Ready to Run!

17 Jan

Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I have to admit that I felt more than a little lost as I entered the real world post-college graduation. While my life has always been filled with great people and endless opportunities, I cannot help but wonder what my future holds, which leads me to My Bucket List. What are those adventures I’ve always wanted to take? What are those things I want to do to feel more fulfilled? How do I want to leave my mark and say that, “I was here?” While that last question may take a few (or a lot) more years of living to answer, I can start checking off some of the less-complicated items on my list. There is no time like the present, right?

It is this mindset that led a friend and I to sign-up to run our first half-marathon in April 2009.  To be honest, our initial motivation may have been self-serving – after all, it is a great way to ensure bikini enviability by the summertime.  But soon after finishing the race, I realized that this experience affords us so much more than a beach-ready body.

First, it served as a great “something” to focus on as I survived a chilly Chicago winter.  Post-holidays can be a bit sad for me.  I spend a week or so with my family, and then I return to the doldrums of the everyday working world.  To this end, my scheduled running also acted as a much-needed stress-reliever.   It was a somewhat-confusing and unconfident time in my life – and achieving a goal like this one ensured that I not only make time for myself but also that I rebuild my self-assurance and become an even stronger young woman than I was before.

Finally, strutting through Nashville with thousands of runners (both more and less prepared than myself) allows me an excellent opportunity to improve upon my current workout wardrobe.  I believe that you feel your best when you look your best, and this motto certainly extends to those times when you perhaps look your worst.  I was sweaty, tired and achy as I logged those miles, but I assure you, I was dressed from head (visor) to toe (sneakers) in coordinating black and pink Nike gear.  After all, accessories are a central part of any outfit.

ready, set, RUN!

For a less-than-athletic girl, this pursuit initially surprised my family and friends. Looks of incredulous belief were usually followed by apprehensive notes of encouragement and endless reminders that the most important thing is to do the best I can. Perhaps this self-doubt from others motivated me even more.  Not only did I have something to prove to myself, but I had something to prove to the people I loved most.

Looking back now, I can say…I did it! Two hours, 34 minutes, and 56 seconds later, I crossed that finish line and was filled with immense pride and a bit of disbelief. How did a girl who could hardly run three miles at the start of her training just survive 13.1 miles in the time it takes to watch a movie? To fly from New York to Atlanta? To enjoy a delicious meal in good company?

As I said before, this adventure is not a one-time deal. In fact, it’s time to start training for my fourth half-marathon, which I’ll run with my mama at the end of April. Next time around, my goal will not only be to finish but to beat my previous times and, of course, to always do my best. If you’re up for it, join me!

jamie and i look quite fashionable in our pink attire and glitter headbands.

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