Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Run for Me

About 2 years ago, I woke up one morning and decided that I was going to run a half marathon. Luckily, I convinced two of my very best friends, Andrea and Julie, to do it with me. I mean, everything is more fun with friends right? While Andrea, Julie and I stood together at the starting line, we knew that we would each finish separately, but we would all finish. It's safe to say that the 2009 San Antonio Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon changed my life.

We did it!
"I've always loved running...it is something that you can do by yourself and under your own power. You can go any direction, fast or slow as you want, fighting the wind if you feel like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." Jesse Owens, an American track and field Olympic gold medalist made this incredibly true statement. That's the beauty of running, it's a time for you to focus on you and what you want. While training for my first half marathon, I began to realize the joy and the pride I got out of running. I had run 5Ks before and we always had to run a few miles at cheer practice back in high school and I was good at it, but I never thought about enjoying it. Maybe because those miles I put in at cheer were required. It wasn't about me. This time around, it really was about me, what I wanted, how I wanted to do it and when I was going to do it. The longer the training runs got, the more accomplished I felt and the more I wanted to run. If you think about it, running relates directly to life in that you truly get out of it exactly what you put into it. I feel as though I can put my heart and soul into running. I finished my first half marathon in 2:00:51. Those 51 seconds really irked me which made me want to push even harder! I was so close to finishing in under 2 hours and I had planned on finishing in about 2 hours 10 minutes! The running bug had bit me, and I was determined to do another.

It's safe to say that 2010 was one of the busiest years of my entire life with graduating in December 2009, starting a new job in January and getting married in April. Life was crazy, but I kept running. I didn't do another half marathon until November when the Rock 'n Roll came around again, but in 2010 I started running more and more 5 and 10Ks. The idea of being in a race always brings out the competitor in me and most of the time I am only trying to beat myself. I'm always pushing for my next best. Once I reach one goal, it's onto the next.

Inaugural Green 6.2

With some new friends after the race!
In November, I finished my second half marathon in 1:57: 31! I worked SO hard for that time and it is still my current PR even though I've run in the Aramco Houston half marathon and the Disney Princess half marathon since then. (I will say that I still finished the other two races in just barely over 2 hours, not too shabby.)

San Antonio: finished 1:57:31 (Personal Record)

Houston: finished 2:03: 27 (wet and rainy!)

Disney: finished 2:02:48 (Loved taking pictures with some Disney Characters along the way!)

Aside from the face that running give me some Amy time and brings out the joy in competing, there are so many other benefits. (Source)
  • Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise and can increase your endurance and lung function as a result
  • Running is a way to reach your ideal/happy weight. I don't run to lose weight because I am at my happy weight, but it helps me to maintain where my body wants to be. Running for weight loss is one of the biggest reasons that people start to run, and it's a great place to start working your way to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Running slows the aging process. Those who run regularly are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss as they age.
  • Running has many psychological benefits. Runners are typically happier and less stressed than those who do not exercise regularly. It's safe to say that running is a HUGE stress reliever for me which is important since I am a high-strung person :)
Why I run...I run for the experience. I run to clear my head. I run for cupcakes. I run for the feeling of my feet on the pavement and the wind in my hair. I run to conquer those hills. I run for fitness. I run for health. I run for happiness. I run to make me a better person. I run to relieve stress. I run for the sake of running. I run for an extra glass of wine. I run for inner personal strength. I run to conquer fears. I run for competition. I run to prove to myself that I can push the limits. I run to stay physically fit. I run because I want to. I run for the satisfaction I get when I finish. I run to inspire. I run to sweat. I run for those who can't. I run to do better the next time. I run to just to run. But most importantly, I run for me.

With Cinderella's running shoe!

Nothing better than meeting your friends at the finish line.
Next up is Philadelphia Rock 'n Roll half marathon on September 18th! I am aiming for a new PR of 1:55:00! This will be JP's very first half marathon, I'll keep you updated on if he gets bit by the running bug or if he's a one and done kind of guy :) Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

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