Running was a central part of life in the Army and – despite the unpleasantness of adjusting to wakeup calls at 4:30 a.m.- I eventually began to love being immersed in the drumbeat of feet and rhythmic cadence, “One, Two, Three, Four – Hey! Run, Run, Run Some More – Hey!” By the time I graduated Army training, I was hooked and began racing off base at every opportunity. Even after leaving the Army to focus on family, my passion for running has persisted.
Yet as with any relationship, my love affair with running has had ups and downs. I don’t always love every aspect of running and on numerous occasions prior to a race, I’ve found myself wondering, what in the world possessed me to participate in this? This is craziness. Oh and why does it always rain? Definitely not signing up next year…. Yet at some point between the starting gun and finish line, I find myself remembering why I want to be there and thinking about how great it will be next year, especially since there’s no way it will be raining.
Exactly what makes running so enjoyable can be hard to pinpoint and hard to understand from the outside. After all, the typical signs of fun are absent – runners have no ball to kick or new dance move to learn. Plus, running a mile for the first time can be uncomfortable. Scratch that – the first mile hurts. And yet there’s something invigorating about the act of running and, at least for me, satisfying about running further and faster than before. I also believe that continuing to put one foot in front of the other despite the relief that could so easily be attained by stopping, fosters a special kind of grit and resilience that partly defines what it means to be a runner at heart.’
Although three pregnancies and one breast cancer diagnosis have put the brakes on training over the years, I still feel a sense of accomplishment from being able to say I got a run in today. For now, that’s enough – and when I need more, I know there’s only one thing to do – keep going.
More about Andrea
Andrea resides in Cincinnati with her three incredible children and husband. She is also a new puppy mom to James who – in addition to being an adorable cuddle bug – is also a surprisingly fast runner. Andrea’s most memorable running moments include being passed by a Candy Cane in a Christmas 5K (also very humbling), completing her first Half Marathon in Seoul and enjoying breathtaking ocean views in the Monterey Bay Half Marathon.