Monday, May 6, 2013

Chasing a Dream: The 12 Race Challenge

I am all about self improvement and I like to challenge myself to try new things often. I am not big on New Years Resolutions because I am often creating new resolutions each month. However, this year I decided to make a resolution like never before. It all began last April 2012, when my aunt invited me to run a half-marathon (13.1 miles) with her and some friends. I gladly agreed-yet slowly and reluctantly began training. I went into the race blind not knowing what to eat, how to train, or the proper shoes to wear. I completed my first half marathon in 3 hours and 10 minutes with little to no training, in 6 year-old running shoes that no longer had tread, and having eaten only a smoothie the night before. I didn't have a clue. My feet were swollen and sore and I could barely walk for days.

Besides the grueling aftermath of the race all I could remember were the peaceful trees towering over me, the calm of the river, the encouragement from cheerful volunteers, and the natural high from pushing my body beyond its limits. I felt like an athlete again. I dabbled in various sports as a child through high school but as I got older I resorted to running only for maintaining health and fitness.

Until now.

Since the race last April, my New Years resolution was initially to run 6 races in 2013. But here we are in May with 4 races under my belt, now my resolution no longer feels like a challenge, so I've decided to run 12 races this year. I've learned the importance of a good pair of running shoes and comfortable socks. I realize now I need to “carb load” 2 days before to fuel my body, and I consistently train weeks ahead. I’ve learned so much from this experience and I continue to learn more and more about myself: my strengths and weaknesses. Running races has become one of the most fulfilling activities I’ve ever participated in.

If I could get everyone of my friends and family, young and old to run a race with me, I would. Running clears the mind, exercises the body, and the commanderie amongst other runners builds community. I will document my 2013 races here. I love and need the encouragement, your comments and well wishes are welcomed.

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