Hey, Salty friends! I am psyched to be a part of this crazy-motivated community of runners. I’ll go by Lemon here, in the hopes that I’ll bring a fresh, bright, and tangy presence to the site.
My running journey started way back in the 4th grade mile, when I finally found a PE activity that didn’t make me want to die of embarrassment. After being one of the few kids to run the whole time during that first attempt as a nine-year-old, I always looked forward to Mile Day. When I found out that I could run as a sport in middle school, it was like the heavens opened up!
Middle school running taught me I absolutely loved the sport. Nothing about it was super competitive for me. In fact, whenever I started to feel sick, I figured I should slow down. Seems logical, and most of my non-running friends would argue that would be the sane thing to do, but that’s not how you win races. I finally figured that out at the end of 8th grade, just in time to break seven minutes in the mile and get ready for my freshman year of high school.
I ran competitively through high school, where I met my very best friends and found a safe space snuggled between the red lockers in our locker room. I put up with track too, but my first and truest love has always been cross-country, but I put up with track, too. The longer the better for me; throw me in a two-mile as a high schooler and I was a happy camper.
Because competitive and team running had been such a defining aspect of my high school career, I desperately wanted to run on a team in college. I was competitive at the high school level, but nowhere near great, so I found a spot on a D3 team at a school I was excited to attend.
College running had lots of ups and downs for me. My freshman year went well, and I even liked track since I got to bump up to the 5K and 10K distance. I made my first group of friends sweating through Tempo Tuesdays and Track Thursdays and then, obviously, dancing through post-race Saturdays. But sophomore year was tough: I was plagued with double stress fractures in my shins and some other funky illnesses, forcing me to the sidelines after a lackluster cross-country season and a failed attempt at an indoor track 5K.
The weird thing, though, was that I found myself relieved to be knocked out. A big weight I didn’t know I was holding was gone; it felt like I could breathe again. It took me a while to figure it out, but I was beyond burned out. My body just found a way to tell me before my mind did.
I ended up taking a full year off of running, which gave me a chance to build a bit of an identity outside of the sport that had given me so much. I was able to come back to run just cross-country my senior year, rediscovering my love for the silly team sport that had stolen my heart so many years before without giving over my entire existence to it.
Since graduating in 2013, I’ve been spending my days teaching hilarious crops of 7th grade students in Boston, MA while spending my early mornings out running. I’ve completed four marathons, including my first Boston this past spring. I also get to coach middle school cross country and track, where I get to remember that running should primarily be fun. The number crunching and goal setting can come later, once that love has taken hold.
I’m currently sitting on a 3:28 marathon PR, which I’m hoping to crack this fall. I’ve also toyed with refocusing on the 5K distance, but the marathon bug is a hard one to shake.
When I’m not running or teaching, you can probably find me reading, listening to podcasts, eating chocolate, or writing. I’m so happy to have a space to combine two of my great loves, and I can’t wait to get to know you all better!