During the years of 2010 thru 2012 I went back to my treadmill/elliptical status and didn't really get in to running much perhaps because the people around me didn't run and thus, I had no one to ‘share’ that with. Fast forward summer 2012 my sister got her first taste of running during a Spartan race which she invited me to do with her (you can check out my post on that race here). My sister has always been a huge athlete but more in terms of playing sports in school and coaching softball and baseball teams. She wasn't really a runner but I think that changed after the Spartan Challenge and in return, my relationship with running changed as well. I finally had someone to share it with!
Between the summer of 2012 and prior to my first half marathon this past Sunday, my sister and I have ran other 5Ks, 4-milers and 10Ks together. However, I do have to say she surpassed me by running several half marathons in less than a year (that just comes to show you how she feel in love with running more quickly than I did!).
Sometime in February of this year I started to ponder withthe idea of running this More/Fitness magazine all girls half marathon. One day I just decided I wanted to do it and texted my sister to let her know. Sheagreed to run it with me and I could not have been more excited.
One thing I want to point out is that I’ve been a subscriber of fitness magazine for at least 5-6 years now and would always see the race advertised but my ‘subconscious’ mind would always tell me I was not fit enough for it or those long distance races were not for me so I never really put much mind in to it. Also, as previously mentioned, I didn’t know anyone that was really a runner so I was pretty much on my own. I remember going to one of the pre-races expos several years ago (just for fun) and never in a million years did I think I would one day be there to actually pick up a Bib and be part of the run. Running for more than 10 minutes was simply not “something I did”.
Well, fast forward April 13, 2013 I went to the expo with my sister and picked up my Bib and felt so ready and excited I could not explain it with words. Race day came the next day and my adrenaline was flowing! I was ready with my gazillion songs on my ipod, my sister by my side, and a strong body that had been training for this special day. I have to be honest in that Ididn’t do any “official” training or followed any particular plan. Also, I didn’t ‘train’ for too long. I would say for about a month or a month and a half I ran every other day. I tried to get my body used to running for a long time but the most I ran one day was for an hour (about 7 miles) and that was it. I had never ran for more than an hour/maybe an hour and fifteen minutes in my ENTIRE life. But the MIND is a STRONG tool and I knew I could get it done. I just knew it was possible even with no “hard core/official training”. And guess what happened-- I did it!!I have to admit that I am not sure I would have been able to run nearly the entire time (including the crazy hills at central park) if it wasn't for my sister staying with me the whole way and offering so much support simply by staying by my side. She is a faster runner than me so she could have easily left me behind and finished before me. But she didn't She stayed with me and that made an incredible difference—more mentally/psychologically than anything,I would say. I stopped a few times maybe to drink water or Gatorade but kept it moving for the most part and that’s what filled me up with pride the most.During the race I had an epiphany/aha moment/whatever u wanna’ call it. I began to see my body as an amazing machine that is capable of so much. I used to be big on working out simply to be ‘slim’ and that was it. Don’t get me wrong—staying in shape is still important to me. However, I feel that running has taken this to the next level---it has emphasized that our bodies are strong and amazing and capable of sooo so much! It has the ability to surprise us in ways we’ve never expect.So yes. I think I am in love and the only reason why I haven’t been running since my race is because I have been sore for a few days (feeling better today) and I also understand that my body needs and deserves rest and recovery so I probably wont be running again until sometime next week. I may consider this weekend if the weather is nice and my legs are up for it!
Without further 'ado I leave you with some photos. Some a little weird, some I really loved and everything in between!--->
The girl all the way to the right is one of my sister's friends and running buddies. That girl has ran it all! 5K thru Marathons, you name it! It feels good to hang out with people that share your interests.
Post race we met up with my sister's boyfriend and his friends (one of which was SUPER cute, by the way. Too bad our first encounter had to be with me in work out attire and sweating bullets). We went to an amazing place called Calle OCHO somewhere across the street from central park. The place was beautiful, the food was amazing and super affordable (a combination quite uncommon for NYC, specially the 'affordable' part). I would go back in a heartbeat!
Below is my favorite pic of all which I posted as "#proof" on instagram and facebook. :)
One of the many AMAZING lessons I learned during this experience, is that if you want to do something-- DO IT. Dont ever let anyone talk you out of your goals for any reason. And remember this: