..its ok to slow down when you get tired, as long as you keep moving forward.
That's the thing I find the most remarkable about running, the magic in the pain, the satisfaction in the success, the physical and mental journey in the ride.
I began my running journey back in college, merely as a form to simply stay in shape. This was back in the day when 4 miles seemed like an astronomical distance that my heart capacity could barely take. That's right, I used to find running extremely intimidating but I did it in order to prove to myself that I could. As a former competitive athlete, I have always been extremely determined and motivated to inspire and impress myself. Mediocrity was never acceptable for me. I worked for everything as hard as I could, until I was satisfied. I wasn't like the rest of my friends who partied all night and slept till noon on week nights. I worked 2 jobs, had 1 unpaid internship, and studied for a 20+ credit course load in exercise physiology, yet my alarm would still go off at 5:30am for my morning workout. I'd never miss a week day workout. Despite all the shocking looks and peer pressured nags. I would never miss my workout. So that was running for me, a physical form of satisfaction and also a mental prescription to blow off steam and escape from the stress and vigor of exams and papers.
But that was almost 8 years ago.. lets fast forward a bit to after college graduation. I moved to NYC, attended Teacher's College, Columbia University and started my personal training career. Alittle wiser now, certainly more educated and completely inspired by the Manhattan energy, my runs got alittle longer. I remember calling a friend of mine after running my furthest distance, 8 miles! A competitive runner herself, she told me if I could run 8 miles, I could run a half. Totally shocked by my body's ability, I took her advice and signed up for my first half marathon. Thank god for her motivation because that very first experience at the MORE Women's Half Marathon in 2012 changed my life. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't win the race or anything, my goal was to simply not stop and run the full 13.1. I was so proud of myself when I crossed that finish line 1 hour and 53 minutes later, I needed to sign up for another one right away. So I did, the following weekend, and ran my second half marathon nearly 3 weeks after my first. That was it. I was hooked. Halves soon turned into fulls, fulls turned into Boston Marathon qualifiers, Boston qualifiers turned into race challenges, and race challenges turned into the idea of teaching myself how to swim in order to take on an Ironman.. eventually..
Running is now my passion, it's what I love to do. It gives my life an identity, it fuels myself with drive, it teaches me that success is not just handed to you, it takes dedication, hard work, and faith to truly impress yourself.