Friday, July 06, 2007

Don't die from the shock...

... but it is ME: Suzie! I am excited that we have some new contributors and friends. Welcome! I am looking forward to sharing our adventures with one another.

Let me introduce myself. I had a dream last night where someone asked me how long I have been running. I told him, "All my life." This isn't exactly true, although it feels like it is! I started running so I could be like my star-athlete big brother. He "ran like the wind" in high school competing in both Cross Country and track. He could run a 4:20-something mile and I thought he was amazing. He still is an amazing role model and friend, but ironically doesn't run as much anymore. (He says it is because it isn't as fun now that he's past his prime.) So I joined the Cross Country team as a freshman, hoping to be a "natural" like my big brother. It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. I never broke any records, but I was a steady and reliable team member. I ran Cross Country, Indoor (Winter) Track and Outdoor (Spring) Track all four years of high school. I feel the experiences I had while training and racing in high school built my character in only a way that competing against yourself can. I worked to make each step count. I could see with clarity how the parallels of training and racing corresponded with life's daily journey, especially that of a spiritual nature. I thought about it often, and looking back I can see that I was probably a very boring teenager! ...so serious and contemplative...

I had never considered where running would take me after high school. I wasn't fast enough to run for my college of choice: BYU. By a great stroke of luck I was roommates with a girl at BYU who had loved her high school Cross Country experience as much as I had. We often ran together "up around the temple" from our apartment in Provo. Again, I thought of the parallel tracks made by my love for running and by my spiritual life. Each time I made it to the top of that hill behind the Provo temple I reminded myself that I could attain my life's goals and ambitions through diligent, hard work. (Still a serious, somewhat boring person at that stage in life?...)

Once I got married running became more of a "get back in shape" activity for me. It wasn't nearly as much fun. I've never enjoyed running all by myself. Although my husband was actually a phenomenal runner in high school (4:21 mile!) he didn't have any interest or time to run with me. I went to the gym sporadically and ran on and off for 7 or 8 years. I ran 10 Ks just about every year and ran a couple of half marathons on a whim (read: no training!)

Long story short: I moved to a new area, I prayed I would find people to run with regularly, and my prayer was generously answered! I happened to find Kelly (M&M is short for "Marathon Mommy": she was the first I had met!) We started running together, became good friends, and one day she asked if I wanted to train with her for her next marathon. I had never thought I would be the "type" to be able to run a marathon, but I soon discovered that with the right training buddy anything was possible! We became the Ying and Yang of marathon training: Kelly would tell me when and how to run and I would pick the scenic routes and remind her to enjoy the scenery. Finishing our first marathon together was truly one of the highlights of my life! Our second marathon came just a month later and with no sleep the night before... another post for another day! Soon after both of our running lives took a "pregnancy detour". But our friendship has gone far beyond being just running buddies. She watches my kids, I watch hers. We hang out together with our husbands. We always call each other if we're going to the park with the kids. Sometimes dinner is at her house... tonight it happened to be at mine. "Impromptu" is the name of the game, and it works so well for both of us! The greatest miracle of all is that we had babies just 6 weeks apart from each other. What a blessing to share the agony and joy of pregnancy with a friend who REALLY understands!

How did this post get away from me like that? OK, so now you know more that you probably would have liked. That is more or less my complete history of running. My 4th child is 3 months old I am trying to get back into the shape I was a year ago. It is becoming increasingly clear that I will at some point have to stop eating dessert every night if I am to accomplish this feat! (Tomorrow?) I have registered to run the Provo River Trail 1/2 on August 11. I am so excited to meet you there, Chelle! Though I can't promise I'll be as fast as you. I am also training for the St. George Marathon. I just hope to be able to stay injury-free through the training so I can enjoy the entire experience with our group of friends who will be going. This will include my husband! I am so thrilled he is "back"! I hope he will continue running with me even when St. George is over. I know I will never stop... Running that is. Right now I AM going to stop writing because I have to be up in five hours to go running! Have a terrific day, everyone!

4 comments:

Chelle said...

Hooray for this "run-down" (clever, clever) of your running history. I loved it. Really there is nothing better than finding others that share your passion for certain things in life. I will post my 'running bio' soon. Cherl and Kelly, will you do the same?

I would love to go on and on, but I am in "Holy crap---we're leaving for our trip in the morning" type of panic mode.

Upon my return I will jump in and start talking training with you great running ladies.

I am officially signed up for the Provo 1/2. There are fun times ahead.

Have a wonderful week!

The Macchio Family said...

Very inspiring... I'm going to begin a running adventure tomorrow. I will be back to get more inspiration... sounds like you all have a great support system. Thanks for encouraging others with you story... I'll be posting my progress as well. Little scared but need to get in shape! ~ kim

M&M said...

I enjoyed reading about your running history. I think it will be fun for all of us to write our bios! Suzie, I am so glad that we are able to run "together." I look forward to when we will truly run together again. Baby steps...

cherl said...

I always enjoy your posts, but reading your running bio was really fun and interesting. You make it seem so effortless. I look forward to hearing more as you move forward in preparation for St. George!