I still remember when I bought my first pair of running shoes. How they felt, what color they were. I still remember doing a 5:43 mile time when I was 10 years old. I remember the crowd cheering.
But that was when I was ten. I am now 21, moving on to bigger races.
Saturday morning at 6:30 AM, I woke up from my alarm clock. I sat up, put my feet on the cold hard wood floor, and received an amazing hug from my supportive boyfriend telling me I got this race in the bag.
I doubted him... All I felt was a sense of anxiety, nervousness, but still a little bit of excitement.
Growing up as a swimmer & runner, I have always be an individual sport type of girl... Which makes me even more competitive then people who grew up playing sports on a team. I am probably one of the most uncoordinated people you will ever meet, but swimming and running came natural to me.
When I stood up, my legs felt great. Stretched and ready for war. A half marathon may seem like nothing to runners who have done it several times... But to me, stepping onto that starting line, determines whether running is my sport or not. I consider myself an athlete.
When I walked into the kitchen, I grabbed a protein bar and received thousands of kisses from my dog Daisy... Several comments on my facebook wall from supportive friends and family, and a look from my roommates dog, telling me that I got this, just like my boyfriend vocalized earlier that morning. (This may have been all in my head...).
Done with my bar, my boyfriend left to shower at his place. I am alone in silence. Just my thoughts of accomplishing this half marathon to the best of my ability.
I ran to the start line, (jogged) and felt great. A brisk morning with great potential. I had taken two weeks break from running due to an injury and sinusitus, so I was scared that would come back and haunt me throughout the race.
I then see my mom and my boyfriend together... My mom surprised me by showing up at the start, and I knew I had to prove to her that I've got this race in the bag. Wishing my dad were there too, I took off at lightning speed.
Mistake? Maybe... But I kept up that same pace throughout the entire 13.1 miles. I have no idea what got into me... Competition? Adrenaline? Proving that I am good at what I put my mind to? Who knows... Maybe I was showing off for my boyfriend? All I know, is that when I hit about 8 miles, I popped my second gu block in my mouth, and began rolling faster and faster until I hit the finish line.
I was out of breath... Smiling but in pain. I just ran a half marathon in 1:36.57. Mile average of 7:25. My first half marathon... I couldn't believe it!
Now its time to gear up and be ready for my full marathon in December. I will be even more prepared for that race. Mentally and physically, I will be prepared.
Running is my life. It makes me happy, and makes me who I am.
If you like to run, but you feel as though it hurts... Keep pushing. Start at one mile, and build. Don't go for time, go for distance.. You'll surprise yourself on how much faster you'll become if you just practice.
Until the next endeavor in my life