If someone had told me a few years ago that I would run a half marathon, I would have just laughed! I honestly never though that was something I would be able to do, but on July 27, 2014, I did! I ran my first half marathon, 13.1 miles or 22 kilometers!
When I was a kid, I was very active and participated in almost any sport genre you can think of. My days were usually spent climbing high and low on my way home from school and straight into playing soccer or some kind of hide and seek game with the neighborhood kids. I have always been a tall drink of water, but when I was 11 my body grew too fast for its own good and I ended up having major back surgery.
Even though I am very grateful that this happened early on, it was a scary thing at only 11 years old. I could not do any sports or bend my back for six months. After my recovery, I was as good as new and should have been able to do the same things as any other 11-year-old, but I was scared. Worried that I would do something to break it back up, I became a lot more careful and didn't do the same activities as before. Throughout my teens and early 20s, I was perfectly happy not doing any kind of exercise. It wasn't until 2011, when I was a little heavier set, I realized that maybe it would be a good idea to keep my body in shape somehow. I started going to the gym and could maybe run two minutes on 5.5 miles per hour at a time on the treadmill. I did not think in any way that it would improve from that point, because I was not a runner.
I unintentionally started running for real back in 2012 when I did my first Color Run. You can read all about my first "race" here Coming home that Saturday, I couldn't help but thinking maybe I could be a runner after all. If I could jog a 5K, maybe I could actually run? I started doing intervals on the treadmill and eventually started jogging outside. Even though I ran pretty often, I never seemed to get any further than three to four miles. I figured that was my limit and slowly lost the motivation to push any further. If I could do three miles, maybe that was enough. After all, its not like I could ever do a half marathon or anything, so what was the point? I just wanted to stay in shape.
For the past year, I feel like everyone from my best friend's grandmother to my next door neighbor ran a half marathon. Was this just something people did now? Just casually run a half marathon on the weekends? I still didn't think that I could, but I would always ponder the thought when I saw all those glorious race photos on Facebook. The competitor in me wanted to go for it and I talked about it, but I never truly meant it.
For Christmas this year, I got a fitness diary/calendar from my friend and filled with the "New Years Resolution" spirit, I started jotting down my fitness goals for the upcoming year. I put down, "Run a 10K" and I didn't know how I would, but at least now it was written down on paper. I stared at it for a long time and even though I never really though I would do it, there was a glimpse of maybe. Just maybe I could. The day before New Years Eve, I went out for a routine three-mile run and ended up running 6.2 miles, also known as 10K! I have no idea where I got the strength or stamina to do that, but I did. I don't know if it was because the goal was now in my head or what happened, but something clicked. Did this mean I was a runner? It's not like I would do a half marathon or anything, but I mean 10K was something. It was more than my usual three miler. I had pushed myself to do more.
After a few weeks, I picked it back up and started running on a regular basis again. Still just three miles, three times a week but I was preparing for something bigger because now I knew I could do more. In March I signed up for what would be my first half marathon! And on July 27 2014, I finished it! I didn't have the best preparation and I didn't finish with the best time, but I finished! I completed my first half marathon.
During the race all I could think was, "Why would anybody do this to themselves? Why would I pay to do this? This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever done and I will never do it again!" As soon as I saw that finish line I was thinking to myself, "Oh this wasn't really that bad." I am kind of enjoying this! I am actually loving this! I will definitely do this again! Is that what they call the runner's high? Was I in a state of delusion or does this just mean that I am a runner now?
Yes I am a runner! In fact, I have been a runner since the first time I stepped on that treadmill, but this is the first time I will admit it if someone asks!
You can read all about my actual race here.