Running just because...

Last year I started running with some friend; friends who had participated in 1/2 marathons and marathons and others who had been running for what seemed like for ever.  I was intimidated and had they not pushed me and filled me with some much needed confidence, I would have given up before getting started.

I ran in my High School Track Team, I ran when I was in the Marines, and then I gave up running and started teaching fitness instead, using every possible excuse to NOT run.

In all honesty, I started running again after being in Guantanamo Bay and realizing that there were some things I needed to do differently, something about a bucket list I needed to begin checking off.  So I joined my friends and started running with them.  They were kind enough to run my pace and walk as needed; in return I pushed harder each time to avoid those stops or slow runs.

Together we ran what would be my first 1/2 Marathon.  The GTMO Girls 1/2, we called it.  It was amazing and I was addicted.  I continued running smaller races, 5Ks, 10Ks, 2 miles with the dog, a mile with my kids, etc.  I didn't have a reason to run, I ran just because.

My last hurdle in running was to run alone.  I really didn't like the idea.  I love to talk and having someone by my side to push me when I feel like giving up is a huge plus.  I love bonding with my friends as we run and share stories, ideas, and plans for the future of our children.  Recently, however, I realized I needed to go for a run, partly to train for the Marines Rockin' the Fence Line 1/2 Marathon and partly to prove to myself that I could run alone and that I would love it.

First run took me over some steep hills.  My Lab, Honey, and I ran 2 miles.  Second run, again with Honey 3 miles.  The feeling was definitely good.  I felt a sense of accomplishments but still did not feel like I jumped over the biggest hurdle.  After all, three miles is not really far and having ran 13.2 miles, three miles seems more like a warm up.

This past week Honey and I started running at 7 am and ended at 8 am.  I ran up some hills, by the waterfront, through some housing areas and as I ran I realized two things: First, I was pretty far from home and still needed to get back; Second, I felt great.  We made a few short stops through the neighborhoods to let Honey drink some water and cool off, but other than that we ran for an hour straight.

Me running, just because.... it was energizing, revitalizing, comforting.  It was a way for me to connect with me and the road.  I didn't have to talk to anyone, except honey, and I was able to just focus on how I felt and on living in the moment.

I never thought I'd be able to run anything more than a 5k.  I thank my friends, most of all, for believing in me more than I believed in myself. I'm excited for the next run, despite how I might feel in the hours leading up to it, in the end I feel happy and that, to me, is what it's all about!

Go for a run, walk if you need to but don't stop moving.

Stay well!



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