My Running Story

The first time I remember going on a run was in junior high school when some of my friends encouraged me to join them after school to do some runs around Kaysville/Layton city with our gym coach, good ole Mr. McDonald.  It was kind of a warm-up season for when the actual track season came around, so I grabbed my trusty basketball shoes and started joining the group on weekly runs around town.  We'd often go to Arctic Circle and get ice cream cones, turn around and run back!  It felt like we ran 10 miles but it was probably closer to a 5k.  I think Coach McDonald was analyzing his possible future additions to the team; I'm sure he was impressed with my basketball shoes.  ;)

Track season rolled around and I got all of my gear and planned to run cross country, but then I had to choose between track or cheerleading because their practices overlapped.  Ultimately I chose cheerleading (and so did many of my friends that also ran after school), and for the next five years I ran sporadically as I wanted to, or if you can count the "mile" we ran in cheerleading.  I just enjoyed listening to my tunes, thinking, and soaking up the outdoors!  I also bought all of my shoes based off of bright colors and cute looks, and I was a fair weather runner for sure.

Fast forward to college and the indoor track at WSU, which was a pretty nice gym, honestly!  I ran and ran and ran my heart out on that track for the next five years, Monday-Thursday, every night from 9-10:30pm.  I carried my giant portable CD player in my hand, wore my Sauconys that I'm pretty sure were for trail running, and I ran and jammed to my tunes while simultaneously keeping an eye on all the hot dudes working out in the middle of the track.  I rarely kept track of my mileage, just time, and I ran so slow that I swear I was never sore nor did my body really realize I was working out.  I was there to have some wind down enjoyment with my music after a long day of school and work.  I'd always see other regulars there too, who eventually I become friends with some of them, and I found out I had been dubbed "the running girl."


I met Ben a month after I graduated from college and he hated running.  That's what he told me!  A classic case of "I HATE RUNNING."  I continued to run as I could, and he CrossFitted until he had his caving accident right before we got married, which forced time off of regular CrossFit since he couldn't use his arm.  He eventually took a CrossFit Endurance class (a running type class) and realized that he was a pretty fast runner!!  He even learned proper form and started off with a mid foot stride.  Ahead of me from day one!

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2009

We then moved to Arizona and needed some hobbies to help soak up the snow-less climate, especially since we lived in a small town with a long drive to the city, so we decided to train and try racing.  I had run a Ragnar a couple of years earlier, and a 5k or two, but I never had a Garmin or really pushed myself until 2011 because I just didn't care about being competitive.  We bought our first Garmin and signed up for a local 5k [that ended up being clock-less and a half mile long so I have no idea my time anyways], but Ben ran his first 5k in 22:15, which he's taken 3:00 off of so far.

5k race!

I ran a lot over the next while and eventually got fitted for shoes, bought another Garmin and had Ben help me with my form so I could make big crazy plans like run a full marathon.  I blindly chose the SLC marathon because it is my stomping grounds, so my family all decided that if I was going to run a marathon in SLC, they were all going to train for the 1/2!!  (My siblings had run track in grade school and my dad is the original Hales runner, but nobody had really raced before.)

Around the same time, my sister was required to run the Disneyland 1/2 marathons due to her position at Disney, so she started running them and soon got the bug herself and hasn't looked back since.

Us family are all pretty friendly about it, but we are ridiculously competitive.  If we are all well trained then it really is a competition as to who will beat who, but usually somebody has an injury or set back, tis the life of a runner.  The only person who hasn't gotten bit by the running bug at this point is my mom, but we're working on her.  :D  She's the world's best cheerleader though. (And a pro pickleball player!)

Over the past seven years I have run 60 races (that Athlinks and I can think of) in five states and two countries (CHINA!!), and joined the Marathon Maniacs in 2016.

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