Catlin is a friend of mine. She’s number 123 in the picture below. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind launching the spotlight series I’ve been meaning to start since . . . the beginning. She was kind enough to agree. This is her story. If you have a story you want to share, or know of a runner who inspires you who you would like to see spotlighted here, let me know! E-mail me at lizzie (at) motherrunner (dot) com
Here’s Catlin: I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah, and I am the middle of three girls. I graduated from Utah State University with a business finance degree. My husband Joseph has just over a year left in dental school at NYU, and we love living in Staten Island and being able to enjoy NYC. I love reading, playing the guitar, playing tennis, and sewing. I have two cute red headed kids.
I have always been pretty active in sports and exercising. I played tennis and softball in high school, and have usually worked out a few times a week in some way or another like aerobics or yoga. I never enjoyed running, and probably never ran more than 1.5 miles at a time in my whole life before last fall. I always thought I lacked endurance and would rather push myself really hard for a few minutes than drag it out over a long run. I never understood why anyone would want to run long distances, and I had no desire to ever be a “runner.”
We got a double jogging stroller after I had my daughter, and I pretended to go running every so often, but I rarely made it more than a quarter mile, if that, before I stopped to rest. My good friend and upstairs neighbor, Katie, has been running for a few years and has done quite a few races, including a couple half-marathons and a marathon. Over the last year or so she had often mentioned running and asked me to join her, but I always said no. Finally, last November, I agreed to go running with her one Saturday, but I made no promises that I would ever go with her again. We ran a 3 mile loop around the park by our house. We stopped to walk a couple of times for me to catch my breath, but when we made it home I was shocked that I had just run 3 miles. I was so tired, but I felt awesome. I honestly hadn’t thought that I had it in me to run even 3 miles, even though I was in pretty good shape. I loved the feeling that I had that day. I was proud and totally impressed with myself! The next Saturday, I was the one talking Katie into going running and we did 4 miles. Oh, and Katie was 7 months pregnant! It was so hard for me, but I absolutely loved how good I felt when we were done. We ran for about 3-4 Saturdays, but then the weather started getting colder and I made a goal to pick it up again in the Spring.
Then some friends wanted me to run a 5K (Cupid’s Chase in Manhattan) in February. I kept saying no because I did not want to run in the cold. Katie also said that she was going to try to run a half-marathon in DC in March, and wondered if anyone would like to do it with her. I kept pushing both thoughts out of my head because there was no way that I was going to run in the winter. But I finally decided to sign up for the 5K because I thought it would be fun to run a race with friends, 3.1 miles didn’t seem impossible, and if I did want to do a bigger race like the half-marathon I thought I should at least start out with a small race first. I signed up for the 5K near the end of January and had 2.5 weeks to get ready for it.
I was sooooooooo nervous for the 5K that I could barely sleep the night before. I had no idea what to expect since it was my first race, and I was nervous about the cold (only 30 degrees!) and I was hoping to push myself and get a decent time. But once my friends and I got there it was so exciting and I loved being a part of it and experiencing my first race. Everyone had told me that running outside (instead of on a treadmill) and the adrenaline from the race would make it tons easier than my training, so I was expecting it to be really easy. But I think I pushed myself too fast at the beginning and I got worn out had a really hard time getting through it! I set a goal for myself to do it under 31 minutes, so when I finished at 31:25 I was actually really disappointed! I kept thinking “if only I had gone a little faster or hadn’t slowed down to walk for a little while.” I wish I could have felt excited for finishing my first race, and doing it 3 minutes faster than I had ever run 3.1 miles, but all I felt for a little while was frustration! If I could do it again, I would run my first race with no time goals (or at least set reasonable ones) and just enjoy the experience without feeling like I had to be amazing. Once my emotions calmed down a little bit and I thought back on the experience, I was really happy with how I did and I loved being a part of it. I had often seen people wearing the running bibs and I felt so proud that I was actually one of them! It was awesome to run it with a group of friends, too.
Tune in on Wednesday for the exciting and emotional culmination of Catlin’s journey. Seriously people, I was at the edge of my seat, and that was after I had already it twice. Catlin rocks my world!