I'm one of those lucky people who gets to do what they love, and in my day job I advocate for cities. It's a challenging time for communities across the country, but when I visit a city for a race and see the great things various towns are doing, it is inspiring. Running has become a way for me to see cities in ways that I would never otherwise have the opportunity.
Five years ago I started running by accident. It was no accident that I laced up my Nikes and took off, but the idea to get me there wasn't my own. A dear friend of mine is a runner. She looks like a runner - tall, thin, gazelle-like. Me, not so much. I'm only 5'4" in bare feet although most of the time I'm rocking 3 inch heels. She asked me to attend a Team in Training meeting at our local YMCA and insisted that she was going to run her first marathon.
I went to the meeting for moral support, but by the time I left I had paid the Team in Training entry fee, signed up for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco and agreed to raise $3600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I called my boyfriend (now husband) and said "Surprise! I'm running a marathon!" and so my love affair began.
Training was challenging and as a result of an IT band injury (I had never heard of my IT band before I started running) I ended up running the half marathon in San Francisco instead of the full. But during my first 13.1 I feel in love with exploring a city through running. There isn't a better way to experience your surroundings.
There are lots of proud city blogs and plenty of running blogs. But I'm looking to discuss the cities I run through the eyes of a cityphile and a runner. I'm looking at not just the quality of a race but the quality of the community that supports it. I've run a marathon, 6 half marathons, a 10 miler and a myriad 5k and 10k races. Each city offers its own take on a race, and every race is an adventure.
|Where it all began: my first trip to Washington, DC in 1995.|