My story begins in the summer of 2007. I was just about to transfer to a new high school, having just moved to San Francisco from Billings, Montana. I learned that my new school had a cross country team, and I figured I’d give it a shot. My sister was on a cross country team in high school that competed at the state championship meet, so maybe it ran in the blood.
I had run casually over the past year, but nothing more than a few miles here and there. I began running nearly on a daily basis to get myself into shape, not knowing right away if I would stick with it.
Well, here I am five years later, still running. Since 2008, I have run six marathons (3:13:03 personal best), and five half marathons (1:27:01 personal best). I’ve had some incredible experiences along the way, including a four month sponsorship from ASICS while training for the New York City Marathon, a sponsorship I will be lucky to have again for the same race in 2013.
When people meet me, the first thing they learn is that I am a runner. I usually don’t even have to bring it up. People will just notice my two running tattoos on my arms, 26.2 in Roman numerals on my right arm, and a Greek phrase on my left wrist that is part of the story on how the marathon got its’ name.
For me, running is a way to stay sane in the chaotic college life. Between classes, meetings, homework and exams, running is my time alone with my thoughts. It’s my time to just enjoy being outdoors doing what I love most.
Currently, I am training for the Los Angeles Marathon in March, where I’ll be going after my first “BQ.” For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, BQ stands for Boston Qualifier. The Boston Marathon, held annually in April, is the only marathon in the world with a qualifying standard. In order to be accepted into the race, you must run a certain time in the marathon, with those times varying by age and gender. For my age group, I must run under a 3:05:00 in the marathon in order to qualify. This is what I will be attempting to achieve in Los Angeles on March 17. I chose the course strategically in order to qualify. The race starts up at Dodger Stadium, and finishes in Santa Monica along the ocean. It is a net downhill course, which means that the finish line is at a lower elevation than the starting line. Simply put, you run downhill more than you run uphill, which generally translates into faster times.
Check back every Thursday for my Tracktown column, where I’ll touch on such subjects as how to get started running, local races, and much more.