When I served as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador it ha prompted me to look back at my running journey, which included completing 40+ road races since 2008. I know some readers have followed my blog from the start in 2010, but if you haven’t or have forgotten some of the details, I wanted to share them in full today.
My Running Story
My first road race was in 2008. I walked the Castalia Cold Creek Festival 5K in Castalia, Ohio at my then boyfriend (now husband’s) prompting. I was too afraid to run. I knew I could finish 3.1 miles if I walked, so that’s what I did. Two months later I ran my first 5K at the Milan Melon Festival in Milan, Ohio. I wasn’t blogging yet so I have no photos – only my memories.
In late 2008 I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana and there my running journey blossomed. I ran three races in 2009, all 5Ks. I started my blog in April 2010 and the first road race I recapped on my blog was the Winona Lake Run for Fun 5K.
I was reading other running blogs. I had to have my own. I continued to run and blog through 2010. I ran my first 12K and first 10K race that summer. Then in September I ran my first half-marathon, the Fort-4-Fitness. Somewhere along the way I also learned about National Running Day and started to participate in that each June.
I ran more than 500 miles per year during that time. I was also blogging five days a week, writing about my training, race recaps, fueling and running gear. I also experimented with barefoot running. To date, 2011 and 2012 were my best years running. I ran roughly a dozen races both years and completed two more half-marathons, my third of which was the Cleveland Half-Marathon in 2012.
I did not PR but I was able to complete the race. Temperatures were in the upper 80s and many runners, suffering from heat exhaustion, did not make it to the finish line. Running is what started my blogging journey. I rebranded my blog in 2013 and changed my niche to “health and lifestyle.” That same year I started to “burn out” on running. Maybe I overdid it. Maybe my interest waned. Either way I only ran a handful of races in 2013 and 2014.
In 2015 I was pregnant and ran recreationally until the mid-way point of my pregnancy. After that I stuck to swimming, prenatal yoga and walking. In 2016 I found myself with commitments at home (a newborn!) but a desire to remain active.
In the years following, I have been practicing yoga; and attended Baby Boot Camp Cleveland classes – which allows moms to exercise with their babies. In 2017 I resumed running in a less aggressive manner. I was a little nervous to begin running again, but serving as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador gave me the motivation and encouragement I needed.
My running journey is not coming to an end yet. I also went on to complete a 10K race and another 5K in recent years. My last race, the May in Bay 5K, was in 2021. Racing has been for fun or having a goal. I’m not running competitively or to PR at this point. I also occasionally run 2-3 miles when I need a cardio workout or I’m itching to burn off some energy.
What a great run it has been!