Ten months ago I made the decision I was going to run a half marathon. Looking back I never thought I would accomplish so much. I set the goal to run those 13.1 miles and had no idea if I could even make it that far. Running was a passion that slowly faded, and I was hoping it would come back.
I remember doing base miles on the treadmill, struggling with the fact that I was no longer as fast as I was in college, or that I lacked the endurance to go out for five miles and feel like it was nothing. But the more I ran, the more I felt that running a half marathon would be a possibility at one point.
May 15th was a whirlwind. Less than four months ago I wasn’t running at all, I fell out of love with running, and there I was at the starting line, ready for whatever would come my way. Moments of excitement, nervousness, doubt and pride were constantly fighting to be the center of attention. I did it, I ran my first half marathon. And as soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted more. I was in love with running again, and I found my new favorite race.
Over the summer I signed up for a few 5k’s, but it wasn’t enough, I was aching to run longer, so I set myself up for the impossible. Not only did I want to run another half marathon in the fall, I wanted to run twenty-five more, in twenty-five states. I came up with the 25 Challenge and knew if I trained harder I could get this goal accomplished. But I couldn’t wait until the following year, I wanted more now.
I signed up for the River Run Half Marathon and the Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon, hoping I’d be in better shape by fall. And by persuasion I added the Akron Marathon Relay to the schedule. I thought I bit off more than I could chew. I had so much doubt that I wouldn’t be able to run all these races, but somehow I was going to do it all.
I ran the River Run Half Marathon, and while I worked on improvements, I wasn’t satisfied with waiting until October to get another shot. I signed up for the Sandy Ridge Half Marathon the following weekend. Nothing else felt so comfortable. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to crush those 13 miles again.
The Sandy Ridge half marathon went through my streets, the streets I trained on during high school and college. The pavement I pounded in rain, snow, heat, stress and relaxation. The same streets that I learned to love running. I never felt so confident during a race, I knew with every stride I was getting better. This was my race.
The time in between my weekends of races and the Columbus half I struggled with keeping an injured knee manageable and trying to recover so my body wouldn’t be drained. I had second thoughts about running the race, but with finishing those miles I would be a half fanactic. And while it may be something that is overlooked and insignificant, it was something I wanted to work towards.
In Columbus I ran the hardest race to date, but it made me so much stronger. I became a half fanatic, and supported friends who were running their firsts, just something I did months ago. I knew it was time to give my body a break, but I went out giving it all I had.
Ten months ago I thought about running a half marathon. A week and a half ago I finished my fourth half marathon. I went from being scared to death of the distance, to not being able to get enough of it. Running one half to four. I found the passion again, the feeling of accomplishment that so many miss out on, the runner’s high.
Even with training and putting in the miles, I would be no where today if it wasn’t for all of the support I received. Friends, family, strangers. Every single person that wished me luck or congratulated me after a race, I owe it all to you. The support and love from having fans or a cheering section goes so much further than miles some days. Without support, it wouldn’t have meant as much. Thank you.
Ten months ago I made the decision to run a half marathon, thinking it would be the farthest I’d ever run. Twelve months from now I’ll run my first marathon and fall in love with the sport all over.