Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Essence of Running

"Running is a road 
to self awareness 
and self reliance. 
You can push yourself to extremes 
and learn the harsh reality of 
your physical and mental 
coast quietly down 
a solitary path 
watching the Earth 
spin at your feet. 
But, when you are through, 
exhilarated and exhausted, 
at least for the moment 
everything seems right 
in the world."

"I run because it’s my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I’m going where I’m going and I’m already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise... it's a consistent reward for victory!" - Sasha Azevedo

"I believe in the runner’s high, and I believe that those who are passionate about running are the ones who experience it to the fullest degree possible. To me, the runner’s high is a sensational reaction to a great run! It’s an exhilarating feeling of satisfaction and achievement. It’s like being on top of the world, and truthfully… there’s nothing else quite like it!" - Sasha Azevedo

I am a sister, daughter, girlfriend, teacher, RUNNER.
A runner.  For me, running is fun, tiring, inspiring, and mind clearing. Running is good for the body and good for the soul.

I wasn’t always into running. But I grew up with a mom who is an avid runner. I remember biking along side of her when she would go for runs and sometimes my brothers and I would play games in the soccer fields when she would do track workouts. I remember cheering her on in marathons when we were younger. We even took a road trip to watch her run in the Boston Marathon.

It wasn’t until after high school that I started running. I wanted to stay fit and healthy so I decided to go for a run. It wasn’t very far, probably only one mile, but it was a start. You have to start somewhere. I remember how proud I was, I remember calling my mom saying “I just ran a mile!”…looking back she was probably thinking umm ok Amber, one mile? But she said she was proud of me and encouraged me to run more. Each time I laced up my shoes I pushed myself to run farther and farther. I finally felt the “runner’s high”. I think it was about four miles, which now doesn’t seem far to me, but back then that was a huge accomplishment. I felt so good and I felt like I could run forever. The rest is history…I started training with my mom and I ran three ½ marathons until I finally decided to train for my first full marathon. I ran the Twin Cities Marathon with my mom in 2009. That is when I got my tattoo. I wanted to remember how much running was a part of my life and how alive and free I feel when I run.

Me and my mom after my FIRST half marathon (the Monster Dash)

My mom and me after the "Get in Gear" 1/2 Marathon

Soon I got the guts to join the track team at my school, Hamline University. I learned a lot from my coach and teammates and I fell in love with running all over again. This was a different aspect of running because it wasn't just running for fun, it was running…RACING... for competition and for our team and for our school. I trained hard and improved a lot. I gained so many friendships through running on a team. Joining track at Hamline was one of the best decisions of my life.
Senior year I joined cross country, which is by far the most physically and mentally challenging sports I have ever participated in. And I thought hockey was a tough sport…cross country is CRAZY intense.

Having fun with some teammates at a home track meet

Cross Country- MIAC conference meet

The thing about running is that anyone can do it. You just need yourself and some running shoes. You just need some motivation to get out there and try it. It is so peaceful and it is so good for you. No matter how fast, slow, far, short of a run you go on, it doesn’t matter, it is still an amazing thing you can do for yourself. God gave us legs and a body to take care of. I never want to take that for granted.
I don’t think I will ever stop running. I don’t run the high mileage I was running when I was on a team but I still try and get out for a run at least 4-5 days a week. Tim even runs with me now :) it is great. I enjoy running alone, with others, with music, without doesn’t really matter. I always come back happy that I went. When you run alone it gives you a chance to clear your mind, enjoy nature, work out your body, find yourself, forget about your everyday worries, and life seems to slow down for a little bit. Sometimes I even like to pray and have a conversation with God when I run.

Anyways, I know I rambled quite a bit but I can’t help it, I am just so passionate about running. I’m going to be that mom out there with the jogging stroller :) 

My friend Asha and I running at the cross country regional meet

Tim and I after my 2nd marathon this past fall 2011

My niece Scarlet :) 

My cross country team!

some of my beautiful teammates :) 

Running the Monster Dash on Halloween

I hope at least one person who reads this gets inspired to lace up their shoes and go out for a run today :)

Enjoy and God Bless!


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