Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Raechel over at Psyched 2 Run.
When I was living in Sacramento, CA (first for my Master’s in Psychology and then as a psychology professor) some friends of mine (including my husband, Matt) were really into running. I couldn’t understand it – anytime Matt talked me into going out for a job, I threw up. Every run ended the same – me on my hands and knees, retching. However, I am naturally a very competitive person and also enjoy spending time with my friends. Since they were always running, I tried to get more into it. In 2012, I ran a couple 5Ks and also a couple of half marathon relays, with Matt as my partner. Every race the same – painful, ending in vomiting. Finally, in 2013, I decided to really just take a leap that would challenge myself beyond anything I had yet done in my life. I signed up for a half marathon training group with Fleet Feet in Sacramento. Training began mid January for a St. Patrick’s Day run. Somewhere during my training, I met new, life-long friends and, little by little, the pain of running subsided. I began to really crave running, finding it an excellent source of stress relief. I would meet friends for long runs and then running also became less isolated.
At the end of the summer of 2013, Matt and I moved back to Gainesville, Florida (which is where we met). We had both signed up for the Outer Banks Half Marathon and so I started training again with a group. But the heat and humidity were killing me and I didn’t really find anyone with similar goals and/or pace to train with. The OBX half was painful – tough weather, tough course, just tough. Afterward, I wanted to prove to myself that I was still a “runner” (whatever that meant in my own silly head). In February 2014, I ran the Florida Keys Ragnar with 10 other friends and it is the thing I am most proud of to this day with regard to my health and well being. Following Ragnar, I ran off and on but for the most part lost my motivation. This summer, since it’s my first one not working, I joined a local fitness studio and am working on getting back into a healthy regime. I’ve signed up for a Spartan 5K in November, a half marathon in December, and am on a team being sponsored by Epic Relays and EBOOST for the Epic Oregon Relay next June.