June 24, 2011 By Lauren and Tom
I’ve been a book nerd since the 4th grade when I discovered a cool series of horse books and at that phase of my life I was a horse junkie. I rode horses twice a week, showed horses on the weekends, my room was covered in horses, most of my clothes had horses on them and I think I bugged my parents daily to buy me a horse.  Our house today is still very much horse related…guess I haven’t totally grown out of that phase yet.  I grew into crime books in high school and was the total nerd who would get to class early so I could get through another five pages before classes started (no wonder Tom and I didn’t hang out then…).
I no longer read crime books because I live the crime world during my day job so since I’ve evolved into sports books, women’s fiction and a few motivational books last fall when I found comfort in reading how other women had gotten through tough times in their lives.  Just a few days ago I finished a book called, Run like a Girl, How Strong Women Make Happy Lives, by Mina Samuels. I know, I know it sounds like I’m on some women power kick, but I promise I’m not.  The basis of the book is about how women who are involved in sports lead happier, more confident lives and are willing to take risks in their lives to make sure they are happy in their careers and relationships.  I’ve been a part of some team or signed up for some race since I was 5 years old so I 100% agree with this book.  In addition to my parents I am the person I am today because of my involvement in sports and yes, I think I’ve tried them all at least once.
There is one quote that completely “jumped” off the page at me as I read it and truly hit home.
“As life weaves around us, sports find new places to fit, healing us, keeping us company, inspiring us, reminding us of the extraordinary” (Samuels, p.258).
As you’ve heard me mention before running has been a huge relief from the pain of the last year and even my therapy at times.  The funny thing is…I hadn’t seriously run for five years. That’s not a typo…five years. After I stopped running at IU my sophomore year, I was burnt out. I was so burnt out that I turned to cycling and hardly ever touched my running shoes. I would grab them occasionally and go out for two or three miles but nothing serious. Within a month before The Wedding I ran (more like just finished or survived) my first half marathon. All of my bridesmaids had signed up together and with all the wedding planning, working and finishing my last class for my masters I never had time to train. But I signed up and Tom said he would do it with me, so we did. We ran/walked it and finishing that 13.1 miles was a HUGE step forward in ending my “I’m so over running moment of my life”.  Of course Tom has said he’ll never even harbor a thought of signing up for 13.1 again but it’s funny how the timing worked out for me. 
Running came back into my life a mere three weeks before The Crash. There was some time delay after, when I wasn’t physically able to run but the sheer desire I had to get out on the road when I was finally able felt amazing…after five years of pretty much not running. There was a freedom I felt to just get away, to try and forget what my real life was presenting me at that moment in time.  Running now allows me to find a peace out on the road or trail where I can clear my head and it allows me to run so hard that I can try to physically run the emotional pain out (it works for a short while).  I’m sure over time life will evolve in another way where running won’t be my number one focus in life but until then I’m so thankful that my running legs came around when I needed them the most.
Hope to see you on the road,