Greetings, Salties! I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the bloggers here at Salty Running as Licorice, and I plan to do my part to make this little corner of the internet a little more awesome for all of us.
I spent most of my childhood joining just about any sport or club that would have me, while desperately avoiding anything that involved running. Seriously. I played one season of soccer when I was 8 or 9, then never went back because it was too much running. I was smaller and slower than everyone else on the team, which made things no fun at all. Instead, I stuck to things like baseball, basketball and volleyball, where I tried to make up in enthusiasm what I lacked in athletic talent.
Then, after college and despite my earlier aversion to running, I spontaneously decided to run a local 5k. To this day, I have no idea why other than “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” After that, a friend somehow talked me into running a half marathon, and while I spent most of that pretty sure I was about to die, I woke up the next day stiff, sore, and determined to run a full marathon. I haven’t looked back since.
Running has seen me through tons of big and small changes in my life. When I was stuck in a series of IT jobs that weren’t doing it for me, it gave me something I could put effort into it and see results from. Being the bookworm that I am, I spent the first several years of my running career reading everything I could get my hands on. I read about training, nutrition, speedwork, injuries, and recovery. I read books and magazines and things on the internet. I turned my brain into a running repository, and a few years later I realized that not only were people coming to me with questions about running and training, but I was actually giving them intelligent answers.
In 2010 the planets aligned and I ditched the IT jobs for good to head back to school for a physical therapy degree. Since then, I’ve also become a certified running and triathlon coach. I’ve found that I absolutely love helping people discover their hidden potential and reach their goals, be it in the clinic or on the track, roads or trails. Plus, it gives me an excuse to talk about running and training, which I am always happy to do. PT school has also provided the added benefit of really rounding out my practical knowledge when it comes to training and injuries.
As for my own running? It’s had its ups and downs. I’ve done races of just about every distance from 5ks to marathons. I’ve run on trails and roads and done day-long relays and overnight relays. I’ve experimented with triathlons and even completed a half-iron distance race. (The full ironman is on my to-do list, but right now it’s just at some unspecified point in the future.) I’ve gone from beginner to seasoned runner to a PR machine to lazy couch potato and back again… a couple of times.
When I started grad school I was in the best shape of my life, and then I injured myself with silly training mistakes and found myself needing knee surgery to fix it. Sadly, having the schedule of a grad student has not exactly been conducive to getting right back into shape, and it’s been a constant work in progress for the past year and a half. As I told Salty in my application, “I’m a back of the pack runner with the heart of an elite competitor… and I live in eternal hope that one day my legs will actually carry me as fast as I like to think that they can.”
[pullquote]I’m a back of the pack runner with the heart of an elite competitor… and I live in eternal hope that one day my legs will actually carry me as fast as I like to think that they can.[/pullquote]
Additionally, I’m a Michigan native who’s lived all over the midwest, but I seem to have settled in the Seattle area with my husband of 2 years. He’s not a runner himself, but he’s the best cheerleader/photographer/pack mule I could ever ask for. He’ll get out of bed before dawn to come watch me race with the promise of coffee before and brunch afterwards. Plus, he’ll happily catch whatever sweaty layers I toss at him midrace and hang on to them for me until I’m done. Not to mention the fact that he hugged me as I crossed the finish line of my half-iron race, when I was covered in 8 hours of lake water and sweat and salt and who knows what else. That’s love right there, folks.
What will I be writing about? I hope to share my knowledge around training and injury prevention, as well as share my journey to become the age-group-winning runner I’ve always fancied myself to be. Of course, along the way I’ll be finishing school, finding a job, starting a family and generally biting off more than I can chew. It’ll be a fun and wild ride!