Where I became a runner

misc023On 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 misc031wound 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.

misc028When 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.

I've come a long way since then but I'll never forget those first sidewalks, gravel shoulders, and neighborhood paths that helped me become the runner I am today.misc029

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Filed under: Running

Tags: running

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    Erin Vandenberg

    I'm a 30-something who decided to get off the elliptical and expand my fitness horizons. Since moving to Chicago in 2008 I've run marathons and biked miles. I've done group fitness classes and lifted weights on my own. And now I want to share my fitness finds with you!

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