I did not used to be a runner.
When I first typed that, I wrote “I am not a runner.” Then I thought of how many people would be mad at me for writing that, since I just completed my first ever half-marathon. So I will concede and admit… I am a runner. But that admission surprises me, and I’ll tell you why.
When Mike and I first got married, he was all athlete, all the time. He swam and played soccer in high school, did triathlons and bike races in college, has run marathons, and as of 2012 became an Iron Man. This guy loves to be active, and he loves the race atmosphere. It’s such a unique community that I honestly didn’t understand. Why wouldn’t you just read on a Saturday morning… or even better, eat bacon?? Going for two-hour-long training runs seemed insane to me. He never pushed me, but I knew that he had this secret hope that I would change my mind and do a race with him someday.
Last year, I tiptoed into this new world by doing my first ever race: a sprint triathlon. It was so much fun (although I was TERRIBLE at the swimming and cried when I got out of the water). I enjoyed the encouraging atmosphere there and the fun I had training with my friends (and with Mike!). As fun as it was, it’s really hard to train to swim and ride when you have a kid… especially the swimming part… so I decided if I ever did do another race, it would have to be running.
Fast-forward to March 2014, and here I was, running a half-marathon with Mike himself. Even with the unexpected twists and turns that led us to do the race together, it was a really special experience to cross the finish line with him. He has been such an encourager of me in all aspects of life since I’ve known him, and this day was no different.
I’m proud of this achievement for sure. But the part of it that I’ll remember most from this experience wasn’t really the race itself (although that was a big deal). It was those Saturday mornings, running with Jenny or my boys, and getting to share in something really special with the people I love. Those are the memories that I will cherish for a long, long time.
15. Run a half marathon