I started running regularly in January 2011, when I decided to take a running class at UT. I hadn’t been exercising at the time, but wanted to start, and I thought taking a class would help motivate me to get started, since my grade depended on showing up to class and running!
Before that, I had run some in high school and my first year of college on and off. But back then, running was not something I enjoyed at all. It was solely to burn calories. I wasn’t on the track or cross country team or anything like that. I never ran any races, but there was one summer in high school when I was run/walking for 2 hours a day, 7 days a week, no exceptions, and not eating nearly enough to fuel that amount of exercise! I was tired all the time, I did not look forward to running, and I’m surprised I never got injured.
I didn’t really enjoy running until July 2011, when I decided to train for the Rock and Roll San Antonio Marathon. I felt like I had a concrete goal to work towards, one that was exciting to me. By that point I had also gotten in good enough shape that running was comfortable and enjoyable, not a painful struggle. I looked online for a marathon training plan and stuck to it. I began to see great improvements and both speed and endurance. I went from the 11-12+ minute miles I started with in the spring to 9-10 minute miles. I improved myself with every run, and that’s exciting! I became interested enough in running that I began to gather information about running everywhere I could find it, and began reading running blogs. I found out about other races I wanted to run. Running has become something I am very passionate about, right up there with veganism and the environment. Due to an injury on my right calf, I had to take some time off running, leaving me not enough time to train for the marathon. But I decided to do the half marathon instead and do a marathon when I have enough time to train for it.
From December 2011 until now, I have had shin splints on and off, and this has interfered with my ability to train as often and as fast as I would like. I am surprised that I was able to complete the Austin half marathon as fast as I did. I had run two runs of ~4 miles each in the two weeks before the Austin HM because I needed to let my shins heel. By late March my shins stopped hurting (until late May), but the reduced training had taken its toll on my fitness level and I didn’t do that well in the Capital 10K or the Austin 10/20. The shin pain has been back on and off since late May, so I’m incorporating foam rolling and strength training to attempt to prevent future injuries. I’ve recently completed my first marathon, after spending the last year starting and stopping marathon training due to injuries. I have big running goals for the future: running a sub 2 hour half marathon, running another marathon a bit faster, and running my first ultra!