This summer I have reacquainted myself with an old friend, running. To be honest, my running schedule has practically been nonexistent due to my rigorous course load during the spring semester. As I am writing this, it’s worth noting that I have just gone on a short run to the park (about a mile away from my house). This short run was the struggle, I couldn’t help but feel slow. During the first 100m, I was feeling pretty confident, thinking “Wow, I still got it! Muscle memory is real!” but then those positive thoughts turned negative real quick. I barely made it to the park when my calves started feeling sore, sweat dripping down from my face and my breath panting heavily. Despite the fact that my quads and calves felt the burn, I am happy to feel like a runner again. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you reach a certain place or number of miles.
I didn’t follow through with my previous plan running another half marathon this past May due to prioritizing my academic responsibilities first. I often wonder how I managed to find the balance between running and academics when I was in high school and have come to the conclusion that being a part of a team helped tremendously in keeping me motivated and accountable. Since I am not competing at the collegiate level, maintaining this balance is a lot harder to achieve because I don’t have a coach that hounds me to run at a certain pace or come to practice at a certain time. Now and in the years to come, I am my own coach. In order to keep my passion for running alive, I must constantly think of new ways to make running fun again. I recently started using the app, Charity Miles, and have brought my phone with my on my runs. Charity Miles is an app that promotes both health and philanthropic purpose by donating 25 cents each quarter of a mile you run, walk, or bike indoors or outdoors to one of the 30+ charities listed on the app; you get to choose! I have written a quick review on this app (which you can find here) and love using the app so far.
What also encouraged me to return to running again was watching the Rio Olympics, more specifically watching the long distance track events. Watching many athletes on Team USA medal in most of the long distance events was really inspiring for me. Although I may not be the fastest, witnessing them achieve their accomplishments motivates me even more to go out and do the same. Among my favorite runners to watch is Desiree Linden, one of the three women to represent USA in the women’s marathon. When my dad ran the Boston Marathon in 2012, he brought me back a signed poster from Desiree from the convention. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic when he returned and gifted me the poster. It meant a lot to me when I first got it (since I had just been placed on the varsity team at my high school) and it still means a lot to me. Waking up and seeing all of my racing bibs on my wall and the Boston poster is my ultimate motivator to keep on running.
So that’s really what I have to update on the running front. I may even sign up for another half marathon! When I signed up for my first marathon three years ago, I had just started college and made it a goal to complete the race before I turned 18. Now I have the sudden need to run my second half marathon before I turn 21 and finish in under 2 hours. Call me crazy, but I feel like this is the perfect way to celebrate my senior year of college! Be on the lookout for more updates and ‘Run Happy’!