Hey, I'm Lis (pictured on the right with my sister, Abby). I have worked at Hot Dot since 2014, and just last weekend I completed the San Diego Half Marathon. Over the years I have completed half marathons alongside my husband, sister, brother-in-law, cousins and thousands of fellow running enthusiasts. What started out as a way to lose my freshman 40 (yeah it’s a real thing) in college has become a true passion of mine. Today, I’d like to share with you why I run and how it has changed my outlook on life.
I have ran a lot but by no means do I have this race thing figured out. It's safe to say I struggle with balance. Last year I thought it would be smart to run 40 miles during the week, and then do my long run on the weekend. This all-out method resulted in a stress fracture that put me out for 3 months. Running has taught me so much more than what number is on the scale. (Just for a little perspective I am 5'3 and my calves and thighs are bigger than most men. It runs in the family though so it's okay I think? Also I dream in donuts and baked goods. 50% of my daily thoughts are on baked goods. The other 50% are on what I'm going to do after I consume these items.) Running isn’t a numbers game. I have learned that it doesn’t matter how far I go or how many calories I burn while running; what matters is taking the next step. When I’ve ran so far I feel like my legs could fall off, take the next step. When I’m tired and start to doubt my strength, take the next step. In life when obstacles get in the way, take the next step.
For me as a runner, completing a half marathon was my next step. If you’ve never participated in a marathon before, you are missing out. The experience is unreal.It happens every time. Our flag waves as the star spangled banner is sung across thousands of runners, the corals line up, and it’s time to go. The wheel chairs and paraplegics go first while the elite runners follow. As goosebumps cover my body and tears fill my eyes the music starts and the horn sounds.
"Whether you’re running 13.1 or 26.2 miles this experience forces you to focus on something so much bigger than yourself."
The physical pain I experience while running is so temporary, so minimal, compared to what so many other people have experienced and endured their entire life. As I start running I see husbands pushing their disabled spouse in a wheel chair for the entire 26.2 miles. A 92 year old lady smiles and high fives runners as they pass her. What sacrifice, what selflessness, what love is shown here. We have the freedom to be whatever we want to be, to run as far as the road will take us and when we fall down and mess up there is grace. We get back up, keep going and take the next step. We become part of something bigger than ourselves. Thousands of beating hearts, breathing souls we are in this all together. The RACE we call life. This is what being ALIVE feels like. This is 13.1. This is why I RUN.
Official time 2:06 - NEW PR! My sister completed her first half. Welcome to the club, sis!
As a runner I believe in pushing yourself past what may feel as your limit. In order to get better you must get to the point of near exhaustion and question why you started this crazy addiction anyways. However, I have had a few experiences in my life where I have overheated and been in a potential live threatening situation. Thankfully, the weather in San Diego this weekend was ideal for running. It was nice and cool without being too humid, but that is not always the case. That being said, I am thrilled to be working for Hot Dot and am confident that I can push the limits at my next half marathon in September in Omaha, Nebraska because I am protected.