Hi everyone! I’ve been hard at work collecting some things for a new feature I’m starting on my blog called On the Run! I think a little background is necessary, so let’s take it back a couple years….
I grew up seriously overweight. Things escalated quickly and I found myself as a 180-pound high school freshman. Something needed to change. I found that change in something I never thought I would:
Now, while I’m sure you’d be more than happy to giggle at the absolutely ridiculous running pictures I’ve taken (I’m the worst picture-taker when standing still, let alone moving around), there is a UC connection. I dropped most of my weight thanks to running while at UC!
My sophomore year I started dabbling in running a bit more. I’d always been curious, but I had a vision in my head that only super skinny kids could run–I know, I don’t know. I ran my first race in April 2012: The Save Our Switchbacks 7.5k. The race was k i l l e r; the hills of the switchbacks are pretty much vertical and I was wholly unprepared for what I got myself into. I finished and hobbled into the post-race party… to find out I took first place in my age group! This created a monster and I spent the summer determined to get better. I ran my first half marathon that September.
Not only did I finish in one piece, I ran the race with a pace over a minute-per-mile faster than the 7.5k (and held it for almost ten miles longer!).
Then came UC. I was a woman possessed. I didn’t know how to improve, but I knew I wanted to. That’s when I decided to take the plunge…
I joined the track team!
I ran indoor and outdoor track and saw leaps of improvement in my running. By the end of the 2013 track season, I had decreased my mile time from 6:50 to 6:10! I knew what the real test would be though: a re-try at the Save Our Switchbacks race.
I tried again… and came in 40th out of nearly 200 runners! Second place in my age group, an average 7:48 pace compared to last year’s 9:45 pace… I was a happy, proud camper.
Two weeks later I did something else I never thought I’d do: I won a 5k. Won. This will never happen again, but I’m glad it happened once.
Running has given me so much. It helped me feel like I was really good at something. It made me feel stronger. It made me lots of great friends!
But most importantly, it helped me finally do this:
Running, especially at UC, helped me become a better version of myself and I want to share that with all of you! Before you panic, I’m not making you run laps (although, that might be fun…). This segment is all about showing everyone what cool things I’ve found running in the Utica area! I’m really excited about it and hope you are too!
Some questions for you:
Do you run? If not, do you like another sport?
Local folks: what places should I run to?!?
And a sneak peek at the next installment of On the Run:
Oh yeah, I went there.