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. 

One thought on “Not a Natural.

  1. I love this post and have a similar story. My first 5K was 32-33 minutes and my first half was 2:08. I now run a 1:38 half and a 21 minute 5K (one under 21). Like you, I was unathletic growing up and have worked for it but consistency is key. I love reading your posts even if I don’t always comment and seeing how much you’ve improved too.


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