Thirteen Miles and More

Last year my college house was on the route of the New Jersey Marathon and as I watched runners go by and cheered them on, I mentally noted that I would run the half this year. This March came and on a personal level I needed to set some new goals and refocus myself. I remembered the NJ Marathon and figured if I really needed to dive into something, it was going to be 13 miles so I registered and found an 8 week training program that would take me right to the day.

Long Branch Half MarathonI have been a runner for about 10 years. I started running on my own in middle school because I knew I wanted to be on the track team in high school. Because of this, my eight week training schedule was not as solid as it should have been. I’m also super picky and refuse to run in a gym, so days when the temps dropped, well, let’s just say I had quite a few ‘rest’ days. Also, if you’ve read my previous post, I suffered from a concussion two weeks prior to race day. I took a break from my training but decided to go on one last 9 mile training run. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling to great after that. It felt great while I was running, it was a beautiful day along the beach, but soon after I realized why you’re not supposed to continue physical activity for while.

Anyway, despite a few setbacks, race day, May 5, 2013, came and I approached the start line all by myself, ready to tackle this beast that meant a lot more to me than just a distance run. Running is my therapy, and this one particularly meant a lot to me. From the time I crossed the start line, it was the best hour I’ve experienced in awhile. I’d be lying to say I didn’t well up at certain points of the race; running my someone tackling the race in their marathon wheel chair, hearing support from strangers in various towns, seeing names of loved ones runners were racing for. Being a part of something so significant in everyone’s lives was a true eye opener. A lot of times I question if I’m in the right place, but this was definitely a time I knew I was in the right place, with the right group of people. A group of people who share the same passion as I do to push yourself to the limit and allow your body to truly be at its best; people who value fitness, health, the adrenaline high, and the journey you experience when running.

During training there were several times I thought, ‘I will never do this again,’ but as I crossed that finish line and could hear my mom cheer me on, I knew I would do this race as long as my body let me. I’ve already begun training to share in my cousin’s first half marathon (the reason why I wanted to run track) and we’re also tackling a sprint triathlon this summer! Running is definitely a relationship I sometimes hate, but wouldn’t trade for the world.

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