From the age of three to twenty-one, I considered myself a dancer. With a focus on ballet through the age of eighteen, I took on average five one and a half hour classes a week. I started supplementing that with time at the gym and cheerleading, which I started as a junior in high school. After realizing my body was not meant for the world of ballet, cheerleading became my passion and ballet took a back seat. My body type didn’t matter as much for cheer and I caught on quickly, even getting a backhand spring.
In college, I earned a certificate in dance; at the UW, the focus is mainly on modern dance. I continued to work out at the gym, the SERF for me, through college with a little running, elliptical, and weight training. Dancing kept me in great shape and gave me a strong sense of body awareness.
I had never considered myself a runner. Although I could pump out three miles a couple times a week through college and after, it wasn’t until running my first half marathon in May 2011 (Madison Marathon) that I saw myself that way. This was my first running goal, and it all started because my college girlfriends and I decided while tailgating for a Badger game that running a half marathon would be a good idea. The was the best semi-intoxicated decision I’ve ever made.
The race went fairly well. I was not smart about fueling and had no clue that I needed to be taking in anything during the race. Like many rookies, I went out WAY too fast for the first few miles and paid for it towards the end.
My goal for this race was just to not stop running ever, even through water stations. I accomplished my goal and finished my first half marathon in 2:11.
Soon after the race, I began thinking of my next goal. While a full was in the back of my mind, I knew I hadn’t built up enough of a base to tackle that yet. That summer after getting back from Europe, I signed up for the Haunted Hustle in October.
Because of blogs to like Run Eat Repeat, I now understood the importance of fueling and learned what and when to eat. Around mile five and ten I had Honey Stingers, which gave me the energy to surge at the end. Although I wasn’t running with a Garmin yet, I would guess I ran the last mile in nine minutes. I crossed the finish line in 2:08 and got a little choked up. Yah for a PR!
On December 31, New Year’s Eve, I decided to check the full off my bucket list and signed up for the full Madison Marathon. Although I had a good base to start training, I chose a 20 week program that had me running four days a week. Throughout the training, I continued to strength train, cross-train (sometimes), take yoga (sometimes), and rest. Adding these pieces of the training puzzle saved me from getting injured while training.
My future fitness goals are somewhat unclear. Originally I hoped to do Jamie Eason’s Livefit and get as ripped as Janetha. Although the introductory videos made me want to do it, it might not be what my body needs right now. I had also considered joining Brody at Crossfit, but since dealing with rhabdomyolysis in May, he has taken a temporary (or possibly permanent) hiatus.