Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Running Day!

Rumor has it...its National Running Day!

 It started off with just a couple of 5K's in college. Simple, sweet, exciting 5K's and than one day I woke up to find myself training for my first half marathon, the Horsetooth half. I still haven't decided if this was a terrible choice for my first race or not. It only gets easier from there I guess. It was a brutal course. The start of the race begins at 5,195 ft above sea level and takes runners by the second mile on a nearly 600 ft. elevation climb up what is named "Monster Mountain" (yeah they weren't kidding). Dam Hill comes next between miles 4 & 5 and "Bingham Hill" could have  killed me between miles 7& 8. I ran this race as a novice and definitely didn't know what I was getting myself into. Lauren, who happens to be the most consistent and awesome runners of all time was my companion for this first race. She gallops up hills like there's no tomorrow. They don't phase her. She practically carried me through the finish line as I was crying to quit the last mile. And after was in my blood for good.

My next race was the Denver Rock and Roll. I ran this one with Lauren and Erin which made for great accountability during training season and SUCH a fun race. Its an exciting course with lots of changing scenery as you wind in and out of neighborhoods, downtown street filled with huge buildings, rockies stadium, pepsi center, great parks and more. Rock and Roll puts on the best races too.

While I was living in Kansas City, Erin and I decided to run in the Malibu Half Marathon. My cousin Amy was training for the Kansas City Half marathon and our training plans were virtually the same. Our races were a week apart so I spent many early mornings with my cousin training in the dark before the day began and I would head off to work while she got the kids off to school. The night before her race she asked me to jump in illegally and run with her. I stopped for a bottle of wine on Friday after work, carb loaded with her famous spaghetti dinner and ran the Kansas City Half early on Saturday morning. A few of my other cousins were racing as well. It was so fun to have a little family posse and see Aunts and Uncles along the way cheering us on.

A week later I flew to Malibu for my getaway race with Erin. We started the race on the beach running all along the Pacific Coast Highway and ending with the beautiful scenery we started with on Zuma beach. They were handing out Mimosas so you better believe Erin and I stuffed our pockets with post race swag, grabbed a mimosa, and plopped ourselves down on the beach to soak up the sun and glory of that beautiful race day.

On Memorial Day, I got to run in the Boulder Boulder with Lee. I think a 10K is the such a great race distance. We had such a blast meeting up before and after work to train 12 weeks before the race and I loved every second of race day with all 6'6 of him running by my side. The day could not have been better.

Running is my therapy, my social outlet, my passion, my hobby. It challenges me, frustrates me, and brings me so much life and joy. Its so hard and so rewarding all at the same time. I love that so many people in my life enjoy running as much as I do. I love the competition, I love the challenge of meeting a goal time, I love the adventure of discovering a new trail, I love a new pair of shoes, I love packet pick up, I love pre- race peanut butter toast with banana, I love post-race meals, I love free swag. I love to race, I love to run.

Happy National Running Day! Thanks for letting me reminisce with you!

~ Mekenzie

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