On Monday I wrote about the Illinois Half Marathon and why it holds such special place in my heart. One of the things I didn't mention is that not only does it take place in my hometown, my hometown is also where I became a runner.
I ran my first 5K in 2007. And afterward I kept training. I marked out routes from my house and got my mileage up to almost 9 miles!
Jason and I lived on the edge of town so I mostly ran county roads and sidewalks that bordered other subdivisions. I found paths that wound through neighborhoods and past farms. I ran to the highest point near my house (a freeway overpass, by the way) and enjoyed the view. I began to love exploring how far I could get on foot and then marvel at that distance when I drove the same streets in my car.
When I moved to the near-west suburbs of Chicago in 2008 I left my very first running routes behind. Yes, I found new routes to run but sometimes I think back to those original runs I did and remember how amazing I felt the first time I ran 4 miles or 7 miles. How I always wondered what it would be like to run from my house to my parents' house (less than 10 miles, so something I could totally manage now). And I remember the very first time I set out to run the very first route I planned and how I barely made it a mile.
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