January 17, 2024

Middle School Mile Walker Sprints Into Runner Girl Era

Seen here in their very colorful t-shirts, Sophia Ashebir and her FASAHMI cohorts! (photo courtesy of Ashebir)

By Sophia Ashebir

A couple times a year I enter a new era where I fixate on a new hobby or activity. I have had a Bundt cake era, a Claymation era, a cycling class era, at least three “I’m going to write a book,” eras, and the list goes on. My most recent era has been the era of running.

In August, I decided I would run a half marathon. This goal has been on my bucket list for about the past three years. Why? It may be because Boston has the sport of running’s culture coursing through its veins. It’s a true challenge to get far in Cambridge without seeing a shoe store for running, advertisements about running, or someone who is running. So, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would succumb to my curiosity and figure out what was so great about this whole running thing.

In typical new runner fashion, I found a training plan online and re-activated my Strava account. What made training just a tad more palatable was the fact that both my roommate and sister were entering their running eras as well and had signed up for half marathons. In my experience, running with someone was way more enjoyable than alone, especially on longer and early morning runs. However, due to some date logistics and my own stinginess (like seriously — half marathon’s run up to $70-100 in price point. 🤯) I decided I wouldn’t register for a half marathon but instead, create my own.

The First Annual Sophia Ashebir Half Marathon Invitational (FASAHMI) was born. But this was no ordinary half marathon, FASAHMI would take runners by some of my favorite places in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville as well as past all my old apartments. Runners would have the opportunity to listen via voice memo about tales from different Sophia Ashebir apartments. FASAHMI, most importantly, concluded with a pancake brunch and free t-shirts (T-shirts were thrifted and creatively modified – tried to be as sustainable as possible!). The event even had a sponsor, Leo (shoutout Leo)! FASAHMI truly started as a bit but did in fact make the training process more exciting knowing that I would be able to celebrate with new and old friends in this slightly ridiculous race, and of course pancakes! Who doesn’t love pancakes, especially after a run!

FASAHMI aside, getting into running was great, and oddly more emotional than I initially thought it would be. I was shocked to see that my body could run for an hour straight and that I could feel my lungs getting stronger. When I ran double-digit milage, slight tears from both the cold and the feeling of accomplishment streamed down my face as never in my wildest dreams (Taylor’s Version) would I think I would be able to complete this physical feat. Mind you, I am the girl who literally walked the 7th grade mile in middle school.

I think it’s great to challenge yourself and try something new if not for your own enjoyment, then for the plot, so I’m very excited to see what the next era has in store for me. Rumor on the street says it’s drumming!