I am a runner. A few years ago, I never would have thought I'd say that. I tried over the years to run, but my body would ache after a few minutes, and my lungs would burn, so I would give up. In 2010, I finally took notice of the knee pain I had been experiencing on and off over the previous few year, and went to an orthopaedist about it. At the time, I was diagnosed with a torn meniscus (after an MRI series) and told that at my age, the best course of treatment would be arthroscopic surgery. I figured these people knew what they were talking about, so I scheduled surgery.
As I was coming out of my drug-enduced stupor after the surgery, the doctor informed me that once they got in there, "You have a perfectly healthy knee." WHAT?!?!? Why did you cut me open and why have I been having this nagging feeling that if I plant and twist my knee (like in tennis) there is a chance my knee might tear in half?! Well, the next step in the process was physical therapy, which really should have been offered first, but whatever - I've gotten over that (mostly). The first thing my physical therapist, Becki, said was, "no running." And at that very moment, I just wanted to run! I was in PT for three months, and I told Becki that before she cleared me, I wanted to run with her. So in the last three weeks of therapy, I started running on the treadmill. She said, "your cardio will probably give out before your knee" but she was wrong. I could have run forever if it wasn't for my knee.
So at the beginning of 2011 I started my running journey. I put a 5K on my calendar for April. It would be the Run the River race, co-sponsored by Roswell Presbyterian Church, my home congregation, and Choate Construction company, the company my dad worked for. My parents had volunteered for the race for years, and this was the 10th annual event. So I started a couch to 5K training plan and completed my first 5K that April. Then I decided to build it up. Being an Atlanta native, my next goal HAD to be the Peachtree Road Race, a 10K run on July 4th every year since before I was born. So I started a training from 5K to 10K. It included swimming and biking as cross-training events. I even participated in a sprint-tri in June, because I figured, "why not?!" I ran the Peachtree with one of my best friends from high school, Christy, and her husband Alden. We tried to stay together, but I was having trouble actually running the whole 6.2 miles. So I caught up to them at the finish and we had a blast! Over the previous few months, I had started thinking about a half - the Wine & Dine half at Walt Disney World to be exact. They happened to have a relay that year, with one running doing 8 miles and the other 4. I tried to get Christy to sign up for it with me at the Peachtree expo, but she couldn't commit. But I did - right there on July 2, I committed to running my first half marathon that October 1 at Disney World. Because, I figured, who better than Mickey Mouse to motivate me through 13.1 miles?!
And in January 2013, I completed my first marathon - 26.2 glorious miles with my friends in #CorralG at Walt Disney World. Again, letting Mickey Mouse and the most awesome medal you've ever seen motivate me across that finish line.