I’m a 20 something Chicago suburb girl who just started running in February 2013. Lauren told me about an 8k in St. Louis on St. Patrick’s Day 2013 and asked me to come down and run with her and her boyfriend. At first, I hesitated because I hadn’t run a mile consistently since high school. Lauren told me to find a training program online and I could be ready in 6 weeks. I joined the gym and started hitting the treadmill hard adding more and more miles each week. I remember thinking five miles would kill me!! I made it through the training and completed the 8k in under my goal time of 1 hour (in fact about 57 minutes to be exact!).
One of my friends found out that I started running and invited me to join a running group with some old work buddies to train for a 10 miler on Memorial Day Weekend 2013. She said they had a training program in place and we’d do the long runs together. I thought, what the heck, why not?!
I followed the training week for week and completed the Solider Field 10 miler!
After running 10 miles, my running group decided what’s another 3.1 miles to add to complete a half marathon??
This time, the training didn’t go so well. About 4 weeks into the 12 week program after a long run, I sat down in pain and could barely get back up! I had a lot of pain but since I had already paid for the race, I pushed thru the pain, got the training runs in, and successfully completed my first half marathon in July 2013! It wasn’t pretty, but I did it and I was determined to do more!!
After physical therapy for a month, I got back into running slowly and more determined than ever to continue running! After a half of a half marathon relay race with Lauren and 2 half marathons, I’m feeling better than ever!
Now, I’m on the mission to complete a half marathon in all the states by the time I turn 35! And I’m also thinking about running a marathon in 2015… who knows! 🙂
Stay tuned for the Benson sisters running adventures throughout the United States!
Welcome to our blog 🙂 My name is Lauren and I’m the younger sister. I live in St. Louis with my boyfriend Justin, and our adorable dog Lilli. I talk about Lilli a lot on the blog, simply because I’m obsessed with her. I can’t help it, she’s just the cutest! When I’m not running (though usually it seems like I’m running), I’m working at the library, watching my beloved Indianapolis Colts, trying to be a good alum and cheering on my Illini (it can be quite hard sometimes…), or reading.
Growing up, I despised running. I remember dreading the day each semester where we would have to do the 1-mile run and I always thought it was the worst thing in the world. As I got older, I still didn’t like running, but I was intrigued with how many of my friends or Facebook connections were obsessed with running and races. I couldn’t grasp why anyone would want to run one mile for fun, much less 13.1. I couldn’t even fathom the crazy people I would see post pictures of them after a marathon. 26.2 miles? What kind of fun is that?! More like torture, I thought.
In college, I exercised here and there mostly on the elliptical if anything. I was pretty wild in college like a lot of people and didn’t really have time in my schedule for any regular type of exercise. I thought that it was enough to walk to class instead of take the bus, and I’ll admit I was lucky that I was thin and didn’t need to exercise to keep my smaller frame.
When I got to grad school I started to think about exercising more. I even got an apartment near the new recreation center that was opening, but unfortunately, I just wasn’t motivated enough to actually use it.
Towards the end of my second year of grad school, though, everything changed. My boyfriend had to move to Alabama for a job, so I had much more free time. I joined a gym and started working out regularly there using the elliptical and then began doing Jillian Michaels DVDs. I started to get in better shape, but I also started to get pretty bored on the elliptical. So that Spring, for some reason I’m not even exactly sure now why, I decided to go outside and run. I found the Couch to 5K plan online and started following that. The first few days were brutal. I remember even puking and feel absolutely exhausted after only a few minutes of straight running. But for some reason, I didn’t give up. The plan promised that you would be able to run 3.11 miles straight if you finished it and for some reason, this promise was enough for me to keep going. And I did, and I haven’t looked back since.
In 2013, I ran my first race – a 5 miler in Downtown St. Louis. I fell pretty hard during the race ( I got tripped by a stroller!), but despite that, I became addicted to racing after that. Since then, I have competed in many races of various distances – 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons and even the full marathon.
I truly love running and am so glad that it is such a big part of my life. Sometimes, I feel like training and running is like a second job, but it’s a job that I love with all my heart and wouldn’t change in any way. I hope you enjoy reading about mine and Kathleen’s experiences in running, and I look forward to hearing from and connecting with all of you.