My Bank of Marin Running Festival Journey: How My Friends Encouraged Me To Run My First 10K
Karen Torres

For Karen Torres, the 2016 Bank of Marin Running Festival 10K a life changing event which opened the door to world of running opportunities. Through the support and encouragement of her friends, she ran her first ever 10K at last year’s event. Karen sat down and shared her experience with us and discussed the ups and downs of the journey. 

Cheaper Than Therapy
If you had asked me last year if I could run, I probably would have answered: “No, not even downhill.” I started running because it was cheaper than therapy, and I also wanted to be more active. Friends motivated me to start doing it, so it didn’t feel that difficult.  Since we didn’t see each other a lot because of school, work and family, we decided that getting together for workout dates was a great idea. It was not an easy process, but having an encouraging group of friends made it easier. 

Starting The Journey
At the beginning, I couldn’t even run for more than 30 seconds, but as the weeks went by it felt easier every time. Soon I felt confident enough to run my first 5K, so we signed up in a local non-profit race and from there the training started.

I Can Do This
After running the 5K I felt that I was capable to do more, so I signed up for the Bank of Marin Running Festival 10k. The mileage seemed daunting but my girlfriends were there every step of the way. I didn’t want to be fast I just wanted to run the 6.2 miles without stopping. The day of the race I felt butterflies in my stomach. I kind of doubted myself for a bit but the training had been done, and I knew I could do it. In addition, there were so many good vibes coming from the the people cheering you on throughout the course it easier to keep going. 

Race Day and Beyond
Every mile ran brought a different emotion or memory to the surface, but once I reached the finish line I felt awesome. My friends were there waiting and that sense of accomplishment made me feel I could do more. Currently I am envisioning a half marathon! While the mileage seems way scarier than a 10K, I know I can do it with training and encouragement from my friends. I cannot wait for the new challenge, building new memories, and just enjoying the journey. 

Be sure to follow Karen on social media @misskarentorres where you can see her continuing to reach new running heights and as she shares and documents the journey with friends and family.