Three years ago today, I laced up my brand-spanking-new pair of Asics that I'd spent a cool $50 on at Kohl's and headed out for Week 1, Day 1 of Couch-to-5K (this was a 5 minute warm-up walk, then 60 seconds of running alternating with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes). I felt so awesome to actually be out and DOING something! True to form for me, just six weeks later I was sidelined with my first running injury, a stress fracture in my left fibula. I restarted the program at week 1, day 1 in early September after letting the fracture fully heal, but I will always consider June 15th my official "run-iversary," the day I decided to give this running thing a try. Obviously, the rest is history when it comes to me and running. I've ran in five 5K's, one 4-miler, one quarter-marathon, seven half-marathons (including the one when I blacked out and collapsed at mile 11--a DNF but I count it nonetheless), two 15-mile races, and two full marathons.
I could spend this blog entry talking about many things--what running means to me, the friends I've made, the races I've ran. Instead, I came up with a fun idea--10 things that most people do not know about me as a runner. So, drum roll please...
10 Things You May (or May Not!) Know
1) I simply must have gum in my mouth when I'm running. I started chewing gum about a year ago, when a few friends chided me for carrying water during a 5K race. "You don't need to do that!" they said. "It's only just over 20 minutes, you'll be fine!" My handheld Nathan bottle was my security blanket, though. When I tried to run without it, I would find my mouth to be incredibly dry. To alleviate this, I tried running with gum one day, and now I feel extremely weird (and suffer from an awful dry mouth!) if I run without gum. If you're interested, my gum of choice is Orbit sweet mint :)
|I do not blow bubbles, however :)|
2) My most favorite piece of running equipment is my pink FlipBelt. Not my Garmin watch, not my shoes, not my BondiBands (headbands). I bought my FlipBelt shortly after I started running as a way to carry my ginormous Samsung Galaxy phone. I love that it holds my phone, my gels, Biofreeze packets, extra gum (see #1), chapstick, etc. It is comfy and doesn't ever bother me. I wear it around my hips and it seriously is super comfy. I let my friend Jess borrow it for her most recent race and I missed it so much for the week that she had it! I now use it on my bike rides too :)
3) My first race after finishing the Couch-to-5K program was the Hot Chocolate 5K in November 2012. My best friend Elizabeth and I ran this race together. I started out too fast and died, and she blew by me at the finish and promptly retired her racing shoes. I always tell people that you can go in two directions once you run a race--you can be one and done, or you can continue racing and perhaps follow the path to half marathons and full marathons. My chosen path is pretty obvious ;)
|Elizabeth and me, post-race!|
4) I actually ran in a race once before the Hot Chocolate 5K. When I was in the 8th grade at St. Paul, the Catholic diocese of Columbus had a middle school cross-country race. None of the schools had a team or anything, so it was really just anyone who felt like running could show up and run in the 2-mile event. I was a swimmer and a soccer player, and I enjoyed running when we would do it during P.E. class, so I figured, why not? I still have the 3rd-place overall female medal that I won.
5) I am on an eternal quest to find the perfect shoe for me. I started out with Saucony ProGrid. My right foot would fall asleep on my runs, so it was recommended that I try the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9, as the toe box is wider. The problem never truly went away for good, and when Mizuno released its newest version last year, I was not a fan and had to find a new shoe. I turned to the Brooks Adrenaline. I do like my Brooks, but I know that my Cinderella shoe is somewhere out there. The shoe that will feel like I'm walking (running) on air when I put it on.
6) I'm a Balega lover. Balegas are one of several different brands of running socks. I've ran in a few other types, and I will use them if I'm in a pinch, but I always smile when I slide on my Balegas. Specifically, I adore the Hidden Dry low-cut socks. They are super-thin and I barely feel like I have socks on when I'm wearing them. I will say that in the winter, I love my thicker Feetures socks, or if it's REALLY cold, my Smartwool socks.
7) I'm a stalker of sorts. When I meet a new runner (either online, in person on a training run, or at a race), I check them out on Athlinks, which is a time compilation website where the races that a person has done are listed (it's pretty inclusive, although not every race seems to show up). I honestly just do this so I can see if the person is possibly a good training partner for me. If our race times match up, then maybe we can meet for a run. I love meeting up with people for runs, and I'm always on the lookout for a new running friend. My friends find it hilarious that I stalk others... I don't apologize for it; it's just me!
8) I used to be an evening runner! This will come as a shock to most of my running partners, as 90% of our runs start between 4:30-5:00 AM. When I first started running, I would do my runs at around 7:30 PM, after dinner was finished but before the twins would go down for the night. I only became a morning runner during my second year of running when I started to meet other crazy mamas who like to get their runs out of the way. Now, I can't even imagine running in the evenings!
|An all-too-familiar sight for me|
9) I do a pre-running dynamic stretching routine before every single run. I wake up about 10 minutes before I actually need to wake up and do this routine (called the Myrtl routine) in my family room. It opens up my hips and gets my body ready to run. I started doing it last summer at the recommendation of my friend Erin to help with my IT band issues, and I've never stopped.
10) I'm doing the Market-to-Market relay this fall! I've been reading more about the Ragnar relays, and while those are overwhelming to me, Market-to-Market is more low-key as it only takes place over one day and the mileage is much lower. So excited to join six of my favorite running friends on September 5 for this fun race!
Blogging friends, I encourage you to do a "10 Things" list as well; this was fun to come up with. I tried hard to think of things that even my closest running friends may not know about me--not easy!