FRIDAY'S FEATURED FRIEND
The core of this blog is for the "Love of Running" and when I meet other runners that just have that raw passion for running, it's a conversation that can easily go on for hours.  I met my friend Kelly Darmody at the AFC 1/2 marathon through mutual runners and later found out she was a member our favorite gym here in Deigo.  She is amazing because she just started running in 2006 and has qualified for the Boston Marathon.  She is not only fast because of her natural speed, she is fast because she is determined, self-motivated and loves the high that running gives her.  Get motivated to run with her story!

"Family and co-workers that know me today consider me a fitness finatic and exercise/runningaholic. In fact, my nick name now at work is "Guns". However, some might be surprised to know that I wasn't always into running, racing and exercise. Growing up, I hated gym class and to this today I even fear parties that might ask me to play volleyball as I got terribly mocked since I was so awful at it. The days we had to run the mile I thought I would die.....

It wasn't until college when, like most people, I gained the "freshman 15" and didn't like it and I decided to take up kickboxing and other classes my college offered. This is what really gave birth to my multiple class taking addiction. I started to walk to work which was a couple miles away because I was beginning to really enjoy the feeling of being in exercise mode. 

Later, one of the instructors who I admire, told me one day that she would go running for 3 hours at a time. I thought wow, all in one day? She said yeah, because she was a marathon runner. At this time, if I ran a solid 2 miles on the treadmill I was ready to go to the elliptical or stair stepper so it really blew my mind. But it got me thinking, what if I just stay running past the 2 miles, and do like 5? What if I sign up for a marathon to force me to train for something? So that is what I did in July 2006, and thankfully my sister talked me off the ledge and kindly advised me that perhaps I should try a half marathon first.  So, I started to train on the treadmill 

The day I ran my first 10 miler, I was esctatic but boy was I tired!  But after that first race, taking off with all those people, crossing the finish line, getting my medal and knowing that I did my best was the greatest high in the world. And I was hooked! I decided I had to give the full a try, so I waited a full year and did the same race the San Fransisco Marathon. I will never forget that day, the pain, the joy, and the sense of camaraderie with others that ran their hearts out! Fast forward 2 more full marathons later, and I had qualified for the Boston marathon which for me was liking getting engaged to Prince Charming.

Racing has stuck for me because it has given me such an enormous amount of self worth yet unlike other sports, it really is me versus me out on the course so the pressure is off. It gives me the ability to go off running with my ipod for free stress relief and call it "training". I am more motivated to do other things like weights and yoga so I can be strong for racing and running. I have also discovered other activities that I enjoy that I may not have also which I think is great. Racing and being an all around gym rat is now an identity, so that too motivates me to keep it up. The other day some one asked me when I am going to stop running, and I said hopefully never. I hope this rollercoaster ride never stops!"

Happy Running!