I am a runner! It’s taken me over 20 years to get back to me saying that but I am happy to be able to add runner back in the mix of who I am which is also a mother, wife, blogger, soccer mom, sister and a variety of other hats that rotate throughout the day. 🙂
And on November 4, 2018, I will be a marathon runner again as I run the New York City Marathon for the first time in 24 years and I am asking for your support along the way . . .
So let’s rewind this story. I yearned to be an athlete growing up. Unfortunately, I was often the last kid picked for a team in gym class, I tried out for various sports teams in middle school and high school but most often ended up with the team manager position. There was no “everyone plays” – you played if you were good and if not you were cut and you know what that wasn’t such a bad thing. It didn’t dim my outlook on how I viewed myself, it forced me to find other interests that were actually better for me and it allowed me to grow and be successful in those. We aren’t all meant to play sports in high school and when I found running in my early twenties I realized I was an athlete, a competitor but it was all on my terms.
I had just graduated from college and was living in New York City when a friend asked me to run a women-only 10k race with her. Running a 6.2-mile race didn’t sound too bad and heck I remember as a kid watching the Olympic marathon on tv and I thought it was so cool how they took the water and dumped it on their head. So I said yes and as crazy it as it sounds my goal for that race was to get to those water stations, grab the cup and dump it over my head as I continued to run – a simple goal and looking back quite ridiculous but it got me hooked on running! I ended up joining a running club, ran through Central Park in the evenings, ran races on the weekend . . . I wasn’t fast and it didn’t matter. I was running for me. I loved the high, the people, the races . . . running made me happy, gave me focus and discipline and ultimately led me to my husband who was not a runner but that is for another story.
I continued to run when I moved to Los Angeles. It provided me with a community in a city I knew only a few people. In 1994, I ran the Los Angeles and NYC marathons – they were both incredibly difficult but also wonderful. But then new chapter started in my life. I met my husband, got married, had 3 children and running became something in my past. And that was okay and quite honestly not something I had the desire to do again at least the marathon running. Priorities and plans shift – that is life.
And so one morning about 9 months ago I made one of those little shifts and went on a run. I was bored with my regular fitness routine so thought I’d see how 3 miles felt and wow what a great feeling! So I went for another short run a few days later and than again and again and than I started to run further. And I didn’t say anything to anyone but inside my head, I was hooked back on running. I felt that happy high, I felt strong and oddly enough I felt the same way I did back in my twenties. I had one kid back at college and two in high school, I had more time and energy – running felt right again. My husband finally asked the question I already knew the answer to, “are you thinking about doing a marathon?” I had been afraid to say it out loud. It seemed too big a goal, too scary, too much of a commitment but when he asked I answered – “I think so. I’m thinking LA and New York 2018!” It made sense if I was going to running a marathon again it should be the two I had run 24 years ago in my two favorite cities!
Marathon running though daunting and a distance I have struggled with also fascinates and intrigues me. I love the challenge that an everyday person can push themselves past their limits and run 26.2 miles right there along the same course as elite athletes.
On March 18, 2018, I completed the LA Marathon with tears in my eyes. My husband and kids were there cheering me on at various points along the race and at the finish line. My oldest son jumped in to run a few miles with me to keep me fresh and ended up staying with me for 10 miles. The spectators and the city were at their finest and it made me proud to be an Angeleno. It was hard – my quads were super tight, my mental toughness was tested but never once did I think I wouldn’t finish. Completing a marathon is one of immense joy, happiness, and satisfaction along with pain but the pain fades – that feel good feeling does not.
So now it’s on to my next big goal . . . New York. And I am excited to announce I am running the NYC Marathon not just for me but for Grassroots Soccer! Grassroots Soccer is an organization that leverages the power of soccer to help educate, inspire, and mobilize at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. I am a soccer mom of a teenage boy and I see the positive impact soccer has on teens – it provides them a community, a sense of belonging, leadership skills, role models and mentors, and it keeps them healthy, active and busy.
I love that Grassroots soccer is using the power of sport to improve the world’s health by promoting healthy practices during adolescence, an age group that is so often forgotten yet is our world’s future!
What started off as just an idea to run a couple of marathons after 24 years is now so much more for me. This is no longer just my journey, this is about helping make a difference in the lives of others. I have pledged to raise $3000 for Grassroots soccer organization by running the New York City marathon and I would love your support both in my physical journey of completing the marathon and my journey to make a difference in young people’s lives.
Please join my effort to eliminate the adolescent health gap . . . please click here to learn more and to make a donation – – -> https://impact.grassrootsoccer.org/fundraiser/1454421
Thanks in advance for your support and please follow my training journey here on the blog and daily on Instagram and Insta-stories – my hope is to inspire others to follow their goals, to try something new, and embrace the unexpected plus it’s a long road ahead and sharing will help keep me inspired, accountable and motivated.