May 15, 2011. That was the day I went to watch my boyfriend run a marathon for the first time. It was his third marathon. He had tried to get me into running a couple years earlier in 2009, but back then I was about 80 lbs overweight and leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Running more than 20 seconds at a time was out of the question. I had tried a few times, but gave up pretty quickly because that’s what a 40 something couch potato does.
And then in February of 2010, I went through a major, life-changing experience. My entire life was flipped upside down. In order to manage the overwhelming stress that I was dealing with, I decided I needed something to focus on. So, I turned to the internet and found one of the many sites out there geared to weight loss and exercise. I started tracking my nutritional intake, and I started running.
It was really hard at first, as could be expected, but being a goals-driven person I kept my eye on the prize so to speak. I found out that running is a huge stress reliever, a way to decompress after a long day. By the fall of 2010, I had lost about 60 lbs so far and thought I was ready to join a 5k running clinic. But, I didn’t get the support I was expecting in a clinic, and always running at the back of the pack by myself was very discouraging, so I decided that the group running thing just wasn’t for me. That coupled with the onslaught of winter, as soon as the clinic was over, I stopped running.
That rainy day in May, 2011, watching the marathon from a vantage point where I could see runners doing all distances of that race, the 5k, the half marathon and the full marathon, was finally the inspiration I needed. I watched as people of all ages, shapes and sizes ran by, and I said to myself “if they can do it, so can I”. That was it. That day, inspired by thousands of strangers, I made the decision that I was going to train for a half marathon with a goal race to take place that fall.
I signed up for a half marathon clinic that was scheduled to start the end of June (I thought I’d try my luck at the group running thing again mainly for the information sessions – a half marathon was serious business). I got some advice with respect to training myself up in order to be ready to join that clinic and four days later, on May 19, 2011 my journey began.