In middle school, I dreaded the mile test. If you grew up with the Presidential Physical Fitness test, you know that every year, you had to prove your fitness ability by running a mile. For a fat girl, the mile was more to prove the ability to embarrass yourself in front of the popular kids who finished 15 minutes prior to you. Those four laps around the track were the most humbling moments especially when you could not keep up with the other fat kids.
It continued into my adulthood when I signed up for my first 5K for the MS Walk. I thought I would be able to accomplish the 3.1 miles with everyone else. I finished it about 35 minutes after everyone else. My body felt like it aged 20 years with those 3.1 miles. I knew that I had to change.
There were some significant wake up calls to get me to the point in which I am now. The ability of not being able to walk up the stairs without being winded was one of them. Feeling winded walking around the block with my dogs was another. If I am not able to get myself to point A to point B, then what quality of life is it?
So I started to make changes...I started to add another block to another...I started to allow my dogs to get me out of bed for morning walks...a mile became much easier.
Last year, I did my first 5K in St. Louis during the St Patrick's Day run. While the race is 5 miles, I figured out on the course to make it 3.1 miles. I finished with a time of 73 minutes. I worked on improving that time as I increased my walking speed and started interval running over the next eight 5k's I did during the year. My final finish time was at 54 minutes. I was able to reduce my time by 19 minutes.
So this year, as I work towards my 2013 fitness goals, I decided to go all out and sign up for my first half marathon. I signed up because...I can! I would have never imagined being able to do this two years ago, but I know that I will be able to finish this 13.1 miles. It is a perfect goal to push myself on my journey.
So this Saturday, I will FINISH my first half marathon. I really do not care on how long it takes me or if I am the last one, I will finish. After this weekend, I can call myself a runner. I might even join a high school PE class to show the younger me on how far I have come.