pushing me when I was ready to quit. I don’t remember if she let me walk at all, I don’t remember what my finish time was. What I do remember is crossing the finish line, looking around me, thinking I could do better. Side note, you’ll have a much better race experience if you train for more than 3 weeks. Snowballing. I chose another 5K later that fall to complete. Then, I signed up for the Irish Jig 5K the next spring. I spent a lot of time on the treadmill. I really didn’t know the first thing about how to train, but I searched online for training plans that sounded like something I might be able to do. I still wasn’t fast by any stretch of the imagination (heck, I’m still not), but I decided to sign up for a 10K. Of course, my sister signed up too. I looked at my sister after the race (feeling the post-race endorphins) and told her we should sign up for the GR Half marathon. I think she laughed, saying something about me being crazy, but she agreed to do it. Neither one of us had ever run that far. We didn’t run the race together, but we both crossed the finish line that day. I continue to participate in a lot of other crazy adventures including a bunch more 5Ks, 10Ks, 13.1s, 25Ks, 26.2s, an ultramarathon, a few duathlons, and even a few triathlons.
Inspired. Since that very first 5K, I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in the running community (both here in Grand Rapids and elsewhere). As it turns out, running with people is way more fun than I ever thought it would be. I would love the opportunity to meet you wherever you are on your running journey, and help you reach your next goal. Whether it’s your first 5K or a new personal best, know that there are a whole lot of people rooting for you and here to support you! I can’t wait to hear your story. Just take that first step, and come introduce yourself to me or any of my teammates. Then, take the next important step and get signed up for the 2020 Amway Riverbank Run. #dowhatscaresyou #yougotthis #nevertoofastforfun #livetrainrun
I am fundraising for my Charity Partner - Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan - be nice