Hi, my name is Delphine and I am a 23 year old living in Chico, California, taking on the challenge of running at least 1 mile a day for 433 days (#runeverydayuntilboston18). I am doing this challenge in honor of those who lost their lives during the Boston Bombing in 2013, and for myself to help others challenge themselves. I get the question all of the time, why do you run? What do you get out of it? How do you stay injury free? I've got all the answers and more on the first blog of the 433 blogs I will be writing.
It all started when I was as young as 3 years old, running in my first smile mile with my mom and dad by my side. Of course I don't remember that day, but from pictures and stories, I knew from that day and on, that running would always be a part of my life. While you follow me on my journey you must remember, even though I am 23, I take a lot of pride in being able to accomplish every goal I set my mind to.
Growing up, I focused on swimming. I had the opportunity to be a part of the Junior Olympics, and had the chance to be on the #1 relay team in Florida. This made everyone very proud in my support team, but I got tired of the same old thing every day.
Summers turned into nightmares (two a day practices) and winters turned into dreadful memories, getting in and out of the pool in 40 degree weather. (I'm from Florida, that's freezing.) I started to dabble into running a little bit at a time. Especially in 4th and 5th grade. I must brag that my fastest mile when I was 10 was a 5:45 and I was the captain of my cross country team! I am still super proud to be able to say that... Then came middle school. I joined the track and cross country team and dominated my age group!
High school came around, and I started to get burned out. I moved from Florida to California when I was 15 years old. Moving into a new town that I didn't know anyone in, I decided to join the swim team to meet new people. I remember why I quit... so I just stuck with track and continued to be miserable with shin splints and tendon issues.
Community college was tough. Living with parents after your 18 is never ideal, but I saved money until I was able to live on my own, (of course with the help of my fantastic parents.) Being in a community college, I didn't really have the chance to be on a swim team or a track team. I just went to the gym a few times a week and lifted light weight, until I was sick of not having a challenge at hand. In 2013, I started my first fall semester at a big girl college, and met the love of my life. At the time I was training for boxing matches and dabbling into MMA. Little did I know, my person, who is named David, was right... I shouldn't be getting hit for fun.
David is my voice of reason, and will always be that person until the day I die, so I decided to leave that chapter behind and move forward. I found a program at the Fleet Feet in town that was for 5K-10K runners, targeting a specific race. Keep in mind i've never ran further than 3 miles, but I decided to run a 10k. I was scared, and tremendously afraid to disappoint myself, and my dad, who is someone I am going to write about in a future blog post.
I ended up placing first in the women's division, so that made me feel pretty fantastic. I had a fire under my butt, so I decided to sign up for the Fleet Feet half marathon program. The targeted race was in town, so I felt comfortable enough to take it on. The process was grueling, 10,11,12 miles... I wanted to die. But the community in my town is so amazing, that I actually looked forward to training days, which was rare when I was growing up.
The Bidwell Classic vastly approached, and I was ready. I had trained, and I was ready to give it all I had. I ended up going a 1:37, which apparently was impressive to many! I was thrilled, so I decided to keep on running and join the Trail program. That's when I endured my first injury. I took on Yoga and strength training exercises, and felt as good as new by the end of the season.
Instead of racing, I decided to focus on getting better.. weird I know. I figured, why not join the marathon group? Oh and I signed up the for marathon that the group targets that day too.. To say I'm impulsive is an understatement by the way... (I'm sorry if this is all over the place, but that's Delphine for you..). 18 weeks came and went away so quickly. Not in an easy manner, but because the community is so supportive and because the coaches are so knowledgable about this sport of running, it went by fast.
December 5th, 2015 was my first marathon. I told myself, "Delphine even though you're taking 23 units at school and juggling 4 jobs, you can qualify for Boston." Realistic am I right?! I wont get too into details about the marathon, because I will eventually talk about that in one of the 433 blog posts I'll be writing, but I will say it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I qualified for Boston, but like you runners out there know, even though you qualify by 2 minutes, that doesn't mean you're in... I waited until October to hear what the qualifying time was, and I made it.
As a 23 year old, I need to save money for trips like Boston, so I decided to try again in December of last year. (2016). In 2015, I ran a 3:33, and in 2016 I ran a 3:27. My nutrition made a huge difference, and the confidence of being able to accomplish a marathon plays a huge factor as well. Delphine and her incredible support group are headed to Boston in 2018!
The purpose of my challenge, is to prove to everyone who "can't stand running" that running will change your life. I want to invite anyone in the area, or not in the area to join me. Even if it's for a week streak, or a 2 day streak... Challenge yourself. Whether it's to lose weight, or to prove something to yourself, change your life and get after it!
Running is more than a sport to me, it's a way of life that I cannot live without. The continuous pounding of my feet hitting the hard concrete or in the case of trail running (Which starts in a month), hearing my trail shoes scrape against the boulders along the way, is so satisfying.
Join me friends, in taking a challenge that will change your life.
Until next time,