I started my running journey with the Towpath Turtles, a group dedicated to preparing new runners to run the Akron Half Marathon. From them, I learned how to pace myself so I could run farther than two miles at a time. With their gentle encouragement, and with the sometimes not-so-gentle-encouragement of our coach, Sheila, I ran my first half marathon in September 2012. Read about my time as a Turtle here.
|The Towpath Turtles at the Lyndhurst Perfect 10-Miler in 2012|
|Shelby, Me, and Jen, looking into the sunlight|
|TORN runners at the 2014 Tryptophan Run|
|Towpath Turtles at the 2013 Mother's Day 5k|
|Heather and I run the 2015 Shamrock.|
|Renee and I are trail running!|
|Joy and I are warming up before the 2015 Canton Gold Jacket 5k.|
|Shelby and I set a goal for the half marathon.|
|TORN at 2014 Lyndhurst Perfect 10-Miler|
|TORN at 2014 Medina Half Marathon|
|Bay Days 2014|
I'll tell you a little secret, and you may find it shocking: I don't really like people much. Wait, why are you laughing?
I think it's because I spent sixteen years in the food service industry, which I was really good at, but it REALLY made me hate people. Oddly enough, I love my job, which is teaching teenagers. Teens are awesome; at any moment your average sixteen year old is feeling more hormonal than I am on my worst day. I'm not being ironic when I say I really enjoy working with teenagers, their drama, their sincerity, their craziness; however, because of the amount of energy I spend at work, it takes a conscious effort for me to make sure I don't have Resting Bitch Face when I am around people. I decided a long time ago that I didn't need new friends; I'm just fine with the friends who have decided to stick with me.
As a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I was able to connect with other bloggers/runners who were so different from me (and from each other) and yet so familiar. I have been following their blogs for almost a year now (some longer than that), and we all got to know each other through our writing and later in person. What I found was an additional support group, something I didn't know I needed or wanted.
Each Ambassador has an interesting story to share, and I enjoyed meeting them in person after reading all about them. When my performance in the half marathon was disappointing at best, especially when I compared my results to their fabulous PR's, the group seemed to know what to say and what to post to make me feel less angry and sulky. I think the funniest post in our Facebook group was from Andrew (@andrewrunsalot), who posted a race pic of himself in genuine agony and invited us to caption it.
|At our first meet-up|
|Start of the race|
It turns out that I can still meet new friends, and these friends have so much to teach me. I look forward to following them in their pursuit of their goals, and I look forward to future races and meet-ups together. Thank you, Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, for giving me this opportunity!
To my "old" friends: Thank you for sticking by me, even when I insist on running alone. To my "new" friends: Thank you for being so positive and such great role models for me. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
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