I’m Melanie – a 44 year old, married mom of 2 amazing girls.
My story as a runner begins when I was 35. I had never been a runner at all. In fact, I hated running. I figured I’d give it a try to lose those “last few pounds”. So, I laced up the only pair of sneakers I had and started C25K. I did lose those last few pounds but I also gained a love of running. It took me a while to get through C25K but I finally finished a 5k in April 2011 and I was hooked.
I did a couple more 5ks that year and in the fall, I saw an ad for the 2012 Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I decided to follow a training plan and see if I could do it. When I got to 8 miles, I signed up. The race was not what I hoped for, but I finished.
I kept running 5ks and gradually started adding in half-marathons. The half became my favorite distance.
In 2013, I started thinking about my 40th birthday coming up and decided I wanted to try a full marathon. I signed up for Paris and entered the lottery for NYC (my dream race!). At that point, I joined a Galloway training group. I loved the Galloway method and it got me to the starting line uninjured and ready to run. Two weeks before I went to Paris, I was notified that I got in to the 2014 NYC Marathon!
Paris was surreal and a wonderful way to celebrate turning 40. It was probably crazy to travel so far for a first marathon but I don’t have a single regret.
Once I got back home, I immediately jumped right back into training for NYC. I am no fan of running in the heat so summer training was much harder for me than the winter training had been, but I got through it. My father was also diagnosed with cancer 2 months before the race. It was a tough time but I finished training and my dad successfully completed chemo and was well enough to be there at the finish line. The NYC Marathon was just incredible. It really was the experience of a lifetime for me and having my family there was everything.
In 2015, I continued doing races but my father’s health declined rapidly at the end of the year and we lost him in December.
I had also been taking a prescription medication that I strongly believe significantly impaired my ability to run around that time so I was running less and less and by summer 2017, I had completely stopped running. I needed time to grieve anyway and be with my family. It was a time of big changes.
After stopping the medication, I slowly started running again in the fall of 2017. In February, 2018, I did my first half marathon in 22 months and was feeling great again. By fall of 2018, I was back to running marathons.
I’m just an average runner – middle/back of the pack. I’m so inspired by others, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never be exceptional or run Boston and that’s ok. I love running and traveling and races have become a way for me to see places I normally wouldn’t consider going. I hope to keep moving for a very long time!