Friday, November 2, 2012

My First Half Marathon


Warning: LONG read.
If you had asked me where I saw myself in 10 years, my 2002-high school self would have never have imagined herself to be in the best shape of her life; nor would she have in her wildest dreams suggested participating in in both fitness/figure competitions or run a half marathon.

I was a typical high school girl. I hated gym class and did everything I could to get out of running track, playing sports. I sucked and it was mortifying. My experiences with school based gym class almost nearly turned me off of wanting a career in health. That was until I met a teacher who understood that some people just need another space. Enter Mr. T who introduced me to the world of weight lifting.

So how did I get from there to here? Baby steps. I learned that food was not my enemy and I did not have to treat food as if it was the last time I was ever going to eat it. I stopped looking at the scale and I started exercising for the pleasure of it. I found that competitive sports and group activities were just not my thing and I realised I loved weight lifting and competing with myself. And I continued to challenge myself. Even when it was uncomfortable.


I had to do the half marathon (21.1 km) it was a new challenge and put me out of my comfort zone. Best of all I only had to compete with myself. The last time I had run was in high school. Seriously. I felt the need to do this to move past those failed track and field meets and stupid 100 metre races....I needed to put high school behind me. So 8 weeks out I started training. and then the worst thing happened. INJURY.  With my longest run only 12 km long, I was 3 weeks from race day. At that point, I couldn’t train AT ALL and had to wait for the injury to heal.

Race day came. It was cold and wet and I was scared. EXTREMELY worried about re-injury, and of course not finishing. But once I was out there the camaraderie of fellow runners, the crowd cheering was infectious and powerful beyond words.


By the time I hit the 12 km I was done. I wanted to stop. EVERYTHING hurt. But what kept me going was running for a cause very dear to my heart - ALS. Somehow I managed to pass the 14 km mark, and then the 17 km mark I just kept thinking of all those people who could not run who had ALS and I had to do it for them. I had to finish. The last to 2 km was the most difficult. I was tired, I was starting to get cold. At that moment I pictured my high school self, pushed aside those negative thoughts from a past life and kept moving my feet.  




Getting that medal and crossing the finish line was the most overwhelming moment of my life. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I finished in 2 hrs and 36 min and though I didn’t finish in the time I wanted, I outran the ghosts from my past.

14 comments:

  1. That is FANTASTIC! Congratulations.

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  2. Even though I didn't know you in high school, I find it inspiring how far you've come!! My caring friend side has to say 'approach training carefully and know your limits' but with that out of the way: CONGRATULATIONS! You should be proud of yourself. I love that you are determined and never give up.

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  3. Congratulations!!
    This is such an inspiring post! I've always wanted to run a half-marathon, but am scared I won't be able to do it. You've inspired me to give it shot!

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  4. Wow good for you! You're so inspiring, I've always wanted to do a half marathon but have always been too nervous/doubtful of myself!

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  5. What a great post dear. I remember when I did my first marathon, it was emotional, yes body aches, and liberated all in one ... definitely something that I felt I had to and wanted to do. It's not an easy road, but baby steps are a feat in itself. So, congrats to you, sounds like it was quite a personal triumph. xo

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  6. Congratulations! How inspiring.

    <3 Melissa
    wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

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  7. Yay yay yay! Such a Gretchen accomplishment, you pushed through when your body said no and kept going. That my friend, is no small feat :)

    If you need a running buddy next spring look no further! I'm not sure how long i'll take before I run a race after the bebe but fingers crossed the fall.

    I love running and know how challenging it can be, I mean it when I say I'm so proud you finished the race!

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  8. oh em gee, Nini, you are AMAZEBALLS. And such an inspiration!!! Keep on being the strong woman that you are :)

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  9. Long? Nah... well written and from the heart. This will inspire me when I run my 2K tomorrow... :)

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  10. Kudos to you for running through the pain! I hated gym in school but love running now....that's so amazing you conquered such an achievement!

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  11. Well done, this is such an inspiration. I'm glad you overcame all the negativity and made it to the end. What a great story

    http://myafricancloset.wordpress.com

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  12. Haha Glad I could be of service : ) and you can do it!

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Thank you so much for your Comments! I love hearing what you have to say. It gives me inspiration and motivation to continue being here : ) XOXO - N

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