This week’s guest post comes from someone who I’ve had the pleasure of not only meeting in person but also following online for ages! I absolutely loved following Tina as she trained for her first marathon and overcame injuries. Her daily prose inspire many, whether they read her blog or follow her personal training plans. If there is one thing that sums up Tina it’s her perspective on life and experience. Just take this line from her marathon recap :
“It took 4 hours, 42 minute, and 55 seconds out of my life. In exchange for the experience of a lifetime.”
Hope you enjoy this guest post as much as I did!
About two weeks before my first marathon, my husband came home one day proclaiming “I realized that I drive about 24 miles to work. It hit me that you will be running farther than that. I don’t know how you do it!” I have friends who introduce me as a “crazy runner”. When my love of running comes up in discussion and I mention an upcoming race it almost never fails that I hear the question of “But WHY would you want to run for 13/26 miles?!” And with each and every one of those remarks I get a smile on my face and a little swell in my heart. I won’t deny that I can be a little crazy…but endurance running sure doesn’t make me crazy. I feel like I would be crazy not to run.
I started running not even 2 short years ago, after the end of my second pregnancy. I’ve always loved fitness and have been working out for a decade. I even took that passion to become a NASM certified personal trainer. Strength training is my first love, but running is my true love. Running and training for races reminds me a lot of a passionate relationship. It has its highs. It has its lows. It can break your heart or leave you soaring in a euphoric natural high. Through it all, though, the desire never fades…it likely only grows stronger.
This past spring I trained for my first full marathon. I won’t lie and tell you it was a road full of rainbows and butterflies with unicorns offering up ice cold purified water with Nuun every few miles along the way. Not even close. I incurred my first running related injury during that training. I have a post on my blog about dealing with a running injury and training how works for you, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
That marathon may have taken away some sanity, time, energy, and maybe even a little dignity in the “I should have known better” sense. It gave so much more.
It gave me time. I know I just said it took time, but it also gave me *ME* time. As a mom of two toddlers running my own personal training business and blogging, I fully looked forward to my Saturday morning runs where I could have time to myself.
It gave me friends. I got involved with a local running group during my training. Having other friends who enjoy the sport and won’t be introducing you as the “crazy runner” added so much to my life.
It gave me appreciation for my body. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder and a lot of self-image issues in the past, seeing that my body could achieve what I previously thought impossible turned my self-image around. I no longer care so much about what my body looks like. I just want to run.
It gave me knowledge. I have learned so much about my body and better ways to fuel myself, heal myself, respect myself, and balance myself through running. I learned and overcame weaknesses I wouldn’t have known I had without running.
It gave me joy. Immeasurable joy. If I can be in as much pain as I was in this picture and still be smiling that big, you know I felt pure joy. Only a few moments in my life compared to that moment, coming to the finish line of my first marathon. I can’t wait to experience it again….I even just registered for the New Orleans Rock N Roll Full!
If you have had a goal to do a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, whatever, because you fear what it may cost you…don’t. I’m here to say that it will add so much more than it would ever cause you to sacrifice. Go for it. You don’t have much to lose, but a world of positives to gain.
Tina Reale is a NASM certified personal trainer and owner of the personal training site and blog Best Body Fitness. Tina offers affordable online personal training programs and her Best Body Bootcamp virtual boot camp (now registering!). Tina also shares workouts and fitness motivation through her blog. Tina completed her first marathon – the Cleveland Marathon – in May 2012 and looks forward to continuing her quest for a healthy, balanced life as she raises her two small children. Look for her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as well.