At my middle school's track and field tryouts in sixth grade, the coaches had each of us take a shot at every event from the 50-meter dash to the mile to the long jump. I failed at every single one. So I was put where all the other slow people were put: long distance. I ran the mile with my best friend, Megan, who lapped me every race. It's pretty difficult to be lapped in a four-lap race, but I managed to do it every time.

Despite countless pity applauses at the end of races, I tried out for my high school cross country team in ninth grade. I immediately fell in love with long-distance running. Every summer, I ran a minimum of 500 miles. I also attended a weeklong distance runner's camp in Brevard, N.C., every summer.

Even though high school is long gone, I still haven't stopped going. Since I started college, I have run more than I did when I was competing. I started pushing my endurance to the limit, running more miles than ever. In November of 2008, I ran the New York City Marathon. Although it was the most challenging feat I have ever tackled, I managed to cross the finish line with a time of 3 hours and 37 minutes, which qualified me for the Boston Marathon. I hope to be able to run the Boston Marathon in the next five years.