My name is Leah Bohr and I am starting this blog as the new Director of Training at the Chicago Area Runners Association. We have a large number of members (about 2,000) who are currently training for the Chicago Marathon, as well as a few other locations (including Berlin!). We have various ways of communicating with them, but I thought it would be a good way for me to connect with as many of them as possible on a more personal level if I started a blog. I’m a pretty avid runner myself. I’ve been running for more than half of my life and it holds a pretty dear place in my heart. I am married with three kids (7 year old Ben, 2 year old twins, Ellie and Evan) and live in the burbs. I went to DePaul University on a XC and Track scholarship which is definitely where I learned how to be a successful runner. It has been my years after college where I learned what kind of role running would play in my life.
When I was hired as CARA’s Director of Training, one of the things that excited me most was that I was going to be part of a much larger running community. I had amazing experiences as a Division I Track and XC coach at a wonderful university and it was not easy to leave there. One of the things that intrigued me was how many more runners I would reach and this community of runners who was out there day in and day out, just like me. Running (or competing in any sport) in college is a commitment. But besides school, it is often times your only commitment. Sure, some people try and pull off a part-time job or an internship. Ultimately, though, your day is organized around a couple of classes and then getting in a good, solid workout. There is a much larger percentage of people who don’t have that life style.
In my short time here at CARA, I have been amazed by those around me. There are so many dedicated runners out there. It doesn’t matter how fast you are or whether you break course records. (Trust me, coming from my competitive background, that is a tough statement for me to make). It is about the work ethic and commitment to something that is not easy and often times difficult. As we all know, there is so much to get out of it, and I think that is worth discussing. I also think it is important that no matter what kind of person you are, life balance is important. I drove this home with my team when I was coaching and I believe it to be very true for my own life. I am happiest when I have balance in my life and when I was running in college, I was running my best and fastest when I had balance.
So I guess that is what this blog is going to be about. A commitment to running in a life that deserves balance. A love for something that some people just cannot understand, but a community of people who do understand and know we are all really in this together.