I started running in 2003, after I had moved to the Bay Area post-college, for my first job in the 'real world.' I hadn't exercised consistently since high school and I had definitely gained the freshman 15 ( except more like freshman 30) and wasn't doing much better. I never really ate a lot of junk food, but I was not the healthy eater I am now and I was definitely going through too many bottles of wine a week. I felt lazy and soft and pudgy.
I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to run around my block because running was free (at the time, so I thought) - I owned running shoes and shorts and a sports bra. I probably shouldn't even admit that I started running in a pair of New Balance that were really cross-trainers, and wearing 100% cotton apparrel. Forgive me, as I did not know any of the golden rules of running back then. I went out my front door for a lap around my block.....and probably made it halfway at the most before having to stop to walk because I was wheezing so badly. This was beyond ridiculous.
And that's how it began. One lap, turned into 2, turned into a 3 mile loop around my neighborhood. I moved then to a complex that had a gym and started using the treadmill, running around the nearby lake, and weight-training. I ran my first race on March 21st, 2004, the Across the Bay 12k. This will always be my most favorite race and I'll be running it again this year (I've only missed it once, when I was out of the country on vacation.)
2004 was also the year I decided to run my first marathon, along with the help, support, friendship and coaching of Jen. It was her first marathon too. I would not and could not have done it without her, I'm convinced. She was in charge of mapping our long runs and I was in charge of finding where we'd go eat our giant breakfast afterwards. Through this experience, Jen became one of my very best and closest friends...I can't really describe all she has done for me and how she's always there for me, in running and in life. I am so grateful that we got to share our first marathon experience together. She has far surpassed me in running skillz (not a typo) but we will always have our first. (*cheese*)
And now I have my RoHos, which I am also grateful for. Aron found my blog and we met up for a run. She knew Kristin and Tara from marathon fundraising. They met up with Julianne, who turned out to be connected to Tara, and who I was introduced to later on. There it is. At another fundamentally pivotal point in my life, when Jen had moved away and my life 180-ed on me, I found these ladies. This is exactly when I would be needing support, friends, and long runs...and it feels like they fell out of the sky just for me. What an amazing and well-timed gift of friendship I have found in these strong, amazing, and hysterically funny women. Yet again, I'm not sure I can accurately describe what they mean to me, and how their friendship has made me stronger than I thought I could be right now. And running together is the icing on the already wonderful cake. (*clearly more cheese*)
So there it is. 4 marathons and a ton of other races later, I'm a runner. And I love being able to call myself that. :)