I decided the year I turned 30 years old I would run a marathon. I had zero experience and wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't even run track in High School. I was just a High-Jumper. What was I thinking?

I signed up with Round Rock Fit and completed several group runs up until the day we had a field trip and joined Austin Fit for a Saturday group run. After that day, I was hooked. Running downtown with Austin Fit made the longer runs more enjoyable and easier to tackle.

This sounds like such a girl thing to worry about, but starting out my biggest obstacle I had to work thru was WHICH SHOES do I choose. Even 12 years ago the vast options were quite amazing. I visited the Austin Fit sponsored shoe company at that time . This was such a big deal to me. Picking out REAL running shoes was such a cool feeling. I was analyzed by a running shoe guru on a treadmill and then fitted for a pair of super fly looking Mizuno shoes. I wasn't real pleased that he asked me to go up a full size, but later found out I needed that extra foot flex space on those longer runs. Today I wear a shoe designed by Altra which is a Zero Drop and a natural shape toe box. Best shoe to date!

The following year, after RR Fit, I began running in Maria's group and had several PR experiences.  I could care less about the early morning drive from RR. I realized many RR runners were doing the exact same thing.  Maria was amazing. She even treated us to breakfast tacos from her family's restaurant. Maria really took care of her entire group and with that sweet smile she kept us motivated even on those Austin hill runs. Gee Wiz those were tough.

Between my first run and now it has been 12 years. I completed 7 Full marathons, and at least 10 half marathons in a race format. The coolest race I have ever done was in NY. They had us run thru Yankee Stadium and when we entered the field our faces were lit up on the screen. I did this race with my son who was 14 at that time. Running has given me some many great memories. My favorite half is the 3M downhill to downtown. Recommended for any 1st timer... Hence the name Downhill.

I have had such a great experience and look forward to many more years of running with Austin Fit. I want to be healthy enough to have a running life as long as Jim's 🙂

Haley, USA FIT Austin