What an honor to be writing my first Salty Running post after avidly reading posts on this site for the past couple years! I am thrilled to be joining the ranks of these amazing running women. I’m hoping to combine all the different facets of my life – runner, mom, doctor, track fan – to write both interesting and helpful posts for our esteemed readers, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge!
As for my running background: I grew up in New York City and started running regularly in the eighth grade. Happily, one of the choices for gym class at my Manhattan private school was to run to the Central Park Reservoir, do a lap, and run back. To me, jogging to the Park and back listening to Depeche Mode or Yaz on my walkman was vastly preferable to dodgeball, softball or any of the more traditional PE options the other kids were doing, and my life-long regular running habit was born. When I was in the ninth grade my family moved to upstate NY and I continued to run nearly every day, but other than one season of indoor track in tenth grade, not competitively. I ran for fun and fitness, and running was an escape, a place to ruminate or just to blow off some steam, for most of my teens and early twenties.
I met my husband when I was twenty-five and living back in NYC after college, and running became a major part of our courtship. We even got engaged after a 10-mile run! He was running many marathons at the time, and introduced me to road racing. We ran a number of half-marathons and shorter races together, in NYC and then later here in the Boston area. We were proudly and solidly middle-of-the-packers, but it was something we loved to do together. I started medical school after we moved to Boston, and during the last couple years of med school and into residency I didn’t run much – it was tough getting in runs around my medical training and the birth of my oldest son, which happened at the end of my internship.
A few years after my son was born we decided to expand our family and wound up having twins! The pregnancy wasn’t easy and I was on bedrest for many months, but after they were born and I recovered from my c-section, I turned to running as my rehabilitation. I was able to train for and complete a half-marathon with my husband when the twins were seven months old, and I was so happy to have running back as an important part of my life again.
I set my sights on a spring half-marathon, which I planned to run with my husband. However, the night before the race he came down with a bad stomach bug and couldn’t run. I decided to run anyway – my first road race ever without him – and to my shock I took eighteen minutes off our previous half-marathon PR! It got me to thinking that maybe I could aim higher than the middle of the pack, and maybe I could even run a marathon.
I decided to train for and run the 2011 NYC Marathon, which I did with the New York Road Runner’s Team for Kids. Finishing the marathon was one of the proudest experiences of my life, and it was an incredible way to see the city in which I had grown up. Even more important for my development as a runner, though, I started working with a local running coach. My coach introduced me to the science of the sport, as well as the world of competitive running. I was hooked! And so I have spent the past few years focusing hard on my training and learning as much about the sport as I possibly can. Recently I even decided to re-direct my career to work with female runners and other female athletes, and will be starting work on an Exercise Science MS in a few months. I can’t wait to share my journey with you all, my fellow Salty Readers!