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.
4 thoughts on “A pair of shoes and desire”
what a great post. i know exactly how you feel following in love with running again. it’s not always rainbow and sunshine but an everlasting love. you are going to have a fantastic 2012!
What a fantastic post! We’re so happy for you that you found running again, and proud of all you’ve accomplished!
Look how far you have come! And yet so much more you have to do! 🙂