From the first step to the finish line


I was riding the bike back in January after my first injury onset- a nagging, unidentifiable pain in the top of my foot. I was three weeks into training and already hitting obstacle number 1. I was already upset and disappointed. But I had this half marathon on the calendar and knew that I needed to persevere and work through these pains to get to the starting line May 5th. "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman soundtrack came on my Pandora and it stuck with me for a bit...

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This song made me think about all the times I was told I would have to stop running after I was diagnosed with chronic back pain and scoliosis in high school, soon after I found my love for running. So many times the doctors told me I needed to find other outlets for exercise and that I would never be a distance runner or multi-athlete. On top of that, I was constantly told by peers, family, and friends that I didn’t look like a runner. My body just didn’t fit the stereotype. I was crushed…

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I loved running. I quit softball and basketball just to start running year-round. I was a successful, multi-time state competitor in over four different events each year. I went on to college and walked on to my team and was the only woman heptathlete, when no one thought I would or could contribute to the sport. I left the team eventually and became a marathoner. I knew I was a runner. It was not my whole identity, but it was a big piece of it.

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Fast forward a few years and many distance races later, I’ve succumb to my own doubt and pressure that has made me feel unworthy of the title. I’ve struggled with body image and self-deprivation, calling myself old and worn out because I wasn’t competing or hitting the times I once did.

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But something clicked this past January. I wanted to find myself again. The old me who loved running, who believed in myself, who knew that I could do hard things and overcome any hurdles (literally and figuratively) that came my way. I knew I wanted to get back on the starting line at a half marathon and finish with confidence and pride.

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Many people don’t see what goes into race day. It’s a lot of blood sweat and tears through months of training. 5am runs in the dark and cold. Rainy hours alone checking your watch and hoping you make it home before the thunder. Hours on the weekend away from family to get the miles in. Pains in different parts of the body you didn’t even know existed. Doubt, worry, excitement, and everything in between. It’s a lot to process and work through, but it’s so worth it.

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My goal May 5th was to prove to no one else but myself that I’m back. That I can do hard things, that I am a runner, that I am strong enough and not “too old” to keep going. While my race yesterday didn’t look like what I had hoped, it meant everything and more to me. I reached my goal of finding joy and passion through running again. I crossed the finish line wincing in pain, but smiling on the inside. I did it. I’m proud of where I’ve come since this time last year. I proved to myself and others that through everything, I have always been and I will always be a runner. This is me ❤️


Well... How'd it go?


Probably the closest to a DNF I’ve ever been… 💔


Despite the pouring rain 🌧️ and cooler temps, the first six miles were amazing! I was feeling so strong and confident. I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest half but I felt like my body was going to make it across the finish line feeling good! 💪🏼

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Then, much like when it started almost 8 years ago and has plagued me ever since while training for distance races… the muscles in my left calf just seized and snapped, like a twig under pressure. From about mile 7, I had to hobble my way back to the fair grounds, walking and jogging off and on. But I was determined to finish. And long story short, I crossed the finish line in the mud pit that was the runner’s finish corral and hung my medal around my neck. 🥇


This run was one of the most challenging, physically and mentally, that I’ve ever done. I love this race so much, but gosh with the pain and rain, it was tough. But I had the best cheer squad, both near and far, and I’m so so thankful and blessed. 🥲

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While I will be taking some time off from distance running for a bit to heal this calf and gain some strength back, I’m reminded time and time again why I love running… I may put a lot into running, but it ALWAYS gives so much more back to me ❤️