“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.