Hello Salty readers! I let out a big “Woohoo!” when I got the email saying that I’d been chosen as a Salty blogger, so I figured it was time to get down to business and introduce myself.
I’m the Salty known as Sassafras; I mainly chose my spice name because it’s fun to say (go ahead, say it out loud), but when I realized that I could shorten it to Sassy, well, then, I was sold! I love using the phrase “___ pants” to categorize a mood, whether it’s mine or someone else’s. For example, one can have on their Tired Pants, Grumpy Pants or Cranky Pants, but my favorite kind are Sassy Pants!
First, the basics: I pay the bills by making people look good in my role as a Marketing Specialist. I’m a transplant to the Bluegrass State and think I’ve finally made that transition to your stereotypical “Kentucky girl” since I got excited about NEXT basketball season this past week. Yeah, that’s right – in July. I guess “random” is the perfect word for me, since I get excited about things ranging from making my own granola and energy bars to finally making it to a New Kids on the Block concert last year.
My number one favorite running buddy is Sandy, my Australian Cattle Dog. It’s rare that I do a weekday run without logging at least part of the distance with her. And she definitely is a sassy pants, too! She knows the morning run routine and her head butt maneuvers get me up when the alarm clock doesn’t.
The Mr. – my husband of five years – is not a runner, but is super supportive of my training and races, and even watches televised track meets with me. We actually had a 5K for our guests the morning of our wedding, with race shirts designed by the Mr. and everything!
My running journey began all the way back in seventh grade when I showed up for track practice because everyone else was doing it. (A great reason for anything when you are 13, right?) That, and I was convinced that was running would help me accomplish my goal of getting sexy legs. I had a pretty mediocre season and it may have ended there, only I signed up for what I thought was a mailing list towards the end of the season. In actuality, it was a sign-up sheet for cross country, and when the coach called me in August, he had already arranged for a high schooler in my neighborhood to drive me to practice. Sneaky! I turned out to be pretty good at cross country and would stick with that and track all through high school and for a couple of years in college, before the twin demons of injury and burnout led me to quit the team in frustration.
Over the years, I ran sporadically to relieve stress, try to keep my delayed-onset Freshman 15 in check or once in a while, to train for a 5K. My heart wasn’t really in it, though. I found it really hard to make friends when I moved to Kentucky after college. It sure seemed like everyone here had gone to high school together. That’s one of those things they don’t tell you in school – that it’s hard to meet people in the real world when you don’t have those built-in connections of being on a team together or sharing a class.
Then in 2006, I made a New Year’s resolution to run a 5K, having read that it was better to set concrete goals as opposed to abstract ones like “get in shape”. I told an out-of-town friend of my plan, and she mentioned she was doing a local (to her) half marathon in the spring and invited me to run it with her. Soon I’d found a Yahoo! running group in my town and met a training buddy that will be my friend for life. My partner in resolution crime never did do that half marathon, but it didn’t matter – running and I were reunited. And my local running friends soon grew, too. Running friendships are some of the strongest bonds there are, and I feel so blessed to have these (mostly) ladies in my life.
Since then, I really haven’t stopped running! I have 11 half marathons and three marathons under my belt; right now, I’m training for marathon #4. Running life can’t be all about marathons, though! I have made a big effort to mix it up in the last year, and have raced new-to-me distances like 15Ks and 5 milers. Not to mention being part of an overnight relay where our entire 12 member team donned tutus! It certainly made us easy to spot.
I’m working on successfully incorporating cross training without overdoing it. I tend to throw myself into things full speed ahead, so it’s been a learning curve, to say the least, to figure out how to balance my running with biking, hiking and other adventures while not breaking myself and without having to sit on the sidelines of fun times! We have a multi-day bike trip planned for the fall, about a week before the Bourbon Chase relay, so we’ll see how I do with maintaining that balance and hopefully PR’ing in my November marathon.
I’m so excited to be a part of the Salty family of bloggers and to share my adventures with this great, growing community for female runners.