Running, a Love Story

panhandle trail pittsburgh | almost getting it together

I would try and click-bait you, but I’m bad with titles so this is what it’s going to be. (Side note: the photo above is the trail I run on just about every morning.)

This month marks 11 years I have been running seriously. I would go out and run around my neighborhood in junior high and run in gym class and run during other sports, but August 1st, 2003 I went to my first high school cross-country practice as a baby freshman. I wish iPhones existed then so I could pull some old Instagram photos from that time. Anyway, running three miles seemed DAUNTING to me. Flash forward 11 years, three miles are junk miles to me*.
*this isn’t to say three miles are junk miles – if that’s all you can/want to run, be proud! You should be proud of any amount you run – you’re still beating everyone on the couch.

mizuno wave sayanora 2 | almost getting it together

My number one (non-human) companion: My running shoes.

I have ran through it all: most notably, ligaments ripping away from my knee cap, years of physical therapy, wearing a knee brace, running on insanely taped-up sprained ankles – things I don’t talk about a lot because I’ve forgotten about them. It may be why I have such a laissez-faire attitude towards injuries – I know they can (usually) always be overcome. I obviously really love something if I’m still out there, pounding out 30 miles a week.

running on a sprained ankle | almost getting it together

Cutting the tape off my sprained ankle after my last high school cross country race.

Running has gotten me through every break-up of my life, fights with my friends and parents, deaths, career insecurity – it’s been my longest relationship and has definitely been the best therapist I’ve had. I can’t tell you how many tears I have shed before, during and after runs when it has had nothing to do with running.

Running a marathon is something I have toyed around with for over a year now. I decided right before my birthday that this year was the year. “You have to want to run a marathon,” is what Emily told me. I finally realized that half-marathons were no longer a challenge for me – I could run a half-marathon drunk. That day basically told me I was pretty fit and I needed to challenge myself more.

I love running for the same reasons I love surfing or yoga: because I love pushing my body to the limit. I want to see what I’m capable of. That’s why this November, I’ll be running my first full-marathon, the Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon.

I’ve ran Savannah’s half-marathon before. It was probably one of the worst half-marathons I’ve ran because I was so out of distance running shape. The farthest I had run prior to that day in 2011 was 7 or 8 miles in over a year and a half. I had such an awful race I decided half-marathons weren’t for me and I backed off running for a little over a year, just doing maybe 15 miles a week, max.

In the past two years, I’ve seen how far I have come as a runner. If I don’t love running full marathons, at least I’ll have done one and I can stop feeling like a fake distance runner for never running a full. I know that I’ll always have 13.1.

nike women's dc half-marathon tiffany's medal | almost getting it together

Nike Women’s DC Half-Marathon Finisher’s Medal… with running shoes in the background, of course.

As a note, I’m also excited for three other races I have coming up: Montour Trail Half-Marathon the first weekend in September (it fit in perfectly with my training schedule – I’m doing Hal Hidgens), Ragnar DC the second weekend in September and the Key West Half-Marathon (as an official blogger!) in January. The Key West race will be good because after I run the full, I can take a few weeks off then have another race coming up so I can’t get lazy.

2015 Key West Half-Marathon | almost getting it together

Chat with me:
What are some goals you have for yourself? Have you ever run a marathon? What thing (not a person) do you a love affair with?

45 comments on “Running, a Love Story

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Heather @fitncookies on August 11, 2014 7:54 am

I’m excited you are challenging yourself even more and going for the full! I have no doubt you will be fantastic and have a great race! I love everything you said about what running is to you; that’s exactly what it is for me, too! best therapy out there.
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:43 am

Thanks Heather, it makes me excited that you agree with me about running!!

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Ang @ Nutty for Life on August 11, 2014 8:31 am

Key West race should be so fun. Congrats on everything
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:41 am

Thanks love :)

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Sarah on August 11, 2014 9:28 am

Ahhh I can’t wait for you to run your marathon! My running story started very similarly to yours. I didn’t like it all that much and now I absolutely love it. SO COOL that you’re going to Key West as a blogger!
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:41 am

Haha that makes me feel better that you ran in college and didn’t love it as much at first either :)

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Davida @ The Healthy Maven on August 11, 2014 9:59 am

TELL ME ABOUT KEY WEST! Take me with you as your official cheering squad!!! But actually this post was beautiful. I used to feel the same way about running but not anymore. Started to do more harm than good for ME but different strokes for different folks so instead you can run it for both of us and I’ll be cheering you on the whole way!!
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Lindsay on August 12, 2014 7:40 am

i’ll be a sherpa! can i come? and i agree.. such a beautiful story and relationship with running
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:14 am

yes! I need a sherpa. Can you please come??? Then I’ll be your sherpa and pour you some wine!

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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:41 am

Do you and Curt want to come??? Let’s just get a houseboat and make a party out of it.

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Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon on August 11, 2014 10:12 am

Wow this is awesome! I love that you are creating challenges for yourself and have found running as an outlet. While you are onto 11 years of running, I am onto Month 2 (lol) and definitely enjoying how good it feels to pound out a mile or two. I hope to run a 5K in October and a 10K in the distance after that.. you inspire me to just let my feet pound it out and let my brain have alone time. Can’t wait to follow you through your training plan, races, and the big day !!
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:40 am

I’m always so excited when people start running… it inspires me to keep going! You can definitely do a 5K in October!! Love it!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean on August 11, 2014 10:22 am

good luck! i’m totally in awe of anyone who can run more than 3 miles – that’s my limit :)
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Susie @ SuzLyfe on August 11, 2014 11:33 am

Well, Lindsay, I would say that you have a pretty decent excuse!!! lol
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:38 am

Agreed!! :)

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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:39 am

Thanks girl!! But you never know… one day, things might change and you end up going for 4 or 5 and fall in love :)

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on August 11, 2014 11:35 am

I definitely support and encourage runner to attempt running a marathon–it gives you a whole new respect for your body and the sport that you never can comprehend until you try it. It’s like going through pregnancy–it just changes the way that you perceive what you are capable of!
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:39 am

Thank you for that… definitely something I needed to hear! :)

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Jessica on August 11, 2014 11:54 am

That’s a beautiful running trail. We just moved from a creepy neighborhood (as in, took my dog for safety every time) to a nice, safe area. The peace of mind when going out for a run is completely liberating!

I have a love affair with cats. I grew up afraid of them, then I decided I wanted one. Now we have two. I would get 20 more if my husband would allow me.
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:38 am

There is nothing worse than being scared while on a run… that was basically all of college for me haha.

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Caitlin on August 11, 2014 12:21 pm

Oh awesome! What full are you doing? I may come watch Montour depending on what’s going on that weekend so I’ll keep a look out for you if I do :)
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:27 am

I’m doing Savannah Full! I hope I see you at Montour!! It’s a fun/quick race :)

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Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness on August 11, 2014 1:13 pm

Congrats on the decision to run a marathon!! Goals for myself are to try CrossFit and increase Bar Method from 4x weekly to 5.
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:25 am

Bar Method 5X a week? So jealous! I love barre, but so expensive here!

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Lisa on August 11, 2014 1:26 pm

I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF in 2 months!! Good luck with your marathon. If you have any training tips, I would love to see them on your blog (because I have no idea what I’m doing).
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:25 am

I have a few on the fitness page – how to prepare for a long run and how to pack for a long run (i.e. what to leave in your car if you’re driving to go on a long run haha). I’ll have to work on some more! E-mail me if you have questions, I love to talk about running. cpisone@gmail.com. I also have a Race Recap of Nike Women’s DC Half. Nike Women’s does THE. BEST. RACES. My friends did SF last year and loved it. You’ll have the best time, I’m so jealous.

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Lisa on August 11, 2014 1:28 pm

Also, props to you girl for being able to power through a half-marathon drunk! I definitely can’t do that!
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:23 am

It was not my bestttt decision ever. I was pretty wrecked after.

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ganeeban on August 11, 2014 7:29 pm

Marathon #2 in 2015. Already paid and registered, so no looking back! I did my first one when I was 30 and I actually hated it. I took me over 6 months to realize I wanted to try again. I have a love affair with food. I truly do. xoxo, ganneban
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:23 am

That’s so exciting! What marathon??

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Erin @ The Almon Eater on August 11, 2014 7:32 pm

Ahhh how cool! You’re gunna rock it. You and running are obvi ready to take things to next level ;)

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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:21 am

Running and I are Facebook official.

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Matt @ Runner Savvy on August 11, 2014 8:10 pm

I <3 running :)
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:22 am

Me too!

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Alexis @ Hummusapien on August 11, 2014 10:27 pm

You are freaking amazing girl! I’m seriously inspired :) Can I just say that I NEVER run and I decided to hop on the tread and run 3 miles yesterday….my whole body is in pain. I’m sore in places I didn’t know existed! Gotta take it slow next time :)
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:22 am

Awww thanks Alexis! Yes, definitely take it slow… and I also suggest yoga or good stretching after until your body gets used to it. Isn’t it the good kind of sore though? :)

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Arman @ thebigmansworld on August 12, 2014 5:58 am

Big props buddy- I despise running and even a km is a success in my book!
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:21 am

You never know, you could fall in love! How many KMs is 26.2 miles??

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Kelli @Hungry Hobby on August 12, 2014 11:58 am

Ahhh how exciting! I trained for a half marathon last fall, got up to 12 miles and backed off because I was too scared to be limping around on my wedding day. Now after having been injured for over 6 months I want to get back out there and I desperately want to sign up for a half marathon….not sure if I’m being overly cautious holding back
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 9:06 am

If you’re feeling good, I say sign up for maybe a spring half… then you have a good 2-3 months to build a base then 2-3 months to start training off of that!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. on August 12, 2014 11:29 pm

Awwwr love it, lady. I really wish I could develop that kind of love of running, buuuuuuuut 3 miles and I hit a wall. That being said, I do have other fitness loves that totally do that for me, so I know how it is :) I”m excited for youuuuuuuu!
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Cassie on August 13, 2014 8:39 am

And I wish I liked snow sports! Jealous of your snowboarding abilities!!

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