Hey Salty readers! I’m Coriander and I’m super excited to be blogging for Salty Running! I can’t remember how I got introduced to Salty Running, but I was so inspired by these lovely ladies that the feed went right into my Google Reader. I’ve been a fan ever since.
I’m a 26-year-old manager at a store that sells women’s active wear, a pretty amazing and inspiring environment. When I’m not working 40 hours a week on different days each week, I’m either out hitting the trails or roads, spending time on my yoga mat, or enjoying my favorite pastime: sleeping.
I started running in April 2009. I graduated college a few months before and was overweight, unhappy and didn’t have a “real” job yet. Valentine’s Day weekend sent me over the edge, and I decided I had enough. I joined Weight Watchers and started losing the extra weight. I did a lot of exercise videos, but since those weren’t really doing it for me, I signed up for a run/walk 5K program. I ran my first 5K in September, 2009 in 31:00 and was hooked. Ninety pounds, one half marathon and a little more than a year later, I was training for my first marathon, and I’ve since run 50 races, including seven marathons and four ultras.
I found my love in ultra running. About a year ago, my running best friend, Erin, took me on a training run for Bill’s Bad Ass 50K after I returned from a post-Chicago Marathon vacation. It was my first real trail run in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and since then I’ve become a true trail runner — I’m in love with the trails! I ended up running that 50K with Erin there for me every step of the way. My first foray into ultra running was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s not only changed me as a runner, but as a person.
It’s become my goal to go longer. I ran my first 50 mile race this June and most recently attempted a 100K in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania — I say attempted because I had some knee issues that couldn’t handle the steep, gnarly trails of PA. But I have big plans for 2013, including a trip out West, a 100-miler and another attempt at the Oil Creek 100K. Until then, I’m focusing on getting healthy and taking it easy on the run.
Sometimes, especially when I’ve hit the wall during an ultra, I start to think to myself, “why am I wasting my 20’s doing this?” I think about my friends from high school and college. They’re getting married, having kids, traveling, partying and having fun (or at least that’s what it looks like on Facebook), while I spend all my time running trails, waking up at 5:30 a.m., and constantly turning down invites to go out so I can catch some sleep before a long run. And then I bust through that wall, shake if off, and realize I wouldn’t have it any other way.