Maybe this running thing isn’t so bad after all

I didn’t know the city very well when I moved here. I had a lot of free time to roam between getting my job offer and when I actually started. I found the best way to learn this city was on foot; specifically by running. I found landmarks, friend’s homes, new neighborhoods and scoped out places I wanted to shop, eat or a venue to host an upcoming Social Impact Project.

But it was strange. Something was different here than it was in Chicago. In Chicago, I would tell people I wasn’t a runner, that “I have exercise-induced asthma” or “I can’t breathe when I run outside.”

Logically it made sense. Every time I ran in Chicago, I would wheeze for hours afterwards.But I haven’t been wheezing in DC.

In fact – I’ve started to enjoy running more.  However, once I started working 8a-6p+, I no longer could go for a run at 1pm on a Tuesday, so I began running on the weekends more consistently. Running in DC is challenging, let’s be honest. There are hills and tons of tourists. Oh, the tourists! I just want to yell at them, “Get out of the way morons!” Instead I find myself doing a quick 2 step dance around them. Usually I would run about 1.5, then walk a bit, then another 1.5 miles and return home.

But this past Saturday, was different. I had the most satisfying, peaceful, and proud running experience.

I woke up at 7am and felt gross from dinner the night before, so I went for a run. I ran from my apartment to the White House and before I knew it, I had 2 miles done. Then I began to run around the Tidal Basin (I had to go back eventually) and it became 2.5 miles, then 3.0 miles. When I surpassed 3.4 I thought, holy cow, I just ran my first 5K without stopping at all! That was the first time I had ever done that and I was proud of myself! I was determined to turn 3.1 instead a 10K! After those 3 miles something magical happened and it clicked. It was no longer UGH running, but I-can-and-want-to-keep-going running.

But then there was that huge blister on the arch of my left foot. And man, did it hurt. So I stopped and walked about a 0.5 mile, but then I thought to myself, Well this is just stupid of you, Caryn. It hurts to walk. It hurts to run. You might as well keep running as long as you’re not tired! 

So I did. I ran about 3 or 4 more miles and despite the pain, I felt great. I probably walked about a 1-1/2 miles but I was proud that I ran most of it. I got lost in the beauty of the day and of the city. Right around 4 miles, the horrible yet catchy fun song “The Tide is High” came on – and the line “I’m not the kind of girl that gives up just like that” really pushed me to keep going, and not give up. (side note: Blondie wrote a lot of creepy stalkerish songs. Have you noticed that?)

I was totally that crazy runner rocking out and head nodding to the music and I think I even fist bumped the air at one point. But I didn’t care. I was so content, totally at peace. It was a beautiful day, crisp and sunny – perfect for running. I just wanted to keep going. I ran for almost 90 minutes! PR for me!

I wanted to keep my motivation momentum going so instead of running home at the end of the workout, I limp-ran straight to Pacers shoe store to get a new pair of running shoes. No more blisters for this girl.

I am so proud of myself for running so long and for completing my first 5K. I might have actually completed a 10k but since I did walk some, and am not 100% sure on the distance, I don’t count it.

Lately, I’ve been inspired. I have many rock star runner friends and after watching them complete a half marathon, I was inspired to take up running more seriously. I always got bored running and wondered how people ran for so long without getting bored but now I get it. Something happened after mile 3, and suddenly I am that girl who can’t wait to try running again. Who am I?! Maybe this running thing isn’t so bad after all. I say that now…


  • Improve PR of 5K from this weekend.
  • Sign up for 5K
  • Sign up for 10K once 5K completed
  • Do Tough Mudder type event with Terra
  • Run 10 Miler
  • Work up to 1/2 marathon