If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever run a half-marathon, I would have laughed in your face, then realistically tripped. I have minimal hand-eye coordination, little to no aggression or want for competition, and honestly no interest in sports, so I have never been an athlete…seriously, no joke I broke my collar bone tripping over a soccer ball in the fifth grade. However, after falling back in love with the gym last summer and spending a solid six months slowly integrating running back into my workout regimen, I felt ready to do something big come 2015. It started out as a verbal commitment to my mom around Thanksgiving time (“maybe I’ll run a half this spring”) and then by Christmas I had officially sent in my deposit and secured myself a bib number. The training started soon after, I stopped any other form of cardio and really started distance running, logging up to 30 miles a week for the majority of the spring. I loosely followed a training program, but by the time I came back from school in May, I felt ready enough that I just listened to my body and ran how I wanted. Some days I would train intervals, some distance, and some days I would forgo running for other forms of cardio and strength. Moral of the story, when marathon day came around at the end of June, I was ready and rearing to get it done with.
The morning of the race, I made myself a sturdy breakfast that I knew I could digest, I’m pretty sure it was just a giant bowl of fruit and maybe an egg…? and made sure to hydrate before the race started. I have seriously never felt anything like the adrenaline and excitement at that starting line; everyone was talking, family members were taking pictures and pumping the racers up, people had signs, the whole 9. That excitement carried through the entire race. They had set bands up every two miles, cheer squads in between the bands, and basically every runner had a family member stationed along the way yelling their name. Also, majorly adorable moment, but the race was set up in a giant residential area, so all these little kids were waiting outside their houses with little pitchers of water and high fives ready…I died. ANYWAY the race flew by. I was jamming out to my sick playlist (I’m gonna toot my own horn on that one because it rocked) and the general vibe was so fun. Around mile 10 my legs went a little numb, and around mile 11 I may or may not have peed myself…sorry TMI but pretty hilarious…but suddenly it was over and I was crossing the finish line as the announcer called my name.
So, one long-winded post later, I think that if youhave the opportunity to sign up for something that seems out of your comfort zone and honestly kind of terrifying, I think you should do it. Whether it be running a 5K, half-marathon, full marathon, swimming a long race, doing a sprint triathlon, or even joining a team in your town, giving yourself a goal to achieve makes the end result all the more exciting.