Meet Emily & Mike

From marathons to marriage

As an avid runner, I love that running, and specifically CARA, brought me and my now-husband, Mike, together. We first met because we actually lived in the same building in Chicago. One day, Mike came by to chat and noticed a marathon training plan on my coffee table. “Are you training for the marathon?” he asked. “I was thinking about it,” I answered. Secretly, I was intimidated by the prospect, but loved running and wanted to challenge myself. “Oh, well I just signed up for the marathon and I’m training with CARA,” Mike said. He explained what CARA was and how they gave you a training program and met for the long runs on the weekends. This sounded perfect to me; the structure of a training program plus the support to give me the confidence to complete the marathon. Mike offered to take me next weekend to sign up.

Little did I know this would be the beginning of two relationships: one with Mike and one with CARA and running. Mike and I drove together to Montrose each weekend and ran in the same group. I had never run with anyone before, much less a group, and found I really enjoyed the camaraderie. Mike and I truly got to know each other during these runs and talked about anything and everything. In late July, we were officially dating. A few months later, we finished our first Chicago marathon together.

That was in 2004. Mike and I married in 2007 and have had many happy runs since our first. Our dog Norman, whom we rescued from PAWS in October 2007, has joined us as well. I have continued to pursue marathons (and met new friends through CARA) and recently accomplished my goal of qualifying for Boston. Mike has enjoyed half marathons and 5K’s; he’s now working on improving his mile time. However, no matter what we’re training for, we always run together in the morning and cherish that to reconnect. We like to joke that “the family who runs together, stays together.” We also tell our single dating friends to join CARA!