In 2006 I made one of the best decisions of my life, second to marrying the man I love and having three awesome children. Drum roll please .. I decided I wanted to be a runner. Now mind you, I had never been athletic. I was actually rather challenged when it came to sports. My physical activity as a child consisted of cheer leading and dance. But, I had alot of reasons to run now. Ari was a huge incentive because I knew she should would never be able to run and I just felt like I shouldn't take anything for granted anymore. I also needed a big time stress reliever to keep my sanity. So I started jogging on the treadmill at my local gym and I discovered it was actually pleasant. I really liked breaking a sweat as I tried to get faster on that machine!!!
So, often times I would challenge myself by increasing the speed or incline on that lovely equipment and I slowly found myself running five miles and not even realizing how much time had passed. I also took great pleasure in running along side of a gym rat who could run faster and looked much more like a runner than myself. I would glance at their numbers on the machine next to mine and take notice of the Miles per hour (Mph), distance, and time logged. I was secretly racing them in my mind!! Slowly but surely I fell in love with running. I started reading running magazines and researching training plans. My very first racing goal was to complete a 5K in less than 30 minutes. I recruited my athletic soccer player son to pace me at my first race. Say Yes to Success. Nic paced me into the finish line in 29 minutes and 49 seconds. A runner was born!!
And so the story goes, I saved my sanity and kept running, & running through many marathons, and even some ultramarathons. Running was and still is my quiet time, my re-energizer, my peace & calm, my endorphin rush, and my second love. It is and always will be a bonding time with my children that I am eternally grateful for. I have run some extraordinary races in extraordinary places. From the Coastal landscape of Monterey, to the California Headlands, over the Golden Gate Bridge, down the American River Canyon, and through the night at a 200 mile relay in Southern Oregon. From the Redrock Canyons in Utah, to the Historic start line of the Boston Marathon. I have heard the Wall of Cheer from the girls at Wellesy and received many a high five from the Boston College Boys at Heartbreak Hill. I have run through the streets of Paris, down the Champs Elysee to the Eiffel Tower. I have passed Frenchmen and listened to the cheers of Young children as I ran a 20k race from Paris to St Germaine!
No matter where or how I run I will always be grateful for the ability I have to use my legs and stride. I cherish each and every run I have experienced with Lindsay, Nic, and now Ari. It has been a labor of love to push Ari in her chair or attempt to keep up with my fast competitive runners Lindsay & Nic. They motivate me and make me want to strive to be my best. Whether its the best runner or being the best mother I can be. Running is for keeps in this family!
~With Miles of Smiles,