I approach my 2016 running calendar with much anticipation and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I suppose for my first blog post, I should take you back to the beginning. It was 2003 and I had always had completing a marathon on my bucket list. I was your typical weekend warrior who would “train” for a local 5K and then not run for several months. I had never run track or cross country in high school or college and I had focused on other things than my health. Suddenly, I was 33 and found myself overweight and nowhere near being in shape to run a marathon. Then one day by chance, I saw a flyer in my health club that talked about the charity run group called Team in Training. They provided you a coach and a structured training plan and in return you were obligated to fund raise a certain amount of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I still remember going to my first group run and everyone else was doing at least 6 miles. I did not know if I would make it but I was able to complete the run and a fire was lit. I went on to finish the Chicago Marathon that year in 3 hours and 56 minutes. I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line that day.
From that day forward, I felt like I was a legitimate runner. I started to read running magazines and attend running groups in the area. I always found the running community to be open and supportive of your goals. I always listened when I was around other experienced runners and wondered if one day I might be fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon! Since that first marathon in 2003, I do not think I have ever stopped running for more than a few days at any one time. I went on to become a Certified Running Coach with Team in Training and later became Certified through Road Runners Club of America(RRCA). I have since when on to complete over 20 marathons and numerous more 1/2 marathons and races of smaller distances. Along the way, I started doing ultra marathons with distances from 50K up to the 100 mile race distance. I am very proud that I have now finished 4 races at the 100 mile distance. In 2015, I was able to realize every runners dream by qualifying and running in the Boston Marathon.
This brings us to 2016 and I am thrilled to be returning to the Boston Marathon on April 18th. In addition, I was chosen by lottery to run in the Western States 100. Most non-ultra people do not realize the magnitude of this race. This is like making the super bowl of ultra running. Out of a pool of 1500 people they choose 350 lucky individuals who get to run the race each year. I will be traveling to California for the race on June 25th-26th. For me to be running these 2 big races in 1 year, I truly feel blessed as an individual and as a runner. I have so many people to thank for my success that I could not name them all individually. Please know if we have ever trained or been on a run together that a small piece of you will be with me this year as I train to complete these incredible races. As I near the summit of my running accomplishments, I will never forget those individuals who helped make me the runner I am today. I vow to pay it forward and on a daily basis inspire others to their own levels of greatness. If you or someone you know is looking for help with their running please visit my online coaching website at http://www.peakperformancerunner.com. Please stop in at 3 Rivers Running Company and ask me questions about your running. I love to help out beginning runners and I hope to see you at the start line soon!