This is the face of a girl that considered running to be a form of punishment. It was something the field hockey coach made us do when we were dragging our feet. I only joined the track team to improve my strength and speed for field hockey, but I ended up quitting after 2 years. I was a terrible sprinter, I hated being last, hated feeling like a failure, and I hated those bikini briefs that accentuated my tree trunk thighs. My lowest point was faking an injury as an excuse for my poor performance. I fell down in tears after I crossed the finish line, not because I was in pain, but because I was humiliated. It wasn’t my Achilles, but my ego that had ruptured that day and the whole track experience further affirmed my belief that running was pure, sadistic punishment.
I’m not exactly sure when or how I had a change of heart about running, but I know it has a lot to do with my parents. Both of them went from not running a mile to running half marathons and winning age group awards at races. My dad became this amazing marathon runner who consistently qualified for Boston. In 1996 my parents convinced me to join Gate City Striders and I started going to races every weekend with them. We became known as the Minami family runners. My dad became my marathon mentor and taught me the patience, discipline, and commitment required to complete 26.2miles. The marathon would become my favorite racing distance. This Saturday I will run close to 3 marathons (75miles) in one day, my farthest ultra to date. I no longer think of running as a punishment, but a privilege and a sacred gift. This sprinter, who dreaded the 2 mile run in the trails is about to voluntarily go out there for 14hours and she’s going to love every second of it. I may fall down in tears as I cross the finish line, but this time those will not be tears of humiliation, but tears of accomplishment. #ghosttraintrailrace #ultrarunner #retiredsprinter #runningisnotpunishment #runningisagift #nevergiveup #tbt #keeprunning #thankyoumomanddad #gatecitystriders #bringiton