National Running Day

"There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open. Just do it."

Editor’s note: In addition to my awesome job, cooking and career advising, I run. A lot. I’ve run a marathon and two half marathons and am training for my third. This year, despite a nagging knee injury, I’ve run 68 miles. Today’s post honors National Running day.

I started running in middle school. In high school, I choose to join the cross-country team and the track team because my best friend did. I was not a talented or natural runner. I had to work at it. By my senior year of high school, I’d run a sub 21 minute 5k and was co-captain of the cross-country team. That’s where I thought my running career ended.

Unlike the other athletes I ran with, I knew I was not going to get a college scholarship to run. I was never going to be a sponsored runner and make a career out of my chosen sport. And that was ok.

Like other former high school athletes, I continued running road races and fell into Team and Training. That’s when I ran my first marathon.

No matter where I lived or what my job was, running was always there. A trail run with friends at the end of a hard day at work made everything better. A solitary road run reminded me of the thousands of miles I’ve run over the years.

I’m extremely lucky. I still love running and am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. Run 500 miles in a year, sure! Join a semi-elite team of runners, why not? When a friend told me about the Missouri Beef Council’s running team, I didn’t think I’d qualify. At the time an 11 minute mile was my top and I’ll never win my age group at road races. But they took me. They wanted a wide array of runners of varying abilities.

I’m now a sponsored runner and couldn’t be prouder.

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