In 2008, right around the time Kirk proposed, his sister asked him to run in a relay race with her, their brother and their uncle. The Baltimore Running Festival’s relay race was being held on the birthday of their deceased mother, Cathy, and she thought it would be a wonderful way to honor her as a family. Everyone agreed but I worried that my husband and his knees wouldn’t be able to tackle it. Kirk’s role as a catcher on his baseball team growing up left him with the knees of a 70-year-old man, and besides that, he hates running. At this point in my life so did I, and I knew that if he faltered, I would have to step in and run in his place and I was in no condition to do that. So, we trained together. I was right, Kirk hated it and his knees barked and in the end we decided to run in the 5k race on the same day (thereby saving ourselves 3-4 miles on race day).
The crazy thing is that I loved it. I’d never been athletic growing up and not in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine running three miles at a stretch. Thanks to the Couch to 5k Plan, that’s exactly what I did. And then some. On race day, surrounded by thousands of eager participants, I was completely caught up in the excitement. When we started running, I had tears in my eyes, and I knew that I’d been bitten by the racing bug. I set a PR that day – one that took me two years to beat. I blame it on that runner’s high!
Running is not easy. In fact, running is a real bitch, but nothing in my life has ever made me feel as confidant and accomplished as a good, sweaty, gasping-for-breath run. I remember the first day I ran 20 minutes at a stretch – I thought I was going to die. I was on the treadmill and Kirk was in my face yelling at me not to quit – that I could do this. He was right, I could do it and then some. In 2009, I ran two half marathons. The first one, the Frederick Half Marathon was amazing. I crossed the finish line 10 minutes earlier than anyone expected and everyone missed it! The Baltimore Half Marathon later that year took place during a minor health scare that led to inadequate training and a 12 min increase from my PR – a time that I’m still sore about.
In 2010 year I joined a running group and started this blog in hopes of making friends to chat with, run with and learn from. After only a few weeks of following running blogs I was inspired to train for and run my first marathon. The Under Armour Baltimore Marathon was an amazing experience, and I’m so glad I decided to go for it.
Mile 21 of the the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon
I had a blast in training, and four days before I ran my first marathon, I bit the bullet and registered for my second. I’m now attempting to train for my second marathon, only 6 weeks after my first. Call me crazy, but the sense of accomplishment is addictive in a way words can’t even describe. That, and having an excuse to eat massive amounts of bread and pasta is something that this foodie just couldn’t pass up!