I'm Megan Warzecha. During the day, I'm an elementary school music teacher at Shrine Catholic Grade School in Royal Oak and I'm graduating with a master's degree in music education from UofM in December. When I'm not at work I train, race, coach, and do life with my "family," the Be Bold Crew, in Detroit. I've lived in Detroit for over seven years with my husband, Jason, who's also a runner. I started running in high school but I really found my legs when I started training for my first half marathon, the Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank International Half Marathon, in 2014. I'm a Road Runners Club of America certified long distance running coach. I'm recently completed my second 26.2, the Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon, on October 16, 2016. I'm a proud Freep Marathon Race Ambassador! www.freepmarathon.com
My Running Story
I've always had trouble telling my running story. My answers to this question have always seemed so boring to me. “Why or how did you start running?” I didn’t do it to loose weight or battle a disease. I wasn’t running from a bad relationship or a lost loved one. I just started running track and cross country in high school because a sport seemed like fun and I had no skill in any other sports. But I guess, when I think about it, I never would have stuck with it without the support of my parents. My dad took me to the track and field Olympic Trials in New Orleans when I was a kid. He’s ALWAYS been a runner. I still remember him dancing to disco while running on the treadmill in our basement. It’s a lot easier to go the distance when you’ve seen someone else do it. “What challenges or obstacles have you overcome?” Again, boring. No health problems. No injuries that had me off my feet, away from training, for months. No insurmountable goals. Just laziness, at times. “How has running impacted your life?” Well, aside from being the best freaking thing EVER? But again, boring. I’m healthier. I’ve achieved goals I never even realized I could set, let alone attain. I lost some weight. I’m happier. I got my husband, who has Type 1 Diabetes, to start running with me. I made life long friends and found a community of caring, like-minded people to run with. Same things most runners will tell you.
But then I force myself to dig a little deeper because soul searching is good, right? I’m grateful I had a running role model in my family because it made running normal. I’m grateful because, as an adult, if I know my dad found time to do it while working to provide for his three kids and getting an MBA at night, I can do it. Running has made me a BOLDER version of myself. I’ve always been me, but committing more to running as an adult took me from standard to HD. It gave me clarity. Running made me realize I can be competitive and that I don’t have to make everyone else happy. It made me realize I am an ATHLETE. I can set crazy goals and, if I put in the work, I can qualify for Boston. In high school, toeing the line next to some speed demons, I felt like a kid pretending to be a runner. Now I feel like I AM A RUNNER, and a pretty good one. Which leads me to another thing running taught me: There’s always going to be someone faster, smarter, funnier, and better at blowing snot rockets than me, and that’s okay. I’ve gotten pretty good at not comparing myself to others, thanks to racing with 30,000 other people and knowing I’m probably never going to finish first. Which makes it OK to tell my story, even if it’s boring! Running makes me feel like me. Running gives me joy. Running helps me live more in my heart and less in my head. Running makes me experience the heights and depths of emotion the way a good Beethoven symphony does for some people. And really, aren’t we all just trying to live as fully as possible?
Proudest Running Accomplishment
I'm always proud of how much I've grown as a person through running. Running is never just about the miles. Running has made me more confident, more bold, more expressive, and more whole. I'm most proud that I brought my husband, Jason, into running. I'm so much more myself when I'm running and I'm lucky to have a husband who not only appreciates that, but celebrates it and jumped in, Mizunos first. He made my thing his thing. He fought through the frustrations, aches and pains, and highs and lows. He literally fights through the high and low sugar episodes of a type 1 diabetic and can still run a fast half marathon. He works running into a really busy work schedule. He gave up sleeping in on Saturdays for long runs. And he gave me the gift of being able to enjoy the sport I love with the person I most love. I can't think of something I'll ever be more proud of.