By Meghan Mueller, Member of Big River Nation
I became a runner by accident. I was never an athlete growing up and the idea of running a mile sounded pretty terrible. But after finishing graduate school, I knew I had developed some unhealthy eating habits and was not in great shape. So I started exercising more and sometimes when I was out walking, I would jog a little bit. Over time, I realized I was walking a little less and running a little more. And then the miracle of all miracles—I found I actually really enjoyed running. I decided to talk with a running coach, and his first suggestion was to attend Big River’s Summer Speedwork sessions. My first thought was that he was insane—I was not a real runner. I just wanted to lose some weight and be a bit healthier. I did not need to work on my speed. However, he insisted and assured me there was a group for everyone (although at the time I was pretty sure he was lying and I would be by myself). So I showed up to Vianney High School for the first time in 2010. And it changed my life forever.
I was in Group 5 and met an amazing group of friends that are some of the most important people in my life to this day. I learned about how to get faster and stronger. And I had a blast! I could not believe that hanging out in the blistering heat doing speed drills could be so much fun. I became a better runner and I became part of the Big River community, something I cherish. It wasn’t long after that I signed up for my first half marathon. Now, 14 half marathons and 1 marathon later, I am so grateful that coach convinced me to attend Summer Speedwork. I continue to go every year and it just gets better and better!