|Dance Team, 1995|
Throughout childhood and my teenage years, I was a dancer. I took tap, ballet and jazz classes regularly and I was on my high school dance team. In college, there wasn't much of an opportunity to keep up with the dancing so I kept in shape by doing step aerobics classes. After I graduated, I joined a gym for the primary purpose of step aerobics, but I also started learning a lot about general fitness.
On the days when step aerobics wasn't offered, I would run on the treadmill. My first treadmill run was in 2001, and I ran for one mile. It took me nearly 11 minutes and I felt extremely winded by the end of it. But I stuck with it and every time I went to the gym, I would increase my distance or my speed. It wasn't long before I was running 3 miles, 4 miles, and then 5 miles. Once I got up to 5 miles, my standard run would be about 5 miles at a pace of around 8:20. My step aerobics teacher left, so the treadmill became my primary source of cardio. I was your typical gym rat, and I would also spend about 30-45 minutes doing strength training exercises.
|Brief Modeling Stint, 2002|
In the summer of 2005, I attended my 5-year college reunion. I had brought my workout clothes because I planned on using their gym. I discovered that there was a 2-mile race being held in the morning so I decided to take part. I didn't know what it felt like to race, so I just ran as fast as I could. To my surprise, I ended up winning first place among all women. I took home two trophy cups, one for the overall winner and one for winning the class of 2000.
|First 10K Race, 2005|
It was a hot day and I tried to pace myself as if I was running on a treadmill. I had no watch, I was wearing cotton clothing, and I was essentially clueless about what I was doing. But I knew I could go the distance. Afterwards, the results were posted on a board. I asked someone what "net time" meant and they explained it to me. I realized that I finished within the top 25-30% of all women and I was really happy about that. My time was 53:09.
|RnR 1/2 Marathon, 2005|
|First Marathon, 2006|
My goal for the half marathon was 2:00, and I met it exactly. I felt so accomplished afterwards that I knew I wanted to keep running and racing. The idea to do a full marathon popped into my head when one of my friends said she was going to do the Delaware marathon in May, and wanted me to join her. She had never done a marathon either, so it would be a first for both of us.
This was the first time I consulted any literature about running. I bought Jeff Galloway's book Marathon because it was geared towards beginners. I only had 9 weeks to train (we decided to do the marathon in March), but I figured I could get my long runs to where they needed to be. My weekly mileage was already substantial and had been for years. I did the run-walk approach during my long runs and it really helped me get through. I didn't follow Galloway's plan, but I did follow his long run schedule.
Race day arrived and much to my dismay, I started having aches in my hips at mile six. I decided to just push through, but I ended up having to do more walking than running towards the end. My goal was simply to finish, and I ended up with a 4:46. I was so happy to have finished a marathon and I immediately set my sights on the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall.
Since then, I have been consistently training and running races from the 2-miler to the marathon. I've run a grand total of 12 marathons, and at least 15 half marathons. I've done the Lawyers Have Heart 10K every year since 2005, including one year when I was sick. I'm extremely goal-oriented and I love a good challenge, which is why the sport of running is so appealing to me. It empowers me and adds a great deal of excitement in my life.
I'm very fortunate to be able to share this passion with my husband, Greg, who is also an avid runner. It's a great way for us to encourage and support each other, and also spend time together.