Bloggers aren’t supposed to write about themselves, but I do think I should to provide some context, so I’m doing it. I am an ex-college tennis player who found myself wanting something athletic to focus on after graduating and getting an office job. I started to run during my lunch breaks or after work in the summer of 2012 and, frankly, I sucked. I could barely complete the easy 4-mile loop without stopping. Somehow, bit by bit, I stuck with it and in March of 2013, I ran my first long distance race. It was a half marathon in New Hampshire called the Eastern States 20 Mile Run for the Border Half Marathon. It was not pleasant. I huffed and puffed the whole way, had blisters on my feet due to ill-fitting shoes and socks, and I had no idea how to pace myself. I was also frozen by the finish – my idea of proper New England winter racing apparel at the time being a backwards hat (yeah… I know), tennis warm-up pants, and a cotton long-sleeve t shirt layered over an equally inadequate cotton short-sleeve t shirt. My time wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was at a crossroads.
I know a lot of people who have this same kind of story; maybe you do too. You decide to get into running. You train for and run one or two 5Ks, a 10K, eventually a half marathon. At the finish line you think: “Jeez, the 5K was alright but that half marathon sucked,” then “No way in hell I’m doing that again.” I had the same initial reaction in New Hampshire. To my surprise, though, my next thought wasn’t “I’m never doing that again.” It was “welp, now I guess I have to do a full one… ” I’m still not entirely sure why that was my reaction (motivation will be the subject of another post), but the next day I signed up for the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon, having absolutely no idea what I was in for. I have been completely hooked since.