I’ve been a runner for as long as I can remember. Even in Kindergarten, I remember challenging anyone who was up for it to race me in the school yard during recess and proudly styled myself “The Third Fastest Girl in School” (I did allow that my friends Jana and Wendy were faster.) Our PE teachers did a running unit every January that pretty much consisted of having us run or walk around a quarter mile loop they’d measure and giving us strips of paper (?) every time we completed a lap. The running unit culminated with a bunch of us running the Cowtown 10K, which I ran in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.
In middle school and high school I raced anything from the 200 to the 2 miles; my high school track team was hard core and consistently won the area championship every year, so this is where I learned a lot about persistence, pain tolerance, and discipline. I didn’t run competitively in college, but I did a reasonable amount of recreational running; this was when I first started running more than two or three miles at a time and really began to consider myself a distance runner.
I did a little recreational running in graduate school, but by and large I was so focused on my academic work and commitments that running often fell by the wayside. Then I graduated and started my first real job; as a brand-new teacher, I had precious little free time but tried valiantly to maintain some semblance of training, which usually amounted to ten miles or less per week (if anything).
But then, a few years ago, I decided that all this was bull shit and if I was going to really call myself a runner again, I needed to make a commitment and get back to it with some consistency! Since then I’ve been training for and racing anything from the 5K to the half-marathon, which has made me a much happier person. :)
In addition to running, I also practice Isshin-ryu Karate, a Japanese style of martial arts that emphasizes fast, efficient movements and using your body to direct force in useful ways (as a runner, I have always found this part of it fascinating). I have been practicing since January 2002, though I took about 2 1/2 years off towards the end of college and graduate school.
I live in San Francisco with my wonderful non-running boyfriend, who I met at the karate class that we both still attend. When we are not kicking ass, we can usually be found eating our way through San Francisco, sipping painfully delicious wine, or engaging in various & sundry.