My Running Story

My name is Jeri and welcome to my bloggy blog.  I'm 29 years old living in the Midwest and working as a library assistant in a public library.  In August I finished my Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Alabama.  I've lived in South Dakota all 29 years of my life and have yet to see Mount Rushmore...ooopsies.  I've always been athletic (ok, not true, I was pretty uncoordinated and would rather spend time by myself in a tree reading until I was about 10), and have been a runner for almost as long as I can remember.

In high school I played basketball, volleyball, ran track, and cheered for our boys' basketball team and football team.  Basketball was by far my heart and soul, but I was much better at volleyball and running.  Go figure.  I've been running competitively since 7th grade, 13 years old?, over half of my life??  impressive.  My running journey has morphed and changed throughout the last 16 years.  When I started running, I showed promise as a mid to long range runner.  I ran the 1600 m. and the 3200 m. relay, but I desperately wanted to be a sprinter.  Finally during high school my coach moved me into the 100 m. dash, 200 m. dash, and some sprint relays.  I also high jumped.  For a 5'5 1/2" (yes, that 1/2" is important!), I was pretty decent thankyouverymuch.  I qualified for state in the 100 m. dash, 800 m. relay, and 1600 m. relay my senior year after sitting out 90% of my junior year because of a severely torn quad.  I even left my mark on my high school with some contributions to our Track & Field record board, for legs on a 400 m. relay team, 800 m. relay team, and 1600 m. relay team.  A couple of those records had stood for 25+ years before our 4 some broke them.

When I got to college, I walked on to the track team as a sprinter to find that there were a lot of girls much faster than me.  I quit pretty early on because the time commitment was pretty great for no compensation, and I was probably a touch lot lazy.  Throughout college my running was pretty sporadic.  I participated in any and all intramurals because my competitive side was still strong as ever.  The summer before my senior year, a friend of a friend mentioned that she was thinking of doing a half marathon and she thought I should train for it as well (she knew I "used to be" a runner).  I trained for my first half marathon for the Fall of 2005, and thus my long distance running career was birthed.

Over the next 3 years, I would ebb and flow out of love with running.  I was frustrated that I was becoming slower (when in reality, I was training poorly, if at all) and was ready to quit running all together.  I kept running the same half marathon every fall, and by 2008, my time was 12 minutes slower than the first year I had ran it.  I vowed to give up running.

After a break up in early 2009, I found myself with a ton of time on my hands, and desperately needing to get back into shape.  I knew one way to get back into shape:  running.  I set my sights on a local St. Patty's Day 5k that I had run a few other years.  Over a matter of a few months, I had lost quite a bit of weight, and was surprised at how quick I was getting again.  After a couple of training runs, I realized that I had the potential to break my current 5k PR.  Slower?  Sure doesn't seem like it.  It was around this time that I started my blog.

Since 2005, I have been wanting to run a marathon.  I've been very fearful respectful of the 26.2 distance and wanted to make sure that I was properly trained to avoid injury/burnout/general hate for the full distance.  For the past 5 years, I've known which race I wanted to be "my first" Cellcomm Green Bay Marathon.  I am a huge Packer fan, and as soon as I heard there was a race in Green Bay where the runners got to run through Lambeau field, I was sold.  
I finished my first marathon on 5.16.10 in 4:12:00 with a huge smile on my face.  

Check out my race reports and results page for more fun running awesomeness.

Questions?  Contact me at jerbearshares [at] gmail [dot] com


Unknown said...

very cool story - keep it rolling.

Marci said...

Exactly where in South Dakota do you live? I'm from Huron.

Matt said...

Great blog! Can't wait to follow!

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying your blog & your running story. Great first marathon time - wow!

Lizzy said...

We do have a lot in common!!! I also ran track in college (D1) and quickly realized how much faster everyone else was in my league and quit after my soph year and then went back and forth with running for years after.

I loved the 4X100 and 4x400!!!

Anonymous said...

Great Story! SUPER motivational!

Anonymous said...

I taught in Mitchell, SD for a year. The Sioux Falls half-marathon was my first half-marathon and race outside of college!