Let’s start off by talking about how I got started.
I started for so many reasons. I was living in a new place (B had just graduated from dental school) with my two baby boys when I lost my mom after a two year battle with cancer. Two months after that I got a phone call that my dad was killed in a car accident.
So basically, I was an out-of-shape, depressed, lonely Debby Downer. It was not pretty.
I was in a dark place for many months when one spring day, I decided to ask my husband for a double jogging stroller. I still remember the conversation. He happily agreed.
My first day, I loaded up the double stroller with snacks, I put on my old (yikes!) Nikes and headed out the door. I made a goal to go for 30 minutes (read more about starting out with a time goal here.) I stopped to walk about a thousand times and it was hard. But the sunshine felt so good. Sweating felt good. Getting out felt good. So the next day, I did it again.
Thirty minutes of run/jogging slowly turned into thirty minutes of running, which then turned into something I looked forward to every morning.
After about four months of running, the Arizona weather started to heat up and running outside with the boys was no longer an option. That’s when I started to wake up early and go before everyone woke up. I fell in love with watching the sunrise with sweat on my brow. It’s still one of my favorite things.
Nine months after that first run, I went to the gym with the boys and saw a sign that was “Wishing all the Runners of Tomorrow’s Rock ‘N Roll Phoenix Marathon Good Luck.” I stopped and stared at it and decided that I was gonna be one of those runners next year. I was gonna run that marathon.
Crazy to sign up for a full marathon as your first race? Yes. So glad I did though.
One year after seeing that Good Luck sign, I crossed the finish line and I knew I had to do it again.
And that I have.
I have run seventeen marathons, on three different continents (continent four will happen this July), about fifteen half-marathons, and ten relay-style races since that spring day I buckled my boys in the jogging stroller.
I don’t finish every race the way I did the first one (sometimes during a race, at about mile 17 I think, why do I do this to myself?? Or sometimes, I think, so this is actually what is going to kill me. This is how I am going to die.) Training is not always easy, but I am forever indebted to the sport of placing one foot in front of the other. It saved me. In the end, I love it. I really do.