Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dallas Half Marathon


When my friend Erin asked me this summer to train for the Dallas Half Marathon with her, I was very hesitant.  I have tried to train for a long running race several times in the past, only to be sidelined halfway through due to various injuries.  Having dealt with a back injury since college, I just figured that my body wasn't able to handle such an intense training regimen.  But I agreed, mainly because she told me I could back out at any time.

As I began training, I was also developing a deep love for spin classes.  Soul Cycle opened a spin studio just down the road from me this summer, and I found myself drawn back class after class for one of the most intense and satisfying types of sweat sessions I've experienced (and as a former college athlete, I have experienced a lot!).  And I was losing weight, for the first time in a very long time.  And it felt great.  So I was a little nervous to change up my new-found routine to add running, which I love but was fairly certain would result in an injury and kick me right back to where I had started.

I am happy to report that I was wrong.  So very wrong.  As it turns out, my spin classes made my legs stronger than they have been since I stopped swimming.  And my strong legs grew stronger with each pounded mile of pavement.  Soon, I was running at paces I had never run at before.  I could run 6, 7, 8 miles without stopping.  It was amazing, and reminded me how much I really love to run.

So, earlier this month, I ran the Dallas Half Marathon and accomplished something that I once thought was impossible.  And man, did it feel good!

 

Let's back up to the beginning.  I started off the race with a couple of friends, decked out in Christmas-themed attire (because why not have fun when you run 13.1?).  It was a cold, windy morning in Dallas, which turned out to be pretty near perfect running temperatures.


I ran the first half of the race with my friend, but unfortunately she was fighting some knee issues so we parted ways around the 7 mile mark.  From there, I booked it as fast as my legs could carry me and finished the race at 2:03.

As I ran my final mile, one of my favorite running songs came on my headphones and I was overwhelmed with joy.  Here I was, about to finish a race I never thought I would be able to do, and I was having fun.  My eyes welled up with happy tears as I thought about all of the hard work - both mental and physical - that I had put in to losing that weight, to building that endurance, to finishing that race.  And as I crossed that finish line, I couldn't wipe the biggest grin ever off of my face. 

 

I was very proud of myself for getting so close to the 2:00 mark. And now I have that runner's itch again - so I just signed up for the Cowtown Half Marathon in February, on the day before my 31st birthday.  If you had told me I would run two half marathons within a year when I turned 30, I would have told you that you were crazy.  And now, here I am, running more than I have in years and loving it.  Praise the Lord!

 

My new training plan starts up on Monday, so wish me luck!

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