Hi everyone, and greetings from the sweaty South! Before I reveal all sorts of details about me to all of you, I wanted to thank the one and only Salty, my mom running partner in crime, for giving me the amazing opportunity to share my running experiences and opinions with all of YOU, the devoted readers of Salty Running. Never in my life did I imagine I would become a Salty Writer, but I am incredibly thrilled to be throwing my voice into the ring with my talented co-bloggers. But before I start getting all opinionated on you, I should probably let you know who I am.
I am a newly minted masters runner ( I just turned 40) and a stay at home mom and wife (and cook, chauffeur, housekeeper…all very 1960’s, especially for a women’s college alumna). In my spare time, I am a USATF level 1 certified coach, Girls On The Run coach, lapsed certified personal trainer and, of course, a runner. I live in North Carolina with my 16 pairs of running shoes, my husband and his 4 computer screens and 4 road bikes and our son and his thousands of Legos and books. But enough about that stuff. Let’s talk about running!
I have ALWAYS been an athlete; when I was 3 years old I decided that I wanted to be a gymnast and from that point on I have been doing one sport or another continuously. After 10 years of semi-competitive gymnastics I transitioned to being a coxswain for the duration of high school and college. (For those who don’t know the sport of crew, the coxswain is the loud, short person who steers and coaches while my big strong rowers power the boat. And yes, I can still yell extremely loud.) It was actually because of crew that I began to run: I had always been told that thanks to old gymnastics injuries I would never run, but I really, really wanted to set a good example as an athlete for my collegiate rowers and part of that was being able to run to the boathouse with them. After countless doctor’s visits and a year of PT and strength training I ran all the way to the boathouse (1 whole mile!) and I have been running ever since!
From the very first time I laced up my shoes and headed out for a mile I have always loved the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing every run, but over the years running has had so many meanings for me. In my early twenties running helped me work through, and recover from, a multi-year struggle with anorexia. Midway through my 20’s I met my husband at a group run in Boston. After my son was born, I ran because it helped me remember who I was…me, as a person, not just a milk dispenser and diaper changer. When one of my best friends died in a cycling accident, I ran because it gave me a way to grieve. The list goes on and one. These days running helps me manage the stress that comes with being married to a serial entrepreneur and with the demands of being the primary caregiver to a bright and active son. And while I am still doggedly pursuing my own PR’s, I now balance my own running goals with my love of training and pacing friends as they chase after their own running achievements. I honestly feel the same level of satisfaction when one of my friends sets a marathon PR after months of training together and running 26.2 miles side by side as I feel when I set a PR of my own.
In the past couple of years I have been incredibly blessed to be supported by two amazing companies who have enough faith in me to add me to their roster. I am currently one of 10 sponsored athletes supported by LUNA Bar; a role which is incredibly important to me since they chose to support me partly because I am a stay at home mom and, amazing company that they are, they wanted to give a nod to those athletes who balance their endless mom duties with their athletic goals. I am also a member of the Oiselle Volée team, another amazing, gutsy, woman-centered company. Both affiliations motivate me to be the best runner and member of the running community I can possibly be.
If it isn’t already painfully obvious, I LOVE the sport of running. I love running for recreation, running to race, running as a solitary pursuit, running as a social undertaking, professional running, youth running, masters running … you name it. If it has to do with running I am enthusiastic about it. And I am enormously honored to have this chance to join the fantastic community of runner/writers here at Salty Running to share with you my unfailingly optimistic perspective on running, racing and rehabbing all the ridiculous injuries I have sustained over the past 20 years!