Introducing Sesame!

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Hey y’all! You can call me Sesame!

I was born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama, where the skies are so blue and as it turns out, the governor is not always true. In real life I am a Certified Public Accountant, but here on the interwebs I identify as a runner. I’m still in Alabama, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share some snippets of my running journey with you guys here at Salty Running!

I am a lover of coffee, candy corn, nature, naps, puppies and sunsets. In my spare time (i.e., when not working or running) I also enjoy writing, playing tennis, playing fetch with my fur baby (Brooks) and spending time on the water, either skiing or paddle boarding.

I joined the track team my sophomore year of high school as a discus thrower. The next year I was recruited (and by recruited, I mean that they needed a person and I was a person) to run the 4X800-meter relay. If you are familiar with track at all, you likely know that racing 800 meters hurts something fierce. While high school track was my first introduction to the sport of running, I wouldn’t classify myself as a running enthusiast at that point.

I took “jogging” as an elective my freshman year of college (really) and got a little more into running then. I ran my first 5K at the end of the semester and on race day, 3.1 miles was the farthest I ever ran without stopping. From there I progressed up to a 10K, a 10 mile race, and then trained for my first half marathon. I really enjoyed the whole process of working towards a goal and subsequently completing that goal. I was on my way to being officially hooked.

I decided to train for another half marathon, but unfortunately, this is where things got a little messy. I was attacked on a run, kidnapped and raped repeatedly, but (somewhat miraculously) I was released. This event changed the trajectory of my life. At first, the effects were devastating. I developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and an eating disorder in the wake of the attack. My sense of self was completely shattered. I completed the half marathon that I was training for, but retired my running shoes for several years after that race.

Over the years, I have been able to find peace, comfort and healing. I ended up meeting my husband somewhat indirectly as a result of the attack. We are from the same town and I knew that he was a runner. I also knew that I wanted to get back into it at some point and so I decided to reach out to him for suggestions about safe routes and groups to run with. He ended up becoming my permanent running buddy and I now consider myself to be a full-fledged running enthusiast! I love to race and I do so quite frequently. I run in a lot of small, local races and occasionally find my way to the start line of bigger, more prestigious events (I’m looking at you Boston and New York).

The absolute highlight of my running career came in 2015 when I somehow managed to win the Rock-n-Roll marathon in New Orleans, LA. I was on cloud nine for weeks after that race! The race win brought closure to a period of hurt and struggle and in my mind, I had transitioned from victim to victorious. I truly believe that the trials and hardships that we face will ultimately lead to life’s greatest blessings and that every day and every mile in between will bring new perspective, more clarity and a greater sense of purpose.

I’m currently training for the First Light Marathon (January 2018) and depending on how the training shakes out, I hope to chase the elusive sub-3 hour marathon! I’m looking forward to sharing lots of miles with you guys!

What has running taught you over the years?

I am a running and racing enthusiast. I love racing everything from the 1 mile to the 50K! I work as a CPA in public accounting. I enjoy running (obviously) and spending time outdoors (especially near the water). I am also a big fan of coffee, naps, puppies and sunsets.

Leave a Reply

11 comments

  1. Welcome Sesame! I heard your story on Lindsey Hein’s podcast, and I think you’re so tough and resilient…and a crazy fast runner! Can’t wait to read more about you!

  2. Holy sh*t, that is not where I was expecting this intro post to go! Thank you for your honestly and major, major props for working through the horrendous events you suffered. Thank you for being so honest and I look forward to reading your posts!

    1. I definitely try to be transparent with my story and with things that are going on in my life. We all struggle and more likely than not, those struggles have shaped us into who we are and I think that we should celebrate that. Thank you for your comment! I’m excited to be here!

  3. Whoa. I’m thrilled you’ve joined this team, and way to go on winning that marathon! What a comeback- and thank you for bringing your voice on the “other side” of a horrific attack. I think it’s really awesome that you’re putting yourself out there- thank you! (And I’m super looking forward to tips on running in Southern summers!) As for what running has taught me, it’s that it’s really about me and what I can achieve- that I’m running for my own self, and not to satisfy anyone else. Anyway, glad you’re here.

    1. Thank you so much Colleen! I think that it is really important to share our struggles and our victories. Life can definitely be tough sometimes, but sharing the hurts and the joys makes it so much sweeter. I totally agree that running is about being the best version of YOU that you can be.

  4. Victim to victorious is an understatement. Your story, is hard to even comprehend and I’m so sorry for all you went thought- but love that you can appreciate where you are now and have found ways to go forward. Welcome to Salty, and I look forward to following your training and learning more about you!

    1. Thank you so much for you kind comment Barley! I’m excited to be part of the group and I have enjoyed following along with your postpartum training!