Click to Shop
Runlife
February 25, 2014

Love That Goes The Distance

by. Aly Howisey
Kirkland, WA

Aly has been consistently running for the past 5 years and her race distance of choice is the marathon. Currently, she is training for the Boston Marathon. Her pre-race meal used to be glazed donuts, but now she opts for a more traditional breakfast with oatmeal.


Why am I head over heels in love with #running?  That’s easy – community.  Running, for me, provides what 100 Facebook likes, new jeans and the next level in Candy Crush cannot – human connection.

aly-group-1.jpg

Yes, running keeps my six-pack fit, boosts my confidence, leads me down paths I wouldn’t otherwise travel and opens my eyes to natural beauty you can only find at 7k feet elevation. All of that pales in comparison to what I feel when I run with the people I love – a sense of belonging, hilarity over diarrhea and chafing, allegiance.  But those feelings would have been harder for me to articulate prior to April 2013.

aly-ragnar-2.jpg

When two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, I had finished the race and was nursing my own seemingly important conditions in the medical tent across from the finish line.  I watched a man in jeans and Crocs walk right before my eyes with half of his face maimed.  I witnessed a woman missing a leg being carried 2 feet in front of me and I smelled the blood that covered the entire concrete pathway that ran through the middle of the tent.  I spent the following 20 minutes frantically running through the streets searching for my friends I ran the race with, I spent that entire evening contacting my loved ones, and I spent the next 9 months coping. 

I experienced firsthand the sacredness and finality of life and how quickly and uncontrollably it can be altered.  The personal records and the medals were pretty insignificant that day and I decided to make them insignificant moving forward.  Boston 2013 forced me to redefine success.  I decided my success in life would be determined by the number of people willing to stand by me.

aly-boston-3.jpg

I started running with my #1 running buddy 5 years ago, my sister Blair.  She truly fueled my passion for the sport and we are best friends now because of it. 

aly-friend-4.jpgaly-friend-5.jpg

I attended grad school with Kieran who encouraged me to run my very first marathon and I renewed lifelong friendships with my elementary schoolmates, Dani and Brie through adventurous trail runs and relay races. 

aly-nwm-6.jpg

aly-beach-7.jpg

One of my best friends Selva and I always run together to relieve stress and I will forever be bonded with the girls I ran Boston with and continue to train with, Becca and Shelby. 

aly-friend-8.jpg

aly-boston-9.jpg

I’ve built my own mini community through running and it gets me pumped for the weekends when we get together for a long run; it makes me excited about life in general and it has given me a support system and outlet for everyday tribulations.  I’m in love with running, but more importantly I’m in love with the people I get to run with.

aly-events-10.jpg

aly-feet-11.jpg

aly-events-12.jpg

Comments

Maia Jane | February 25, 2014 at 11:18pm

You go girl!

It's great to see your face on Oiselle! You are a joy to run with and a great friend to see at the finish line (since I'll never be faster than you!) You go, girl!

You Might Also Like

JOIN US! Sally + Lauren at WS100 for Devon Yanko

As I spotted Lauren Fleshman walking toward me at...

Payton Jordan 2016 Recap

Once again, Payton Jordan did not disappoint!...