Anthropologist. Runner. Crochet enthusiast.
I’m 38 and I live in rural Southwestern New Mexico. I’m wheat-free and meat-free but seldom caffeine-free. I don’t own a television, I don’t drink, and I go to bed early. I’m basically the antithesis of the person I was a decade or two ago.
I ran in high school, both Track and Cross Country, and loved it – but the hard-partying twenties happened and I took a 12 year sabbatical to really do some damage. On top of that nonsense, in 2004 I had surgery on my right lung which has permanently changed the way I breathe.
In September of 2012 I ran on a relay team in the Akron Marathon. I think I “practiced” for about a month. It felt oddly freeing even though I was desperately out of shape. Having not learned from that lesson, I also ran on a relay team in the 2013 Akron Marathon, this time with three months of “practice”. Something changed after that experience, though, and I began to really think about running and signed up for at least one 5K a month as motivation to keep trying.
I moved to New Mexico in May of 2014 and took a break from running. It took me a while to get used to the altitude and weather. Then after an assault I really felt terrible about myself and thought I would return to physical activity and feel empowered.
In a neighboring state (only three hours away!), there was a challenge to run enough 5Ks within a certain amount of time so you would essentially complete just over a marathon. This intrigued me and I would have completed the task had I not been accidentally enticed into running the TransMountain Half Marathon. I saw a flyer that proclaimed it was the “last hurrah” – that the race would not happen for another four years – and I thought I should act fast. I asked a fellow runner if I could do it. I was exactly three months away from the race date so it was doable. So I did it, I actually trained and I completed my first half marathon.
For the record, I actually thought I had decent posture in this photo.
The main thing I took away from that experience is that I can run at any speed and feel better about myself. I don’t like being “slow”, and I voiced that to a runner friend who basically suggested I run farther instead of worrying about it.
Enter the ultra bug.
And now you know, in a super terrible fast-paced montage way, how we got to this part of my story.