Not a Natural.

I feel like it’s been awhile since I “introduced” myself or have given my back story. I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about how I got my marathon time down so much, what I eat, how I’m fast, etc. And I appreciate all the questions, but I feel like I need to take a step back and get this down.

I was not always a runner. Not even kind of. I QUIT soccer in high school by my junior year because I didn’t want to do the running practices and didn’t think I could make the 2 mile time trial in under 16 minutes. To be honest, I wimped out. I was afraid of not being good enough and I wasn’t fast. My soccer coach told me I ran like a duck (whatever that means).

I wasn’t athletic. I wasn’t fast. I wasn’t motivated.

Then I got to college. I was worried about gaining that Freshman 15 and my best friend was a runner so I decided to start running with her occasionally. I didn’t really think it would last, but I gave it a shot. Why not if it would make me healthier, right? 

Turns out I loved it. She had me signed up for my first race by November of my freshman year in 2011. The race was a hilly 4 mile Turkey Trot and I had so much fun. I finished in about 32 minutes — way faster than I had ever expected. And this was the first time I thought, “Hey I might be able to be a runner.”

At 19, I didn’t consider myself a runner. I thought runners had to race competitively or run marathons (something I’d never do…HA). This obviously wasn’t true, but that’s how I felt at the time.

Come April I’d signed up for my first half marathon. I still vividly remember the night before. I was terrified. Would I be able to run the whole distance? Would I be the last one to finish because I was so slow? I couldn’t even sleep because my thoughts were so distracting.

That next morning I ran 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 47 minutes and loved every second of it. That was it. I was hooked. 

By my senior year I had run 10 half marathons and I decided to attempt my first full. I got in for Chicago and the rest is kind of history. 

The important thing here is yes I found a passion I didn’t know I had. I fell in love with running. But I have worked for every PR and race I’ve ever run. 

I don’t half ass things. If I’m running a race, I’m going to train for it. I’m going to do speed work. I’m going to do every long run. I’m going to eat as well as I can and skip some nights of drinking with friends. It’s all about balance and I think I handle it well, but I make running a priority. 

I am not a natural runner. I worked for it. Harder than probably anything I ever have. I’m proud of it. And I can honestly say that hard work pays off. 

Here I am 21 half marathons and 4 full marathons later with PRs I never thought I could hit and I’m still setting faster goals for my future. 

And if you dedicate yourself and consistently work at improvement…you will get faster too. 

Legend Compression Review

I love running in compression socks. I don’t know if it just makes me feel more in control, but when I slip on a pair I feel ready for anything.

I’ve tried a lot of different brands. I had regularly been wearing two different brands, but I was still open to trying new ones. I liked what I had been wearing, but I also hated the post-run wrestle trying to get them off. When you get back from a 20 miler the last thing you want to do is deal with getting off your too-tight socks.

So I tried LEGEND compression. And they’re just the kind of compression socks I was looking for.

Here’s what I like:

  • Color
    • I love the bright turquoise color! It stands out, which makes me easier to pick out in a crowd. It’s my favorite type of blue, so I’m a little biased, but I think it’s my favorite colored pair of socks I own. And no signs of fading after a few washes!
  • Tightness
    • As I mentioned above, I hated wearing socks that I had to wrestle with to get off. Tightness is good (obviously necessary for compression socks), but I’ve worn some that have definitely been too tight. These aren’t. I’m able to slide them on easily, but still get that ‘compressed’ feeling. And my post-run struggle is over since I can now easily slide them off as well. I love that these socks are just tight enough.
  • Thickness
    • I like to wear compression socks all year, but in the Summer it’s a bit more of a hassle since so many pairs of compression socks are on the thick side and trap in heat. I never want to put on a thick pair of tall socks in 90 degree weather, but I feel that I need that compression aspect on my long runs. Luckily, the LEGEND pair don’t feel too thick. They’re not as thin as a lot of ‘normal’ running socks, but they don’t feel as thick as a lot of other compression brands. I was able to wear them in warmer weather and not feel like I was over heating.

I put these socks to the test by wearing them for my Chicago Marathon last month and they held up well. I was able to run my BQ time without any problems and I felt comfortable the whole race. That’s important to me. Glad I was able to give LEGEND Compression a try! Many more races are in my favorite pairs future.