taylor runningOWENSBORO, Ky. (8/7/13) -- I wouldn’t call myself a runner.
 
I’ve played sports my whole life. I danced from age 3 to 17, I played little league softball, and even tried my hand at basketball for one year. My dad wanted me to be a serious athlete, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I just couldn’t get myself to be faster, stronger, or better than anyone else. I played tennis in high school, and if you know the sport, you know that it takes hustle. But, again, I wasn’t very fast, so that kind of made me give up any hope that I was going to be the next Maria Sharapova.
 
I started running on a treadmill in college. Coming in as a freshman, it seemed like everyone at the University of Kentucky was so health conscious, and anybody who was anybody would at the Johnson Center at 8 p.m. on weeknights. Throughout college, I went back and forth in the exercise mode. I would go hard in the gym for a couple months and then get really lazy where my only exercise was dancing with my friends on a Saturday night. I just wasn’t focused.
 
Moving to Owensboro got me focused. I got focused on my career and bettering myself. I’ve been running seriously for about a month. It was the best thing I could have done for myself in the pivotal change to post-grad life. I didn’t know anyone in Owensboro when I accepted my reporter’s position at SurfKY and I knew it would be a good way to take up some time in my not-so-busy social life.
 
I started running around my neighborhood at dusk, starting off with a mile, walking and running, and then working my way up to three, nine minute miles a night. It began by scraping myself off the couch, but a week in, I started counting down the hours until I could run again. I would put my Nikes on and my headphones in, and I became, in my mind, the Beyonce of the running world.
 
I’ve always wanted to do a marathon. To me, it shows stamina, athleticism, and drive; all things I wanted to be able to doat least once in my life. This Saturday, I will be running my first 5k. Well, I think so anyway. This week, in intense preparation to show my friends, family, and co-workers what I’ve been doing since my move, I sprained my ankle. Being as unathletic as I am, it‘s happened before, but of course on this particular occasion, the timing couldn’t be more impeccable.
 
I’m hoping by wrapping, icing, and drugging (Aleve is a lifesaver!), I will be able to successfully run, not walk, in the Glow in the Park Run in Owensboro on Saturday night. The race supports New Beginnings, a counseling agency that helps sexually abused children and adults.
 
“It’s a going to be a very fun family event,” said Karla Ward, Executive Director at New Beginnings, said. “No matter if you’re an experienced runner or not.”
 
Well, I for one, hope that’s true. You can watch me, and other participants, run--or maybe hobble--across the finish line at the Glow in the Park 5K, Saturday, August 10, starting at about 8:15 p.m. at Yellow Creek Park on State Route 144 in Owensboro.
 
I’m hoping after Saturday night, I can finally call myself a runner.
 
Taylor Riley
SurfKY News

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