The next couple of days are kind celebrations for me. Today marks the three year “runniversary” of my first half marathon and tomorrow marks the two year “runniversary” of my first marathon. I can’t in the past three years that first half marathon would lead into an additional 68 races over 13.1 miles.
Running that first half marathon was so I could prove to myself that I could do hard things. But, in reality it just jump started an addiction that I haven’t really doesn’t have a cure. Initially, the half marathons led into training for a marathon and within a year I was back at it proving to myself that I could do hard things.
But, these two dates aren’t just about celebrating FIRSTS, it’s about celebrating the journey I’ve taken and how running has changed my life. I remember running that first half marathon. I ran it alone. I drove to the race alone. I got my bib by myself. And, I fought through those last miles by myself.
Over that following year leading up to my marathon I started to embrace the running community and made numerous new friends. That first marathon was spent riding the bus with a friend. I went to the race expo with others. And, then I was joined by my friend Susette for the last eight miles. She helped me push through the wall and kept me focused, upbeat and … GOING.
Three years after that first half I couldn’t have imagined my life steering in this direction. I run marathons. I have completed numerous half marathons. My little weight-loss blog turned into a running blog. I’ve become set in my ways on my race morning rituals, how I like my Gatorade and when I take my Gu during races. I’ve really embraced the running culture and I feel like the running community has embraced me likewise.
I have raced 989.4 miles in the past three years, but those miles wouldn’t mean anything if it wasn’t those friendships that I have gained over the years. I have made MANY life long friends. Their positive attitudes, accomplishments and determination have been beaming examples to me and I try to illuminate that into my personality and character. I wouldn’t have learned these without being out on the course.
I’ve got a lot to be grateful for during this little running adventure of mine. I really could go on and on and on and on and on and on an on during this post about every little detail on how running has impacted my life. But, there are too many races, too many experiences and WAY too many people to truly capture that. Hopefully one day when I finish my book I will be able to expound on these areas much more.
But, until then … I am just grateful that I had the courage to take that first step and the determination to keep going. That’s what has made all of this worth it.