I love to run. I think running is the best "free" therapy one can get.

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I am not one of those people who started running in their teens – I didn’t participate in sports growing up, I didn’t consider myself to be athletic, yet somehow I became a runner.

I started running in my mid twenties, when the YMCA I belonged to closed down its gym (and fitness classes) for two weeks and I needed to get my workout endorphins somehow. I started running and realized it wasn't too bad. I lived in a small community that held numerous 5K races, including one that the company I worked for sponsored. I started running 5K and 10K races. The local half marathon was a huge event, serving as the RRCA National Half Marathon Champion race for several years. Back then, the notion of running 13.1 miles seemed impossible to me.

Perception is everything, and now I consider 13 miles to be relatively easy. But that perception change occurred over 20 years. I took several years off when my kids were young, but after we moved to Illinois, I started hitting the pavement again.

In 2008, my sister declared that she was going to run a half marathon. I internalized this announcement as a challenge – after all, I was the runner in the family and if my non-runner sister was going to run a half marathon, I certainly had to! That April, I ran the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon in Springfield, IL, whose course winds through the Abe Lincoln Home National Historic grounds and by Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge cemetery. I won’t lie – that race, with hills on the back side, was a struggle to complete.

In 2009, I ran my second half marathon – a new, local race – The Illinois Marathon / Half Marathon. I recall getting sucked up into the local hype around this inaugural event. I had a much better time running this race with the big, high energy crowds and friends who came out to watch and support the runners. I recall telling my friend, Heather, who also ran that race, “A Half Marathon is just the right distance. There is no way I would ever run a Full Marathon”.

In late 2011, I signed up to run the 2012 Full Marathon.

In January, 2012, I tore the ACL in my left knee so needless to say, there was no full marathon for me in 2012. Or in 2013.

I finally completed my first full marathon in April, 2014. And to make up for lost time, I ran a second marathon in 2014 - the Chicago Marathon. Both marathons were worth the endless hours of training, as those miles logged came with great experiences and memories.

Well, that was rather long winded! Thanks for staying with me…The links below point to specific running posts I have written over the years. Recently, I incorporated a regular “Captured While Running” series of posts, meshing my love of photography with running – photos taken while I’m out running. Because when I’m running, I’m communing with all that’s around me and not taking anything for granted.

"Every Run is a Gift"

Captured While Running Posts

Why I Run
Prelude to the Illinois Marathon
Marathon Playlist
Running With the Professors

Thoughts on Running, Perseverance and Courage
Getting Muddy at The 2012 CarX CrazyK
Running That First Mile
11 Miles on 11/11/11
The Muddy 5K
Running Inspiration
My Second Half Marathon
My First Half Marathon

Check out my Running Gear Page



Copyright Notice

All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2020). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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