Yesterday I celebrated my first year of running by running my first half marathon. Approximately one year ago, about two months after I decided to lose weight, I embarked on the Couch to 5K program.
Honestly, I didn’t think the running thing would last. I looked upon Couch to 5K as just a way to help me lose weight. I wanted to get into better shape, but not necessarily keep running. I figured I would run my first 5K and then be done.
Around week 7 of Couch to 5K I stopped the program and went to India. I had run 20 minutes straight and felt amazing after that. I think that was really the moment when I started to love running. For the month I wasn’t running I thought about running and missed it terribly. I was reading Born to Run and could not wait to get my running shoes on and try out some of the methods I was reading about.
My first run after I returned was joyous, but difficult. About one month later I finished my first 5K, and then I started a 10K training program. Once I finished my 10K I started tossing around the idea of doing the Des Moines Half Marathon. I knew it would be a big undertaking between job searching and getting married during the summer, so I didn’t tell anyone for a while.
Eventually I told Jason I thought I might do the Des Moines Half Marathon. He was surprised and supportive. As I continued with my long runs people started noticing that I was running, oh, 7 or 8 miles every weekend.
I felt great throughout the half marathon. I ran with the 2:10 pace group and held right with the pace leader up until mile 10. That was when my middle toenail on my left foot started to feel like it was coming up. I was worried that it was going to start bleeding. I had to slow down a little bit and even pulled off for a minute around mile 11. I tried to keep behind the pace group the best that I could, but came across the finish line at 2:12.
I’m still ecstatic with this because my goal was to FINISH. It was actually an incredibly emotional experience for me to be out there running 13.1 miles across Des Moines, remembering that just one year ago I couldn’t run one mile. And going from 0 to 13 in one year, well I think that’s pretty amazing.