About a year ago, when I started running, I did not know what "pace" or "mileage" I was running. Until then, running consisted of a half hour "jog" through my neighborhood in Pasadena and through the Friedrichshain Park, the oldest municipal park in Berlin. I could not tell you if I was a 'toes' or 'heels" runner. My shoes were from Tschibo, a German chain of coffee retailers and cafes. And I definitely was convinced that a "4-miler" was about as far as I could go. A year ago, my motivation to join the DTLA Running Group was a different one: I had fallen in love with a runner.
Over the course of a year, I suddenly found myself conquering distances I thought I would never be able to run. From downtown to Hollywood, to Santa Monica, to Venice, to Burbank and to Pasadena, we were running along the Los Angeles River, over railway tracks, and under historic bridges. We visited bakeries, Indian restaurants with 'all-you-can-eat' brunches and many 7-11 stores for water replenishment. My first set of profiled running shoes retired after 1,500 miles. On average, I am now running a 8:10 minutes per mile pace. I survived Camp Pendleton's 10K tough mudder, and at my very first half marathon race, the Montecito Summerland Half, I finished 16th, running at a sub-8:00 per mile pace. Last week I completed the longest run of my life, 23.1 miles, and next month I am running my very first marathon race through the heart of Los Angeles.
Even though I will be running the 2014 LA Marathon alone, I feel grateful for the many running experiences and memories that have brought me where I am today. I am thankful for Dean Prator and his charity organization, who are sponsoring me to run this one. Yes, I am scared, but I am excited too. This will be as far as I can go...for now. If you want to live track me, and help me finish the 2014 LA Marathon, please send me a motivational note for the on-course video screens: http://www.supportyourmarathoner.com/Colleen-Yorke/17040