Sociologist, Scholar Activist, Catholic (Hypocritical Catholic Who is Functionally Pissed), Runner, Traveler

I started running because of grief. Losing my Mother to cancer in 2011 left me numb to the world. I was in it but not living life. Two years after her passing I was on a 5 mile relay team because my friend needed an extra person.

 I was not a runner. Why would anybody run? I'm a team player

I was so nervous and scared. Had no clue what I was doing or where to put that damn bib number. But I did it. I was so stunned.   Something happened. I felt a little bit of life come back to me.

Slowly I started to run more. I started to heal and live. For me runs became therapy. I would talk to my mother, cry, think, pray, curse.

And a whole new world opened up. I started to run 5ks... then 10ks.

As I was approaching 40 I trained for my first half marathon. Scared, nervous, anxious of the unknown but I did it. Then I decided to do 4 half's to celebrate each decade of my life.

It only made sense that at 41st birthday be my first marathon, right? I am not a marathon runner, I didn't think of myself as a runner. I was going to do it. Flying Pig in Cincinnati would be my marathon. Since that is my hometown I wanted my friends and family to come and see me.

As I started to train Blizzard Juno came and there was 10 feet of snow in Boston. I still had to train, I was committed. Of course I would get stares as I ran in the early weather mornings.

That goal was accomplished and it was an experience I would never forget. All that training, time, and what? Training for marathons are hard on my body. I like doing half's.

Then I thought why not do 50 half's in 50 states because no else has come up with that goal! LOL. 50 states, 50 half's by 50. I can see and explore the country and run.

Being a Sociologist and African American woman. I noticed the whiteness of running and how runners of color are invisible. There are many gendered, raced, class, and structural dynamics that come into play.

Dr. Tiffany G. Chenault

Dr. Tiffany G. Chenault