The Run Down - The RunVermont Blog

Why I Run: Angela Bekkala

by jen on September 30, 2013 · 4 comments

in Why I Run

wallis sands halfMeet 35 year old Angela Bekkala from Dover, NH. She had a bad race this past May at KBVCM and is looking for a redemption race …. we need to convince her to come BACK to us! Help!

Thank you for including me in Why I Run…Every runner has a story. Here is mine.

Throughout my life I’ve enjoyed movement. I dabbled in running throughout my teens and early 20s just for the calorie burn. I was more of a gym rat hitting the cardio machines, classes and the weight room. In the back of my mind, I always secretly had a goal of running a half marathon or a marathon. One day, in the summer of 2007, I decided it was time to go after that goal. What was I waiting for? That year I did my first half marathon. I didn’t know anything about pace, tempo or Fartlek’s. I just ran! As I was running that race, I knew I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next one.

Life had a different course for me to follow. In 2008, my husband, Ron and I decided to try for our first baby. We were beyond thrilled when we found out we were pregnant. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I miscarried. I had gone running that same morning. Even though my doctor reassured me the miscarriage was not from running and I knew it, I stopped running on that day. I associated the two events together. I didn’t want to have anything to do with my running shoes.

After 2 years of trying and not even thinking about running, we finally became parents in June 2010. Not just to one baby but twins! While I was pregnant with the twins a friend of mine was as well. We made a plan to run a local half marathon in November as a way to get back into shape post baby. She was unable to do it but as soon as I was cleared to run at 6 weeks postpartum, I laced up my sneakers. That first run in more than 2 years and after delivering twins was NOT pretty. But the more I ran, the more I remembered the love I had for training. Even though I wanted to spend every single moment with my kids, I forced myself to take time to run. In November, I crossed the finish line of my second half marathon, 4 ½ months after my twins were born. When I saw Ron and the kids, I burst into tears sobbing. I was overwhelmed with emotion. My time was actually slower than 2007 but I felt such a sense of accomplishment for sticking to my intention.

Since 2010, I’ve run numerous half marathons.  After a failed attempt at my first marathon in 2012, I decided 2013 would be the year. Vermont City Marathon would be THE ONE! I breezed through training and felt ready. But I ended up having the worst race of my life. Anything and everything went wrong that day. Throughout the whole race I repeated “One and done!” After licking my wounds, I realized I’m not done. I can’t let that be my only marathon experience. Now I’m on the lookout for my redemption race.

So why do I run?

Early morning runs seeing the sunrise and knowing I accomplished more before most people wake up.

The endorphins and the sweat. Every physical activity has it’s own endorphin high but running is my favorite way to get it.

The music my footfalls make with each step.

The chance to sort out my thoughts with no interruptions.

Solo time.

The running community – there’s never a shortage of conversation amongst runners even if you have nothing in common other than running.

It makes me thankful for the ability to move.

The places it takes me mentally and physically.

I can do it almost anywhere at any time. I can walk out my front door and just go.

It makes me happy.

Follow Angela’s love of running, fitness and healthy living on her blog, Happy Fit Mama : A journey of a health and fitness professional, runner, yoga lover and mama to twin toddlers living the happy fit life.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 D September 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

As I prepare for my first full marathon this weekend after years of many, many halves, I’m curious to know what exactly went wrong? And what happened with the first failed attempt?

2 Dana McKeen September 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

It took me until Marathon #3 to feel like I “Got it right”. :) I’m thinking 2014 will be the right stuff for you!!! :D It’s tough with the marathon, so much more training for just one day, and anyone can have a bad day. You just have to keep trying. You’ll get a good one!

3 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama September 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

First, I want to say that VCM is an AWESOME race! The crowd support is absolutely amazing. However, I don’t know if I’m ready to face it again in 2014. It really was a weekend from hell – a sick toddler that kept me up the night before the race, pouring rain and cold temps, GI issues, leg cramps and then we had car trouble! Definitely not what I had envisioned the race would be like.

D – Here’s the recap of the race that I wrote for my blog that goes into all the details.

My first attempt at a marathon in 2012 was cut short after developing Patellofemoral Syndrome (aka Runner’s Knee) while training for Smuttynose. I had to take 6+ weeks off from running entirely.

Good luck to you on your first marathon!

4 Kierston @candyfit October 1, 2013 at 7:29 am

So happy to read that you are going at it again!

Also, I loved reading about how you got into running too!

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