Hi Salty Readers! I’m Elle, but you can call me Cardamom! I’m a runner/blogger/academic living out my New York cliché dreams by marrying a banker and living in Brooklyn. Somehow I survived dating in New York City; believe it or not, I found my husband online. Unfortunately it was not through Amazon because that would have been too easy.
Although I’ve been running on and off for several years (a story for another day), for this recent revival of my running career I’ve been running for the last three years. I may live in the Big Apple now, but don’t be fooled. This girl is a die-hard Californian who thinks Mexican should be its own food group.
Three and a half years ago, I tentatively began running again as a way to jump start a healthy life. By being too absorbed in my career I neglected taking care of myself. I was sick all the time; and as well, the sedentary lifestyle contributed to unwanted and unneeded weight gain. I discovered weight lifting and loved it. Then one day I wondered if I could run a 10-min mile on the treadmill. I couldn’t. I was disappointed in myself because I remembered how as a child I was required to run a 10-min mile every week. I continued running on the treadmill until I could. A few months later, I met Ben, who would become my husband.
Back then, I thought of him as the cute guy I met online. Ben is an avid runner. He coaxed me into running more by encouraging me to race. While I never really cared for road running all that much (I love trail running!), I discovered that I could fulfill my need for competition through racing. One of the things I missed after graduating from college was competing. In high school I competed in horse shows, drama competitions, and speech tournaments. In college I still competed in speech tournaments. But these avenues for competition dried up after I graduated. My Type A personality and need for competition focused on graduate work and then my career. Grant writing and publishing papers aren’t quite the same.
Before Ben, the only types of races I had heard of were marathons. Of course, I knew about Bay to Breakers, a wacky 12K race that’s more of a running street party, because I lived in the Bay Area, but I thought that a non-marathon distance race was the exception. I couldn’t see myself running a marathon, so I didn’t put much effort into running. Ben insisted that we do a 5K together, then a 10K, and then a half marathon, which was the Brooklyn Half. The experience at the Brooklyln Half was magical. I loved the roar of the people, the music, the cheers, and running from Prospect Park to Coney Island. After that, I was hooked! Together we’ve done several races from 5K to half marathons, and even a couple triathlons. Whereas Ben has done marathons before, this summer I’ll be training for my first marathon, Wineglass, which is in early October. I’ll be using Run Less, Run Faster training program to attack my goals.
I chose Cardamom as my moniker because 1) it’s my favorite spice, 2) it’s versatile, can be used in sweet and savory dishes, and 3) being one of the most expensive spices in the world, it represents my love of the finer things in life.
I’m really looking forward to sharing my experience with you and being a part of this amazing stable of awesome Salty Runners.