My Running Story

I’ve never been one to be able to sleep in late, but getting a dog has given a whole new meaning to me to being an early riser. On a weekend, if I roll over and see that it’s after 7 a.m. and Louie hasn’t yet woken me, it’s a small miracle. This was frustrating the first couple of weeks, but now I’m really enjoying my furry early morning wake-up call and the extra time it gives me every day. (Note: Louie goes back to sleep right after our morning walk – this is not a skill that I have yet mastered.)

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“Good Morning Mal!”

Louie’s wake up calls have been extra useful this week – getting up before 7 am has made this the most productive vacation week I’ve ever had. We’ve been antique shopping, appliance shopping, house painting, etc. And the fun continues today…Painting

My Running Story

Now to the meat of this post..I’m thinking now is as good a time as any to share my story how I started running and incorporating fitness into my lifestyle. Growing up, I was a competitive cheerleader and spent every evening tumbling, jumping, and stunting, and therefore never had to worry about remaining active. After hanging up my cheerleading uniform for good, I made it through 3.5 years of college with about 10 trips to the gym – exercise just didn’t feel like something  I was very interested in. I was surrounded with fit and healthy people:  my boyfriend, a football player at Auburn, probably the fittest person around; my roommate , Megan constantly inviting me to join her in a workout class or a fitness video; and my dad always begging me to go running with him. But I always had an excuse: I was too busy, it was too hot outside, I had homework to do, I just did my hair.

I finally gave in to Megan during spring semester of my senior year and started doing work out classes with her. My dad caught wind of my new weakness in opposing exercise, and asked me to run the Gasparilla 5K in March of 2012. I knew this was the PERFECT opportunity to buy tons of new neon running clothes, so I reluctantly agreed.

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I gave it a go and finished in about 33 minutes. After running this first race, I realized I had all these awesome running clothes, and obviously needed to get my moneys worth, so I continued to run. I ran three or four times a week, somewhere between 2.5 and 4 miles each run. Eventually, I found myself addicted to running and began increasing my mileage as I enjoyed the runs more and more. I registered for the Miles for Moffitt 5K last May (2 months after I began running) and ran it in 29:47.

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I was so happy to run the 5K in under 30 minutes, and started setting more running goals for myself. Plenty of other 5Ks (and a 15K!!!) came and went, and I loved to see how my training really paid off in increasing my speed and endurance each race. A year later, I ran the same Miles for Moffitt 5k in 26:03, and came in 6th place out of 90 runners in my age group.

I hope to continue running, to get faster, and to get some half marathons and marathons under my belt. Running has truly become a passion, and I have a feeling it will be a life-long passion. I have some great running role models in my dad and my fiancé, and I know they’ll both push me as hard as they can.

Please share your stories of how you began running, or how you fell in love with any other type of fitness!

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