Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What's my story?

How did I get started with running? How did I develop a passion with running? These are questions I get quite often from friends and strangers! Before I get into my story, I would like to share this quote with you.

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

Well, I started running leisurely when I was a senior in high school when I took a jogging class as a physical education requirement. I was not too interested in running at that point, but I wanted to be somewhat physically active. I also did some running on a treadmill once or twice a week, but nothing more than 20 minutes. When I went to college, I did a little bit more running on the treadmill, but nothing more than 3 miles. Again the main purpose was to stay in shape because I did not want to participate in "Freshmen 15" and that did not happen! After my freshmen year, I returned home (Norwich, CT). A friend suggested me to run outside in my neighborhood, so I started to pick up running outdoors. Ever since that summer, I ran at least a couple times a week and built up my endurance. I started to develop a passion for running in my Sophomore year in college and it was a great stress reliever!

One day while I was running on campus (Uconn, Storrs), my friends spotted me from a distance away in their car and thought I looked so tiny. So they gave me a nickname, "littlerunner". And for Halloween that year, we dressed up as runners.

Michelle (back) & Melissa (middle)

In the spring semester of my Junior year, I studied abroad in Greece and brought my New Balance sneakers with me and kept up with running in many different countries I visited. 

On 3/26/11, I went running on a beach in Halkidiki, Greece on my 21st birthday!

Thanks Taylor for taking these photos along with Eleni and Celeste!
While I was abroad for 4 months, I was dating a guy who I met in Freshmen year at my first college. We were on and off prior to reuniting before my departure to Greece. Long story short, our relationship was a struggle. But I really appreciated his effort to maintain the long distance relationship with me. He was there for me everyday no matter where I traveled to, I may not have given him enough credit, but looking back, he did a great job! However, our plan did not work out upon my return from Greek land in summer of 2011. All the things he promised me while I was abroad did not quite happen when I came back to the states. He broke it off with me.. I finally experienced a heartache for the first time/my heart was broken. During that time, I was interning in a financial firm that summer in NYC, so one of my co-worker suggested to me to sign up for a race, train for it and get over him through this experience. That was one of the best piece of advice I have received and so I trained over the summer and ran with my friend, Tom with a torn ligament on my foot on 8/6/2011 in Killingworth, CT.

I finished my first race - a 4 miler in 39 mins (quite slow compared to now) Finishing the race definitely made me feel stronger both mentally and physically. I eventually moved on from that terrible breakup a little while after my race.

The design of my first race shirt was not the greatest, but it reminds me when and why I did my first race!

Ever since my first race on 8/6/2011, I have continued to run competitively till today and accomplished a lot more than I have ever imagined. I have further advanced my running skills and completed many 5ks, 4 milers, 5 milers, 10ks, 10 milers and half marathons! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
I healed my broken heart with running (and piano) and that was the moment when I realized how much I love being a runner!

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