Regardless of how busy I’ve been as a music major these past few years, I’ve managed to pick up a new hobby in college: running! I did a little bit of running in high school, but it was mostly just a 5k (3.1 miles) here and there. I came to college with a mission to be healthy and active, and though I definitely eat more pizza and burgers now than I did my first two years of college, I’ve done a pretty good job sticking to my goal.
Though I’ve never been a fast runner - clocking in at about
11:30 per mile - I’ve accomplished some pretty neat things during college thus
far. I started off slow with a few 5k races around DePaul…for any runners out
there; you should know that the city of Chicago has a TON of races. In January
of my freshman year, I decided to take the plunge and sign up to complete a
triathlon during the following summer. I had never really been a swimmer or
biker, but I was up for the challenge. I did all my training at the Ray Meyer Fitness center, which is DePaul’s gym. (You get a membership as part of your
student fees – it’s worth it!) I completed the triathlon that summer, and then
my first ½ marathon the next summer…my mom even came out to run it with me!
Over the past three years, my best friend Kelsey and I have
run some of Chicago’s best races (in our opinion, of course.) We did the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k (about 5 miles) two years in a row, the
Crosstown Classic 10k (6.2 miles) and just last weekend we ran the Hot Chocolate 15k (9.3 miles – Kelsey’s longest race yet!). All of these races took
place down town in the heart of the city – and I don’t know many people who get
the opportunity to run on the streets of Chicago. Though a challenging race for
two people who hadn’t been doing much training, the Hot Chocolate race was
sweet – literally! At the end of the race we were given hot chocolate,
chocolate fondue and a variety of small snacks to dip in the chocolate. I also
ate m&ms and marshmallows along the route of the race…bad decision? Nope!
It was worth the running cramp.
Though my education has been the most important aspect of my
life for the last few years, I’ve found it’s equally important to have hobbies
outside of music to keep me sane! Running became my hobby because it’s on my
own schedule, it’s keeping me active AND I get to unleash my competitive side
(though I’ve never run fast enough to win any prizes…It’s still competition-like!).
My ultimate goal is to run a marathon sometime in the next ten years – and I
have no doubt I’ll be checking this off my list.
You can check out a list of races in Chicago here!