I made this blog when my family blog evolved into my running/training/eating blog and I thought it was time for a change. I needed a spot that was just for me since I had been a wife, a mom, a daughter, an employee, anything but myself for so long.
I ran track in the little elementary school track group and loved it. I didn't get picked last for group sports but close. Running was my happy place because it was individual and I was semi good at it. I also played a little soccer for the boys and girls club. I ran because it was fun, it made me feel strong, and I was actually better than some of my classmates at a physical activity. Coordinated I was not.
Jr. High was so social that I didn't do anything outside of chasing boys... or run from them. Which was plenty of exercises for me =)
High School played out a little different. I ran a little with the cross country team but didn't actually join. I liked the new intensity of PE every day at the HS level and worked on getting faster during track days. We were so lucky to have an amazing sports facility at our HS (even my husband is impressed now 18 years or so after it was originally built). I still sucked at tennis, basketball, flag football, volleyball and was only OK at soccer but I could fly on track days.
Track and field is pretty intense at the school I attended. We had a wonderful coach who took us lots of amazing places to run. Our own backyard was a plethora of hills (gotta go up Nazi hill just to get out) and dirt trails through the hills to the bay or out to Briones park. Those trails were littered with land mines of cow patties on dry days and mud pits on wet ones. it was AWESOME. Then in March of my freshman year I had a mole that had changed on my back removed. It came back as stage II malignant Melanoma. They took deeper and wider margins and left me with a big gaping hole in my back not to mention what that did to me mentally. I finally found something that I was good at and that was all going to be washed away.
I was on the bike trainer inside the next day at track practice when Coach Bruder came in to talk to me. I hadn't told anyone out loud because it was just easier to pretend it didn't happen. How does a 15 years old say "I have Cancer"?. But I couldn't not tell him. I had made a commitment to the team and I really didn't want to give that up. Truthfully I was even scared to go outside then. I became so fearful of the sun even though the chances of this being hereditary were through the roof that I couldnt' imagine finishing up the season. He told me to do whatever I felt was necessary but there was this great invention called sun screen that could get me through the year. I finished up the year and got me Varsity Letter in Track and Field while also participating as VP in the school business club.
That summer we moved to Paradise. That really sucked. No Coach Bruder, no kids I had known since Kindergarten, no boys to chase (really who wants to chase those Pds boys???), a really sucky track (I was so spoiled). I was still fearful of the sun too so inside I went. I became the sports editor for the school news paper that ended up with me being more of a babysitter and paper format editor than reporter. I loved it though, it was the best part of the school for me (and adv. drama too). Running went out the window.
In the meantime:
I had school, horses, boyfriends, Jobs daughters and then work to keep me busy. I found an amazing boy (finally!) and we bought a house, got married, had a couple kids and life went on. Little stints of running on the treadmill to go along with Women With Weights after the kiddos were born was the extent of my athletic endeavors. I even tried to learn how to swim. Really hard when you are terrified of the water. That was a big fat Fail.
Fast forward to Spring 2007:
I started running on the sly. shhhhh don't tell anyone. a mile or two at the gym a couple days a week. Then running 3 or 4 miles 4 days a week outside... I was building up to something bigger. That May I was diagnosed with osteopenia (low bone density) and I was only 29. It was time to do something about it.
I built up a steady base and by winter I felt confident enough to sign up for a half marathon program through Fleet Feet. those first 6 miles on Saturday were awful but I felt so good almost passing out at the door of the shop afterwards in second to last place. I've done 7 more programs including 2 marathons since then. Most of this blog starting in the spring of 2008 is my journey to find something that is mine. I've met amazing friends, found an amazing community of local and not so local runners, accomplished things I never thought possible and found a new out look on life.
Beyond the road and the paths I run on:
I've now added in some Kettlebell training in there for a strong core and the bone building aspect to counteract the osteopenia. I took 17+ minutes off of my marathon time and felt so good through my core this last time. Kettlebell is excellent cross training for runners!