I wasn’t always a runner.

I kept the stat book for both the boys soccer and wrestling team in high school, but that’s about as close to participating in team sports as I got. Too short for basketball and not nearly coordinated enough for anything else, I kept my distance from pretty much everything athletic.

Then there was college, circa 2002. Obviously I didn’t get a scholarship to school for a sport I didn’t play, so I stayed true to my nothing-that-requires-a-uniform policy. One thing I did participate in pretty frequently? Drinking. Ladies drink free ‘til midnight, $2 pitchers, nickel beers, keg parties – you name it, I had been to one off these boozy events on multiple occasions. Another thing which seemed to go hand in hand with cocktails? Smoking. Yep, I was a pack-a-day {sometimes two, if there was a party} Parliament Menthol Light smoker.

Doesn’t get much more classy than that – Coors Light & a cigarette. Nasty habit to have, but once I started it was a hard habit to kick. I cut back here and there (mainly because I was a broke college student) but quitting simply never happened.

I finally had three months smoke-free under my belt prior to moving to Austin in 2009. There were a few setbacks: a trip to Vegas, the stress of unemployment, and basically lack of willpower. Before I knew it I was a full blown smoker again. Fast-forward to spring of 2010. I decided enough was enough. Austin was an incredibly active city and I wasn’t taking advantage. There was something that interested me that could only be done successfully without smoking: running. I discovered a few running blogs, which opened my eyes even further to the world of running and inspired me to sign up for a few races of my own.

Oh, did you think I quit drinking too?

In May 2010, I ran my first mile without stopping for a walk break. On June 12, I completed my first 10k race. On October 2, I crossed the finish line next to my best friend at our first half marathon. I only wish I had started sooner! {I could have been using my cigarette money for race registration fees!} I’m now making up for lost time by running as many races as my legs {and bank account} will allow. I have completed 24 half marathons to date, 4 full marathons, and countless smaller races.

I owe my love for running to Austin, Texas.

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