Meet RunVermont’s former wonderful intern, 23 year old Lauren Fowler. Lauren was a student at the University of Vermont when she interned for us two years ago. We’re thrilled to see her experience in our crazy office didn’t turn her off from running!
I started running when I was 13 with my mom, and it only took a few weeks and a 5K to get hooked. Now, 1 marathon, 4 half-marathons, and countless shorter races, later, I’m still lacing up my shoes to hit the road.
I keep running not to break speed or distance records. I run because it makes me feel good.
As all runners know, not every run is perfect. Some runs I stop early, take walk breaks, or hate being out in the cold the whole time (don’t even get me started on the dreadmill). Even though a run may be miserable, there’s always a feeling of accomplishment after you finish. I give myself a gold star every time I venture out in the Vermont winter or push through a tough run.
I know that for every tough run, there will be a run that will leaves me high on life for days. It’s those runs where I easily cruise up Battery St., when a planned easy 5 miles turns into a speedy 10 miles, or when I realize that you have a huge, goofy smile on my face while running in my favorite location (Burlington Waterfront, being one of mine).
When I ran my first marathon last year – Vermont City Marathon! – I was cursing myself on the last 6 miles along the bike path, wondering why I ever signed up to voluntarily run 26.2 miles. As soon as I reached Waterfront Park, I saw my family and friends and thanks to the bibs, heard everyone cheering for me by name. I smiled and somehow mustered the strength to pick up my pace for that last minute. I was so pumped full of endorphins following the marathon that I told anyone I met that I just ran a marathon, even for weeks following it. I apologize to all those people who heard my marathon story, regardless if they wanted to hear or not.
Running is also my personal therapy. When I get stressed, upset, or have some emotions building up, all I have to do is grab my iPod and just run. Running is a time to be with myself and my thoughts – usually one of the only times during my day. I can leave my email, phone, and responsibilities at home and spend time listening to my thoughts…or ignoring them and letting loud music and speedy legs do their work. After a crazy few weeks in Boston, I turned to running to work through my thoughts. Living just off mile 23, I saw the spirit of runners out in full-force on the streets of Boston. Everyone was out sharing the sport with others by smiling or waving at fellow runners and dedicating their miles to Boston.
I’m not quite sure why I decided to start running back in 8th grade when I thought the 1-mile run wasn’t so fun, but I’m glad I did. It’s something I can always turn to, no matter where I am or what I’m doing in life. I’ll be running the half-marathon this year celebrating the joy of running and hopefully enjoying those beautiful bike-path miles a little more than I did last year.
by Lauren Fowler