Some people are naturally adept at sports; some aren’t. The same holds true for running: Some are naturally gifted while others struggle at it. I’m blessed to be tall with long legs, allowing me to cover great distances with each stride. I’m hindered, however, by having one leg that’s significantly longer than the other, giving me an uneven gait. I’ve had to overcome obstacles growing up with a brace on one leg, so I know about determination and never giving up. I also know how much effort goes into overcoming these obstacles, so I’ve learned to choose which battles to fight and which ones to walk away from.
When it comes to running, I have always thought my determination was my greatest asset. I can make myself keep going even when every muscle is screaming otherwise. This is a good thing for distance running, and it got me to the finish line on many occasions. My philosophy has always been to run as far and fast as possible, then do what you can to finish the race if you aren’t already there. As you may realize, this isn’t the smartest way to run a long race, but since a runner usually runs a race alone, how does one learn strategy? That’s where friends help out, and I’ve been blessed to have some great ones through Red River Runners!
In October of 2010, Jessica Snyder took me under her wing and guided me through a great half marathon in Fargo. I wanted to ease up part of the way through, but she kept me going strong. She’s been a great training partner ever since and also ran the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, finishing in under 4 hours!
The Twin Cities Marathon also saw Red River Runner and Boston qualifier Anne-Marie Studer guide Natasha Kasprowicz through her first marathon. These two had way too much fun!
Then there is Red River Runner trainer and Boston qualifier Martin Short. He will be quick to point out that I did all the hard work, but he gave me encouragement during the weeks of training and made a special trip to Minneapolis on Sunday to run with me. All of my hard work would have perhaps been wasted had he not taken the time to coach me along every step of the way as I ran from Minneapolis to St. Paul last weekend. Now I know what it takes to run steady and hard through an entire marathon. I may have done all the hard training myself, Martin, but you brought me home to the finish line, and for that, I am truly thankful!