I wept and cheered while crossing the finish line of the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon in 2002. The medal came off but the desire to continue long-distance racing endured.
This Saturday I'll return to the place it all started. Memphis. My hometown. This time I'll have four marathons and many halfs under my belt. My legs will be carrying more than two decades of distance running in their muscle memory.
I'm passionate about distance running and determined to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Over the past month of this training cycle, I've attempted written essays about why qualifying for Boston is so important to me, but words fail to capture the magnitude of its significance. So, I decided to snap pictures along the way to try to show my reasons for running in general.
(If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen these already.)
Reasons I Run
3-4 mornings a week I invite negative thoughts out for a run. Then I stomp the snot out of them before 6am. Sometimes they even stay away until the next run.
Pushing my physical limits is exhilarating.
Typically I despise being cold, but seeing all four seasons up close and personal is one of my favorite parts of running.
There are three things on my personal Bucket List -- a) join the Peace Corps, b) thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, and c) qualify for the Boston Marathon. God willing I'll check one of those off on December 7th.
We've moved a lot. The first step in me feeling "settled" is finding a running route and using it. Running is the constant that helps me cope with change.
Running gives me strength.
I'm a former smoker. I run to combat 12+ years of damage to my lungs, heart, joints, coping skills, and no telling what else.
The sun always rises, and it's nice to see it in action.
In 1992 I joined the track and cross country teams, and since then running has been an everyday part of my life. Before boyfriends, acne, driving, and college. Before career, marriage, and kids. I was A Runner first.
Running gives me patience.
We've run hundreds of miles together. He used to get up at 4:30am to go drop water and fuel for our long runs (pre-kids). He lets me set the pace and distance. He's the first one I want to see at the finish. I'm still a die-hard solo runner, but his company always makes the miles go by more quickly.
My left foot hurts badly enough and consistently enough to remind me that running is a privilege.
|credit: Shane Thread|
Running is my favorite time to pray, be grateful, be humbled, ponder, and reflect.
This little girl watches every move I make.
Maybe she'll be watching this Saturday as - God willing - an 11-year dream of mine comes true.