I haven’t always loved running. To be completely frank, I used to dread the thought of a running, but I think it’d be safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with lacing up my running shoes and escaping for an hour (or two). Last March, I ran my first half marathon with my Mom and became instantly hooked to races. Not only do I love running races because I’m side by side (commiserating) with thousands of other runners, but because the electricity of the crowds really gets me going. My roommates, however, will say my favorite part is the medal at the end – I guess I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the bling at the end, too. Since that first half, I’ve run two more half marathons and four other smaller races.
As part of my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, I made it my goal to qualify for the 2017 NYC Marathon via the 9+1 program. This program is a great way for NYRR Members to qualify for the race because it not only promotes the smaller NYRR races (9 races), but also encourages people to give back to the running community by volunteering (+1). With this goal in my mind, I knew that 2016 was all about getting into optimum marathon shape and staying injury-free. I had no intentions of running a marathon this year, but when one of my closest childhood friends texts me asking if I wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon, I had to say “YES”.
Part of the reason I immediately said “YES” to running this marathon was due in part to the fact both my parents ran the Marine Corps Marathon 15 years ago. My parents started training for the 2001 MCM with a group of their close friend and eight year-old Meg would bike alongside them on their long runs, haul water, and cheer them from the sidewalk. This really sparked an insatiable passion for the sport at an early age. It would be an understatement to say that I’m so excited to make a “return” to the MCM and run in my parents footsteps.
2016 is all about pushing my limits and running the Marine Corps Marathon is the perfect challenge. Here’s to running my first 26.2, crushing my goals, and many ooh-rahs along the way.
The end of my college athletic career was one of the most difficult transitions that I’ve had to go through, and to be honest, it was really challenging to plan for (along with the transition into the “real world”). I no longer have coaches telling me what to do or where to be; there are no more teammates to count on in moments of weakness or for congratulatory high fives in times of success; there are no more fitness tests to pass or mandatory conditioning sessions to attend. The biggest change to date, is that now there is nobody holding me accountable for what I do (or choose not to do).
After I returned to San Diego in late December, I quickly thrust myself into as many running and fitness groups as possible, in an effort to regain that lost sense of camaraderie that I had once shared with my 31 other teammates. My week quickly began to fill up: Monday and Wednesday mornings were spent at November Project, Wednesday nights I found myself at Milestone for run club, the weekends kicked off with Friday After Work run group, followed by a combo of yoga and running at bRUNch club on Saturday, while Sundays I alternated between long runs and Glider Port Stairs at Torrey Pines. I threw down #VERBALS for almost all the workouts, which meant that I had to show up or face public social media humiliation (aka getting called out for not showing up). I became part of a bigger fitness movement in San Diego, November Project, and was no longer just another individual running a route through another neighborhood; It felt good to be part of a “team” again.
In January, I attended every single workout possible and felt stronger than ever. I used to resent running because A) I am not very fast and B) it was commonly used as a punishment for not being fast enough . Now that I was running for myself and had no “times” to meet other than my own personal goals, I finally began to find my stride, both literally and figuratively. Running was FUN, Burpees were celebrated, and I started to “eat hills for breakfast”. Who woulda thought?
As the runs became easier and the mileage began to pick up (meaning I ran over three miles), a couple of people at November Project began talking about the San Diego Half Marathon in March. Before I knew what I was getting myself into, I was signed up and dropped my #VERBAL, even though I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully I was able to coerce my fitness loving mother and NP superstar into running it with me so I had some sort of guidance throughout the next seven weeks.
My training plan originally called for increasing my mileage from my four mile max to pounding out eight miles the first weekend. I quickly threw that plan away (and all my hopes for running a half) and began to follow my Mom’s more carefully structured plan which included lower mileage until weeks 5-7, in which we would increase slowly to ten miles the week before the race.
Flash forward seven weeks and I’m toeing the start line for the San Diego Half Marathon, a surge of nervous energy fueling my empty, nauseous stomach. I woke up on Sunday at 4:30, sick to my stomach, unable to get anything down; by the start of the race I had been able to eat two orange slices: things were not looking good to start. Nearly two hours later and we’re downtown at Petco Park to check our bags and get ready. We immediately found some fellow NP (November Project) runners and huddled together to keep warm in true NPSD fashion #weatherspoof. At 7:20 the first wave took off and we began on our beautiful journey through San Diego, around the airport and Marine Depot, up Washington (the dreaded hill), through Hill Crest, and finally down Sixth Avenue until we turned towards the finishers chute on Fifth.
Two hours, ten minutes and forty seconds later, I finished. Three seconds later Ang came crashing into me at the finish line.
Three months ago I would of laughed at you if you told I was going to run a half marathon, let alone anything more than five miles. Now I find myself laughing, looking back at the fun I have on runs with my new “team”. Thank you to all those who pushed me both physically and mentally the last two months (including my Mom) – you continue to be a much needed daily source of inspiration.
Wow I cannot believe it’s been my last summer as a teenager. (Gahh! I feel so old typing that!) I only have few soccer filled days of summer left, but I promise to live it up before its over. Granted I’ve had an amazing childhood living around the world, traveling, experiencing new things and of course playing sports, but there are some things that I’ve yet to accomplish. I always hear people saying, “I wish I could have done this or that but I didn’t”. Well the time has come to just do it (thank you Nike for that beautiful motto).
Heres’ my list of 20 things I’ve yet to do that I want to finish before my birthday in February! Let me know if you want to join in on any or all of the challenges!
Run a Half Marathon – I think for as much as I’ve run over the years in soccer, I think it’s finally time to prove it with a medal or two. On the last day of winter break, there is the Carlsbad Half which I’d love to train for. Come on, how hard could it really be?
Learn to Cook (Well) – Food is sort of a basic requirement of living and if it weren’t for some of my teammates and my parents I don’t think I’d still be living today (probably from food poisoning or from just lack of food!) Anyways, I’d love to learn how to cook a gourmet meal (maybe not gourmet but you get the idea) and have some friends over!Completed Fall 2012
Go on a juice cleanse for a week – I just watched a really cool documentary called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead which opened my eyes to the types of foods I put into my body. I’d love to try this and although I could not do a full juice cleanse because I wouldn’t be getting the proper amount of calories and proteins through juicing, I think one week is manageable and would test my will power.
Go to a college football game – Seeing as I’m working for the Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust which recognizes the best college football player each year and NYU doesn’t have a football team I think it’d be fitting to go to another college football game. Who’s down for the Yale Colombia game on 10/27?
I think I Could Handle the Pigskin
Donate Blood – In between getting over my fear of needles and helping others in need, I think this would be a great thing to do before I’m twenty. (Plus you get a pretty cool sticker for doing it!)
Go to a Broadway Show – Seeing as I’ve lived in NYC a year and have visited a half dozen other times I don’t know why I still haven’t seen a broadway show. Any suggestions? Completed Dec. 12, 2012
Watch Every Episode of Friends – This is one of those classic TV shows that people are still talking about ten years down the road. Seeing as I live in Manhattan, have a friend named Phebe and have Rachel’s spending habits, I think this would be one show worth watching from the pilot episode to the series finale. Central Perk anybody?
Go to All Five Boroughs in One Day – Sure I can name all of ’em but I haven’t even been to all of them, let alone more than two in the same day, but I’d love to say that I’ve done this. Here’s my plan of attack!
Go To Mexico – My favorite foods includes chips and salsa, I lives less than 30 miles from the border and speak Spanish. Have I been to the border? NOPE! I know it’s dangerous but I literally just want to cross over and just say I’ve been there (and maybe have a burrito too!) Oh and watch this cool video about the border and sports!
Just wanna go to the other side of the fence
Start a Revolution – My roommate Cami showed me a video from TED we watched in preseason last year about starting a revolution and seeing as I live in a city full of people, I don’t think it’s going to be terribly difficult to start one. The only problem may be thinking of something – any ideas?
Submit a piece or photograph to a major publication and get it published – New York City is the home to hundreds, if not thousands, of budding young artists and journalists trying to make it big. I think it’d be an incredible accomplishment to get published or recognized for any piece of work I do now. Maybe a possible career in the making? Who knows?
Start a Tradition – I’m really great at starting things but am not so great at following through on them so I think by starting a tradition it could help me on my follow-through. I think making Foodie Friday a tradition would be great! In order for this to count we must do this a minimum of 10 times 🙂 Completed Fall 2012
Foodie Friday Day #1
Break a Record – I know this goal sounds pretty conceited but I think that etching my name into some sort of record book would be pretty awesome to do by the time I’m twenty. I know I am ranked third or fourth in some records in this but it’d be great to be number one!Completed October 28, 2012
Withhold Myself From Shopping (But For Only One Month) – I’m a shopaholic and proud but my bank account would probably say otherwise. I think it’d be a reasonable goal for me to not do any clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. shoppingfor one whole month. My roommate in PDA currently thinks I won’t be able to do it and she’s only known me for a week… Yikes!Completed October 15, 2012
Confessions of a Shopaholic?
Try Bananas, Mushrooms, or Yogurt (Or all three) – I’m typically not one of those people that is pegged as “picky” but when it comes to these three foods, I am pretty stringent. For some reason these are the three foods I refuse to consume until now. Maybe I’ll find out that I like bananas or yogurt by the Spring but I don’t know yet; only time will tell. Completed September 26, 2012
Fly – Although It’d be pretty awesome to just flap my wings and fly away, I think a more comparable goal would be to learn how to fly a plane. I come from a large family of aviators – my Dad was a pilot, my grandfather was a pilot, my grandmother was an airline stewardess and my other grandfather jumped out of planes. I think it’s an important part of who I am in a larger sense of my family. (Plus how many people can say they can fly?) – Completed December 23, 2012
Visit Ellis Island and Look For Any Relatives – I recently found out that my maternal great-great grandfather, Patrick Tannian, passed through Ellis Island and I think it’d be a pretty unique experience to try and find their names among the thousands that passed through those gates. After searching through some old documents and Ancestry.com, I think I can make this work.
Watch a live surgery – I’ve always had some sort of obsession and quirky passion for the human body and at one point in my life I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. I think it’d be cool to scrub in and see what it actually is like to be a doctor. Any bets on how fast I’ll pass out?
Get Scuba Qualified – One of my good friends Kaitlyn is PADI qual’d and I always have wanted to explore the sea. The World is 70% water, I can swim, the only thing missing is breathing underwater – let’s do this.
Doesn’t This Look So Cool?
Make an Impact – I feel that this one is pretty vague yet self-explanatory. In all that I do, I just want to have a positive impact on those around me and I think I can accomplish this one if I keep trying to be a selfless individual.