Running in the rain

/ Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ever since I was younger, I hated running. Looking back, I remember trying to keep up with my friends around the track --- panting the whole way through. I was an overweight chubski who buried herself in books and geekdom. I mean, who gets a "B" in P.E.? Yup, that was me and that was a hard earned "B", as a matter-of-fact.

Working out didn't become a reality to me until my Sophomore year in college. I had gained quite a bit of weight (can we all say "Freshman 15"?) and I was finally determined to get myself into gear. The weight came off sloooooowly. I graduated college and ventured off to the "real world". The workouts became more intense but nothing budged. I decided a change was needed and signed up for my first half marathon... and then my first triathlon... and then my first full marathon... and then I became a trainer/pace leader for USA Marathon Training. This is where my life changed. This is the point I believed I was a runner. I was making a difference. Things came together for me. Running was bigger than myself.

(Trish & I at the LA Marathon Expo 2011)

Training with a team is the almost incredible feeling... especially one as supportive as mine. Although we are separated into different marathon race pace groups, I have never felt intimidated by my fellow pace leaders or my coaches. I believe that is key to any successful training group. 

This year's LA Marathon was amazing. I receive some odd looks when I reflect on the day. Picture this: it was raining, hailing, and flooding in some areas. But, it didn't matter. I felt free running through the streets of LA with people I didn't know cheering us on as we passed by. They stood out in the rain, too, with no complaint. I couldn't argue with that. I was running toward nowhere else but the finish line. I was breathing so fully against what would have been a smoggy day in LA. I paced my team... they were as focused as I was. When we finished, I felt a release within... a calm only a victory could bring. 

(My fabulous pace group & I)

I added another medal to the rest and I can't help but be a little sentimental. The thought of running a marathon - any marathon - was seeded into my mind around this time three years ago. No one told me about running in the rain though. 


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