Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Inspires you to Run?

   A member of my Tri-team posted the question what inspired you to start triathlons.  It has been really fun to read the responses from everyone, some people have truly inspirational stories, and others like me just have a moment where suddenly it was a new goal, a new challenge.  But it got me thinking...

   What inspired you to start running or doing triathlons? 

  For me, it all started when I was in college, the fear of the freshman 15 was enough to keep me active.  I had always been active in high school so working out was nothing new.  But I remember walking down to the gym in the basement of the dorm and getting really nervous when I walked in.  I had never worked out at a gym before, EVER, and now as I walked into the gym I realized the guys were all by the weights and the girls were all on the ellipticals.  Too intimidated to try any of the free weights I hopped on an elliptical... yeah, I had never done one of those before.  But I HATED it!  I was used to playing soccer and having intense workouts and practices, so the elliptical just didn't do it for me.  So I tried the treadmill and I fell in love!  I realized that I could really push myself and that I could also change up the intensity.  I kept in touch with my friend Greg from high school and he did the Chicago Marathon in '07.  I was amazed that he did it and after listening to him, I realized that I wanted to do it too!  Crazy, I know!  Who has one conversation that makes them think a marathon is a good idea, especially when the most I was running was about 4 miles a day!

   So I trained and I completed my first marathon!  It was the most painful and exhilarating experience of my life!  I've realized over the few years that I have been doing these races and training that it is important to stay inspired.  As a result of my Dad watching me complete my first marathon, he decided to do one himself.  It's kind of funny, because in some ways I inspired him and now he inspires me.  I am so impressed with his new desire to have a healthy and fit lifestyle.  Now that he isn't training for the Chicago marathon, and I am again, he will come out for a run for the last leg of my training run to encourage me to keep going. On some of the long runs it can get brutal and I want to stop, but he either rides his bike next to me or jogs along side, telling me that I can do it!  It is very encouraging and definitely has helped me get through the miles!

  My triathlon story is a little different.  Since I had suddenly gotten into running, I was reading anything and everything I could get my hands on about it.  Through my reading I came across articles on the Ironman Triathlons!  I thought they were the most amazing things ever... and I still do!  For those of you who don't know... and Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run, with 17 hours being the time cut-off! HOLY GUACAMOLE!  Crazy, right?!  Well I had been reading up on everything and I had been telling my parents about it, and one weekend I was home from school and while flipping through the channels, we came across a televised Ironman race.  They were profiling a few athletes and while watching the show I looked over at my mom who had tears streaming down her face, and we both laughed because I had been crying too!  It was so amazing to watch some of the athletes attain their goals, through all their hard work and perseverance.  I then took a class on Personal Fitness, my last semester and my professor had done numerous Ironmen!  I was so impressed!  She and I would talk about my marathon training and triathlons.  Then after being injured in my second marathon, my parents started strongly suggesting that I take up triathlons.  This spring the Cycle shop near us started it's own Tri-team!  I decided to join and I did my first triathlon in June!  It was awesome!

So sorry for the long story... But...What inspires you to be active?  I'd love to hear your stories!


  1. Emily you have touched my heart!! YOU are an inspiring, creative, and a wonderful person and I'm honored that I helped motivate/create a tiny piece of that :) Hopefully I'll see you at a race/training event sometime soon! :) GO EMILY!


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