I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2000. Shortly after graduation, I joined a gym primarily to take step aerobics classes, which I loved. Because the class was only offered twice a week, I got into treadmill running as a way to workout more frequently. I remember my first few treadmill runs vividly. It was a struggle to run a mile, and my pace was about 10:30. I kept with it though, and soon my typical workout was 5-6 miles on the treadmill, at a pace of about 8:20. I did this consistently for 5 years and almost never ran outdoors.
At the 5-year reunion in 2005, my friend noticed a 2-mile race in the program and told me I should do it. I had brought workout clothes with me, so I decided, why not? I showed up to the race, and as I started running, one of my college friends started chatted with me. He said he married one of my sorority sisters. We chatted the whole time, running at a pace that was challenging for me. At the end, I was shocked to learn that I was the first female finisher, and was awarded a special Jefferson cup.
My friend told me he was running the Lawyers Have Heart 10K the following weekend, and that I
|Lawyer's Have Heart, June 2005|
Since then, I've run over 100 races, including 19 marathons. I've logged somewhere around 17,000 miles. I've had injuries-- both severe and minor. I've run in everything from 15 degrees to 90 degrees. Rain, wind, snow. San Diego, London, Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Miami, San Francisco, Phoenix, and many other places. It took me 10 attempts, plus 3 DNFs, but I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon. This is proof that if you work at something long and hard enough, if you have true passion and perseverance, you can do anything.
2-Mile race report
Yesterday, I returned to my 15-year college reunion and I ran that same 2-mile race, officially called "The Stumblefoot Derby." Due to construction, the course was different, but it still had the same feel. My friend Stacy was there and that made the experience even more special.
Greg (who is now finally able to walk without crutches) and I arrived at the race in time to get my bib
After a short warm up, I lined up at the start line, which was a line on the sidewalk drawn in chalk. The course was two laps around Scott Stadium. I didn't have a time goal in mind because I wasn't sure how I'd perform on those hills. My main goal was to win it like I did back in 2005.
|In front of Scott Stadium|
I had her in my sights for the entire first lap, so my primary focus was when I would make my move to pass her. She was running the tangents (which was the sidewalk around the stadium) but I was running in the road because I much prefer asphalt. This made my distance longer, but it was worth it not to kill my legs by racing on a sidewalk. I started closing the gap shortly after the first lap, so I passed her on a downhill, and then surged up a hill with everything I had to widen the gap definitively. I continued to push my hardest and used every mental trick in the book to stay strong up the hills.
I won the race in a time of 12:35. The course was "officially" two miles, but my Garmin read 1.78. I tried making eye contact with her afterwards and chatting with her, but she seemed to avoid me.
I was awarded two Jefferson cups. I now have a collection of 5 cups from the races in 2015, 2010, and 2005. After the race, Stacy and I visited some of our favorite places on UVA's "corner" and reminisced.
I plan to continue to train for short races for the next two months before getting serious about half marathon training. I can tell that the speed work is paying off and that I've gotten a lot better at hills over the past year.
|Stacy and me in front of Scott Stadium|
|UVA Stumblefoot Derby|