This past weekend, I reached a goal which I set back in the spring of 2008: I completed my first official half-marathon! I planned last year to walk the first annual Fort-4-Fitness, but didn’t sign up in time, so I volunteered. I was so inspired by this, and began a program of weight loss, reaching my goal in December last year.
Then, the day before my birthday, I ran a 5K with my friend Bev, the Reindeer Run. I planned to walk/run it, but found that I was able to run it most of the way. This inspired me even further then, to begin a running program. I used Runner’s World’s Smart Coach to design a half-marathon training program for myself. I was able to run the half-marathon distance, 13.1 miles, by the beginning of summer; and since then I have been running that distance most Sundays.
Running the Fort-4-Fitness is one of the best, most difficult, most wonderful achievements of my life. I could not help but smile as I began the race with 5,000 other runners. I slapped a high five with the mayor as I crossed the start line, I saw friends at water stations, I heard two of my favorite inspiring running songs blasting out of boom boxes along the route. I thanked policemen and ROTC cadets for keeping the roads and intersections clear and safe for us to run; I saw crowds of people clapping for all the runners, not just people they knew; I ran across the words “FINISH STRONG” painted across the road while running through the Williams Woodland Park neighborhood. Finishing at Parkview field, where our Tin Caps finished a record season, was a phenomenal experience. I could hear crowds of people cheering, not for me, but for all of us. And my fiance, who has been my biggest supporter, was there to see me finish. I will never forget this past weekend, my first half-marathon. Up next: The Veteran’s Marathon & Half-Marathon, where I will be running 13.1 miles again, this time, raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project.