This was supposed to be published last month, but as always life > blogging. Karen just got this to me this week, and I love her story so much that I don’t care if we are in November now. I hope this inspires those of you who haven’t taken the “half marathon” leap, that it IS time!!!
Hello everyone! My name is Karen and I blog over at http://torontogirlwest.com . I try to write about the things I love – like traveling, my puppy, the fiance, food, working out, and lately . . . running. That’s right. The girl that once upon a time said “running is just walking fast enough to feel really uncomfortable,” has become a runner.
Which is all to say, that you too can try something new! And maybe, even learn to love it! I don’t look like a runner. And I’m not particularly fast. In fact, some may call what I do more of a glorified shuffle than a run. But that doesn’t matter to me. I love getting out there and feeling the wind blow through my hair, experiencing the art of movement for miles at a time, and the sheer joy of my stride matching the jam playing on my iPod. In those moments, you’d have a pretty impossible time convincing me that I’m not actually Kenyan.
Now, I should warn you. Trying something new may be scary. It may hurt or feel uncomfortable. I know running sure did for me. But if you persevere you may find a new joy. And really, what have you got to lose? Years ago, I decided I wanted to try running. I still remember that very first mile along the ocean in Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). My lungs were on fire. My legs hurt. And it seemed like it would never end. But it did. And I was so proud that I’d somehow managed to go that far. I never thought I was capable of running any distance at all. Turns out I was wrong.
Two years ago I did a 10k and surprised myself; it went well! And something inside me kept telling me I could do a half marathon. This past October 17th, I boarded a plane bound for California and the Long Beach (Half) Marathon. I was nervous. I was worried about the “what ifs.” And I was anxious. But I knew I could hang on and finish that baby. 13.1 miles or bust. It took me 3:01:24 to get across the finish line. And nothing will ever take away the feeling of accomplishment I felt at the end of all those miles. I had done something that seemed impossible five years ago. Honestly, I couldn’t stop the tears. I’ll even confess that I’ve carried the medal around in my purse every day since the race (Nicole’s comment: This is sooooo freaking cute. And I cried after my first half marathon too!!). It reminds me that I’m strong.
Trust me, if I can do it . . . so can you! Whether your challenge is taking a zumba class, trying spinning for the first time, getting over the intimidation of weight lifting, or running that first mile . . . I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new!
Because you’re stronger than you know.