Risa Runs NYC

I briefly talked about running the NYC marathon in November in one of my previous posts but I want everyone that reads my blog and that will be donating to understand my running journey. I'm not the fastest, I'm prone to shin splints and the last thing I want to do is wake up every morning to go for my runs. So... I'm not here to tell you all the great things I've accomplished but rather, I want everyone to know the journey I've taken and the great cause that will be supported through donating to my CrowdRise

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

If you go into my Nike Running app, you'll see that the first time I ever ran was March 28, 2011. I ran 2.20 miles at a 17'57" pace. You read that right. Seventeen minutes and fifty seven seconds. I think I walk at a 15 minute pace now but go figure. I went on runs a total of 8 times in 2011, with paces all hovering around the 17 minute to 18 minute arena. In 2012, according to my Nike Running app, I ran a total of 10 times. Better paces, but still hovering in, what is now, my walking pace range. I never thought too much about pace or distance back then - I think I was running to try to lose the extra bit of weight that I had put on after moving and my metabolism slowing down. And also, every mile felt like 10 to me so even finishing at least a mile made me feel great about myself (which is how running and working out should make you feel!)

My point of telling you about 2011 & 2012 isn't to say that I've gotten much faster or that I'm some great marathon runner now. I just want everyone reading this that's ever thought about running to know that it's a journey. Not to be pun-ny but it's really a marathon. There's times where I've definitely been discouraged looking back at my pace for the month and felt that I made no progress. And then I sign myself up for a race for a distance that I've never ran before and I finish. That's all that matters to me - I just want to finish.

In 2013, before the Boston Marathon, I ran a total of 7.53 miles; paces still slower than a turtle in peanut butter. After witnessing how the running community came together in Boston to heal, I was inspired. Inspired by the love and bonding that brought all these people, who didn't know each other, together. From May 2013 on, I ran 52.49 miles.

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

Last year, I tested my own limits. I ran through the hot sticky summers, the sideways rain and the I-need-to-put-on-10-layers-to-go-outside cold. It paid off. I ran 181.74 miles last year with paces that would have made 2011 and 2012 Risa realllllly confused (and probably dead from exhaustion.) With the help of rolls and rolls of KT tape, foam rolling and lots of moral support from the Nike Boston Run Club, my best friend and my fiancé, I conquered 2014 - breaking PR's and learning my own limits and then pushing through them.

So far this year, I've ran 181 miles. In six months, I ran my entire 2014. That is INSANE to think about, for me at least. To be honest, i didn't even calculate any of the mileage prior to this post. So for me to look at these numbers right now, I'm definitely in a bit of shock.

I've met the most amazing people through running (see: Nike Boston Running Club post) and I've strengthened my friendship with Alice (who ran her first half marathon with me last month!) I'm beyond excited for the rest of the year but definitely scared for what's to come in November. I hope you'll join me on this journey to 26.2 and find something in my story that speaks to you. 

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

It disturbs us that in a world as rich as ours,
many of us go hungry or don’t have clean water.
Many of us can’t claim our human rights.

It’s wrong.
And together we aim to do what’s right.
Oxfam. Right the wrong.

I chose OxFam as the charity I wanted to fundraise for because of the work they do for those that live in poverty, hunger and social injustice.

For more information on OxFam, please visit their website here. And there's a little bit of information on the CrowdRise site as well from OxFam.