The Journey of @Rock.Anne.Run

I’m extra. It’s not a secret. When I do things, I really like to commit all out. It is both a strength and a weakness. When I made the decision to stop using my fit-stagram @Rock.Anne.Run I knew I didn’t want to just “ghost.” I wanted to celebrate the journey. I have more followers on that account vs my main since I can attract a niche audience and for years my life revolved around running. Everything was planning the next run, recovering from a run, actually running, and so on. It was awesome and without a doubt the brightest part of my life during a very dark period.

My life has changed a lot since I created that account. I am healthier, stronger, and more confident. One of the most wonderful ways my life has changed is with my job. I’m about to celebrate my one year at Yelp and it has been a dream. A dream with a LOT of screens. I spend so much time on my laptop or on my phone for work that by the time I have “me time” with my screens, I get burned out quickly. The bottom line is, I just don’t feel like having two accounts anymore. Too many notifications, too many people to keep up with, too many inboxes!

So, to tie a pretty bow on the account and direct any new traffic to my main page I recapped my running journey (so far). Since I spent the time on it I figured I should probably share it on here too.

My Running Journey (so far) as told for @Rock.Anne.Run

Growing up, ballet and marching band were the closest I came to being involved in a sport. I was active in high school and college bouncing from one activity to another. When I got married in 2010, the activities stopped. 

Flash forward to 2015 after several years of weight gain and filling my time with activities that were sabotaging my health and the health of my marriage. I decided to take up a new hobby- running. It was just going to be a temporary activity while my husband was deployed. I liked the idea of doing something he might be proud of- I would look better for Homecoming and have a bunch of medals to prove my strength. I started with virtual races, but quickly decided that I should try out “real” races. After my first race, I was hooked and inspired to try out longer distances. 

I ran my first half marathon just 9 months after I started running. It was awful. I was under-trained and under-confident. I finished and immediately signed up for two more. I wanted a re-do. 

In-between my second and third half marathons I started looking for ways get better at this running thing and found the J&A Training Team. I signed up, because I needed accountability and guidance. I got both of those things and one more thing that I didn’t expect – community. 

After signing up for the training team, races weren’t intimidating any more. They felt like holidays where you get to celebrate with your running family. I had the team and that is also when I started this account and connected with other running communities. I happily danced around each after party bouncing between groups of friends. 

I was learning all about the sport of running! From proper form to what to eat when you wake up so you can poop before your run. (Runners are weirdly open when it comes to poop if you didn’t know.) I was getting faster and running longer. My confidence was growing. 

It was one of the first times I had a group of friends where our conversations didn’t revolve around our husbands and their jobs 80% of the time. I could just be Anne and not “his wife.” 

Fall 2017 I was a little busier with a new job, but I still ran with the team enough to catch that runner’s high. This lead me to sign up for a marathon- 2018 Shamrock Marathon. 

The marathon training season was incredibly hard, not only because of the long runs in sub-freezing temperatures. Also, because my marriage was crumbling at the same time. I was already mostly running “for me” and the joy that being part of the community brought me. There was still part of me that held on to my first motivations- trying to make my husband proud of me. I wanted him to be at the finish line after 26.2 miles, but I knew that there was a good chance he wouldn’t be. As the weeks of training went by I had to get to a place mentally where my race wouldn’t be ruined if he wasn’t at the finish line. I knew there was a strong possibility that he wouldn’t be. I would be at the finish line. That was something I could control, and that was more important. 

Just a few weeks after I made it to that finish line, I packed up my belongings to move out of our shared home. Even though I wasn’t planning to make big training goals, I still messaged my coach to prepay for one year on the training team. I knew I mentally and emotionally needed the training team community and routine, even if I didn’t have marathon-sized goals. 

Everything changed during the summer following Shamrock. I started a new job and tried to adjust to a new lifestyle as a “soon to be divorcee.” The only constant was the training team’s schedule and my friends. I approached race weekends differently and fully embraced the “holiday” atmosphere and time with my running family. I trained for and smashed my half marathon PR at Shamrock 2019, almost an hour faster than my very first half. 

I’ve come to accept that my single-income doesn’t allow for dozens of races every year. I am so thankful that I have an opportunity to still participate in and volunteer for the races closest to my heart. I’m not following any plan and I stopped photo-documenting every run. Most of my runs are between 20-30 minutes around my neighborhood. It’s just my routine a few times a week, not a big moment or milestone.

This week it was announced that the training team will not be continuing, at least not in the traditional way. I think I’ve gone through some form of each stage of grief as I’ve processed the news. I’m so sad to see that chapter of my running journey end, but I will always be thankful for the five seasons I enjoyed as a member. There will still be a virtual team which I will join, but it is easier to treat it as something completely new instead of a replacement. With new routines come new possibilities! 

I am so proud of myself for getting to this point. I still don’t *love* to run. It is part of my life and I have no desire to stop doing it. It is definitely an anchor for my sanity. I’ve lost almost 30lbs since I first started and have become friends with some of the coolest, strongest people. The shorter distances are great for now, but I look forward to returning to endurance running. I’ll eventually run another marathon and will start running half marathons again soon.

So what’s the point of all this?

Well, this is my way of ending one chapter and showing gratitude for every step I took along the way. I’m trying to decrease my social media usage. So- I’ll be posting future running content on my main account @rock.anne.roll .  One account is easier than two and I’m ready to go back to a one-stop-shop for all things Anne.

When I created this account I needed the accountability and fit-spiration. I also knew the majority of my friends were not runners and so they didn’t care about every 4 mile training run. There are so many reasons that just don’t match how I want to spend my energy today. It no longer feels natural to separate running from everything else in my life.

I’ll still be occasionally reposting on my story for this account when I post things fitness-friendly on @Rock.Anne.Roll . If you don’t want to have cheeseburgers and cocktails all up in your fit-feed, that’s going to be the best way to continue to follow my journey. If you’re down for the food pictures and other daily life moments please follow me over on my main account. I’ll still be posting my favorite running moments! Crawling Crab is next weekend officially kicking off Fall Race Season! You can catch me at all the J&A Races as well as during Disney Princess Weekend! I hope you will say hello!


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