I think we can all admit that at some point we’ve opened Pinterest or Google and searched for “running motivation.” I have probably 100, if not 1,000 little quotes saved somewhere. But there is one quote that defines why I run.

“Running teaches us to keep moving forward one step at a time, especially in the most painful moments.”

Running is about my journey. In 2009, I was overweight and out of shape. I was sad and disappointed that I had allowed myself to get to that point, but I didn’t know where to begin. So, I did what most desperate people would do…a fad diet! It actually sort of worked, I lost weight and kept the majority off for a few years, but it started to creep back. Unwilling to let it get any worse, I decided it was time to think about the future and redefining my lifestyle. I knew it was going to be hard.

First step, join a gym – that was the easy part. Going, that was hard. But, I had a plan. Couch to 5K was a 3 day per week plan and I was all in. I quietly found my way to a treadmill 3 days per week, then I found that I wanted to go more…so I did! About 5 weeks in, I upped to Couch to 10K! I was slow, but I was doing it. I ran more, then it happened I signed up for a half marathon. I finished, but I was mentally defeated and my feet hurt. It was the easiest excuse to quit, and I did…well, temporarily. But, the funny thing about running for me was that I missed it. So, I put my shoes back on and started running again.

Knowing I needed to be a little bit smarter about training, I decided to join a summer training program with Kalamazoo Area Runners. After I received my plan and did a few weeks of running with the marathon training group, I decided maybe I should run a marathon instead. I didn’t have a race in mind, I wasn’t even really sure I could run a marathon. But after a summer & fall of training, I signed up for Grand Rapids Marathon!

Since running Grand Rapids for the first time, I’ve continued to train with groups and I’ve run more half marathons than I can count, a bunch of marathons and a handful of ultra marathons! Gazelle Girl is my favorite of all of them and this will be my third year pacing! I can’t wait to run with you!