New England is for Runners

Last year, I uncharacteristically decided to sign up for a half marathon through Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had previously never run more than 2 or 3 miles and hadn't a clue how to enjoy it- let alone not die from 13.1 miles of it- but the idea of doing it for an amazing cause and having people invested in my progress was the push I needed. My best friend Mallory has a very personal tie to LLS and has worked for them for many years so with her help and encouragement, I signed up for the Rock n Roll half marathon in New Orleans, which was just four months away at the time.

After I crossed that finish line with my fellow purple-wearing teammates, I vowed to let my legs have a little break but I would definitely be signing up for another race.

There is just something so liberating and joyous about pushing yourself through each mile, some feeling euphoric and some feeling laborious, but finally crossing the finish line VICTORIOUS! (It sounds wicked- New England lingo- cheesy, but it is true).

On the day of my half marathon in New Orleans, my sweet in-loves said that they were signing up for another go at the Finish at the 50 5k at Patriots Place in Foxborough, MA on July 3. Instead of the 5k again though, they decided on the 10k! How awesome is that? It had become an annual tradition for them and they were taking it up a notch in 2016. We gushed over how nice it would be if Shane and I lived close enough to do the race with them...

Lo and behold, just a few months later, we were close enough! We moved just in time to participate in the Finish at the 50 (I ran, Shane cheered) and it felt so wonderful and right to be near our family, doing something so seemingly normal together.

Everything about our life in New England felt so right- so right at home. It didn't take long for us to feel settled and secure that we were where we belonged. Doing things like this with family only confirmed that. Mix that feeling with all the endorphins running through my veins and I was one very happy chica!

It didn't take long after that to get into a running groove and looking forward to future races where I could not only enjoy the route, but also see new corners of our new beautiful home. I have become involved in the local yoga studio and quickly met some beautiful souls who became instant friends, and bonus! They also loved to run. Early morning runs became a much anticipated part of my weeks! 

My beautiful yogi runners- Rachael and Emelye!

As we watched the sunrise over our little slice of paradise a few mornings a week, we realized that there were probably other yogis who would be interested in running together. Why not create a club?  What would you call such a club, though?

running + yoga = ROGA!

Pretty soon, we had our inaugural Roga run on Labor Day. While I was once self conscious of running and afraid to run with others who may be stronger, better, or faster, sharing the common bond of loving both running and yoga was more than enough to bond a group together and make an early morning holiday 5-mile run enjoyably challenging.

Growing up, I never participated in team sports- or sports in general. I dabbled in dance and theater
but never knew what it felt like to be a part of a team and enjoy the benefits of breaking a good sweat. It may sound silly, but growing to love something that physically challenges me has been a fairly new endevour but one I have welcomed wholeheartedly. To have two things now (running and yoga)  that feel like mine, that challenge me, connect me to others, and grow me mentally and physically- well, I consider that to be a great gift.

Emelye and I at the Run to the Rock 10k in Plymouth, MA!
Each day of life in Rhode Island has been confirmation that Shane and I are exactly where we belong. God knew what He was doing opening this door and I am truly blessed to belong to this unbelievable community.