Running was never something I thought I would do much less enjoy. I started jogging because I got bored walking on the treadmill. It was a very slow run, but I started with a walk/jog combination and after a while I noticed I was running for longer periods of time than before. (In retrospect I probably should have used that Couch to 5K program.) I desperately wanted to fun in 5K and the 2011 Turkey Trot was coming up. That was supposed to be my running debut but I chickened out on turkey day and didn’t sign up. I was intimidated!
My first race ever was the Gusher 2012. I signed up to run the 5K, but changed my mind two days before the race. I was going to take the plunge to run my first half-marathon. Everyone thought I was crazy and took every opportunity to remind me that half-marathons are 13.1 miles. I had never ran that far or even half that, but I felt like I needed a challenge to push myself to the next level. I didn’t think I would run the whole race, but I was confident that I would finish. On race day, I was scared out of my mind, but I still showed up ready to tackle the Gusher!
It was supposed to be raining which made me nervous. I didn’t know what to wear in that type of weather, so the night before the race I gave myself a major crash course on running gear and bought the stuff I needed. The next morning…it wasn’t raining and I was happy. The rain may have stayed away but it was still dank and windy. The first six miles were great, but the back half was brutal. Coming back on MLK the wind was in my face and I couldn’t feel my hands; I had forgotten my gloves in the car. I walked more than I ran and I was pleading with the man above to let the miles come quicker. When I turned the corner to the finish line, my eyes filled with tears and I jogged across the finish line at 2:55:53. Ironically, four minutes later the first marathon finisher crossed the finish line.
This was one of the proudest moments of my life and I had no one to share it with which probably made it better in the end. That was my moment that I will remember forever and something I did by myself with the thoughts and prayers of my family and friends pushing me along the way. That day I achieved something I NEVER thought I would do and still today, it’s one of my greatest victories in life!
Since then, I’ve run two half-marathons, several 10Ks and a few 5Ks. And I can’t stop because I love it so much. I’m constantly in search of new race to push myself to new running heights. This Saturday, I will be running the Gusher half-marathon again (and I wish I would have signed up for the marathon). This time, I’ve recruited Willie to take part in the race too. I pushed him for the half but he wouldn’t change his mind so he’s doing the 5K. I take what I can get and I’m just glad that he’s doing it. Although it won’t be his first race, I hope he has a moment that will keep the Gusher close to his heart just like I did last year. This year I’ll be able to share in two victories, his and mine!
Willie has been incredibly supportive of my running by being at most of the races since the Gusher, listening to my rambling on about running, financially supporting my newest love, and even hitting the pavement with me a few times. He repeatedly tells me he’s not a runner and I want him to be one badly, but he just didn’t catch the fever. So he’s not a runner, but he’s really supportive of me running which makes me love him even more.
I’m working my way to my first marathon in December. I have chosen the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis as my inaugural race because Memphis is the place of so many great life changing moments of my life. I’ve spend many a lonely Saturdays there with my best friend when we needed something to do in college and I fell in love with my husband there too! Why not add the feeling of crossing the finish line of my first marathon to that list too? I can’t wait to tackle that 26.2 mile run, but right now my mind is on the Gusher 13.1! Happy running to everyone!
I almost forgot about our fun video from our group run yesterday! The Harlem Shake has taken over and the Golden Triangle Strutters have joined it. Check out our Harlem Shake video: