Minus being sweaty and sorta sassy, what else is up?
Family, friends, fitness, food, and feelin’ good. (Also alliteration).
I live/grew up in coastal Maine with my parents and younger brother. Family is and always will be the most important thing in my life- even if we drive each other crazy sometimes.
Rather than giving a weird timeline of my life, I’m going to break it down based on areas of interest that are relevant to this blog.
I’ve been hitting pen (or pencil/crayon/marker) to paper for as long as I can remember. One of my childhood memories is walking around with a notebook and making up words. This was done by scrambling a ton of letters together (see below). It was an early attempt at wordsmithing, but pretty apparent that writing was my jam (although I still had some work to do).
Many years later, I attended Bates College and in my second year, switched from Biochemistry to English/Rhetoric Minor (basically, I couldn’t escape the passion for reading and writing). Although in the adult world I’ve found it a bit more difficult to read/write without scheduling it in, this is definitely an area where I feel the most ‘me.’
The Running (and Other Fitness).
Way before I ran competitively, I was the typical kiddo running around playing outside. But when I was 8, I had to wear braces on my feet to correct a problem with walking (specifically, I walked on my toes and one of my legs turned in more at my hip). Running around got a bit tricky, and the doctor said I probably wasn’t going to be very fast or much of a runner…Fortunately, I completely forgot about this experience a few years after shedding the braces anyway.
In high school, I ran Track (our school only had outdoor). My events were the 100m, 200m, 400m, and occasionally the 4×4 relay, and I never ran more than 2 miles at a time. Running 3 miles seemed insane. Why would anyone ever do that?!
In college, I went running with a roommate who casually asked “Want to just jog a 5k?” one day. Not one to back down from a challenge, I said sure. This turned into a somewhat daily thing freshman year, and the stress relief benefits were amazing. Sophomore year until graduation I was running daily at least 6 miles. My senior year was my first half marathon in Brunswick (it was a very slow time- well over two hours).
The next year, 2013, I ran my first marathon (in 4:15). In 2014 I did the same marathon in 3:43. Overall, I’ve run seven marathons, with a PR of 3:30:05 (which was my first BQ). Over this span of time, there was a lot of sweat, tears, and time put into running.
After a skiing incident in February 2016, I tore my patellar tendon in the middle of Boston training. The peak of marathon training aggravated the injury, but I am stubborn and kept going. That summer I broke down and got an MRI, confirming my suspicion that something wasn’t right. In October, I elected to have a PRP injection in my knee as an alternative to full on knee surgery.
Still recovering from the injury and procedure, I’ve had to find alternative workouts to fill the time I used to spend running. Plus, it was a way to become less one-dimensional and explore different types of workout. While running is still my one true love, lifting, yoga, hiking, and circuit workouts have become fun additions to my routine.
Another kind of personal issue, but here we go. I never really struggled with weight- I struggled with my idea of weight. In high school I obsessed over the scale and was preoccupied with calorie counting- food was a numbers game, and I won the game if I won the numbers.
In college, things got trickier. Combined with social pressure and my already unfortunate self image, bulimia became a clingy friend that I struggled with for years. Even when I wanted to stop, I felt trapped in this unhealthy, cyclic pattern. With the help of friends and family I was able to repair my relationship with food, and running was a huge help for me in overcoming the disorder.
Reading “Eat and Run” by Scott Jurek, “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, and “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, my attitude towards food shifted from shame/punishment to necessary fuel for living/performing/being healthy. I recommend “It Starts with Food” to everyone- it’s pretty eye opening and breaks down the chemical processes in your body when you eat certain types of food.