Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a girl and her will to survive

This past Saturday I ran and completed my first Half Marathon.  I’ve shared my training journey these past twenty weeks with you all.  Finishing this race and meeting my goal was quite an emotional experience.  I’m still on cloud nine and ready for my next race in just four short weeks.  During the endless miles you question your sanity and swear you won’t ever do this again.  But, much like childbirth, as soon as you cross that finish you’re already forgetting all that and thinking of the next one.

The road here has not been an easy one.   I fell in love with running long ago back on the track in Middle Village.   I used to run around Juniper Park in the early hours of the morning.   I used to run with my dad and we signed up in local races.  In this picture I think I was 19 or 20.

Dad was always faster than me and a man of few words.  But we had a great time training, talking as we ran miles around the park and racing together.   I know Dad wished he could have run this one with me too and he was my first after race phone call.

My long time friend showed up in Bethlehem to surprise me.   We’ve been through so much of life together.  We grew up together and she was my maid of honor at my wedding.   After kids and marriage and moving far apart, seeing each other often was challenging.   Running has brought us many opportunities to meet up at races.  We’ve had so much fun on what I lovingly call runcations.   Though she was sitting this one out with an injury, having her and my husband at the finish line meant the world to me.

Running 13.1 super HILLY miles was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.   The process of training, getting seriously hurt twice, coming back and finally getting it done has taught me so many lessons.   Though it may sound cliche, never give up was the most important thing I learned.  It would have been far easier for me to walk away from this goal.  Nobody would have blamed me for doing so either.   Had I done so I wouldn’t have felt the joy of accomplishment – the moment is indescribable truly.  Here are the main life lessons I learned through this process:

  • Anything is possible
  • Hard work pays off
  • The joy when you get there is what motivates you through the pain of training
  • Friendship and love trumps all else
  • Memories are forever
  • Consistency is the key
  • Listen to the signals your body gives you
  • Stick to the plan

Next up for me are two more half marathons – Philly in four weeks and Tobacco Road, NC in March.   Then I begin training for my next goal of a full marathon – 26.2 miles.    I’ve got my spot in the 2017 NYC Marathon ready to go.   Best of all, I get to run it with my dear friend Helen.   Together we will rise up from anything life throws our way and get it done.

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