500 Miles

One year ago, I pulled on some leggings, a yoga bra, and some random long-sleeved shirt. I grabbed a hoodie and laced up my old Saucony gym shoes before heading out the door and driving to a new friend's house. I pulled on my gloves, wrapped a tie around my long hair, and we started to run.

I ran for a few blocks — two, maybe three? — before I had to stop. I looked over to my friend apologetically, embarrassed that this guy who had more than 20 races under his belt would have to stop running so quickly because I couldn't manage to keep going. He assured me that it was okay: We all have to start somewhere. In that mile-and-a-half run we went on that day, I can't have actually run for more than half the time. I was winded, it being that I had just begun the quitting-smoking process, and it hurt. We got back to his house, stretched, and he suggested I try to run a mile tomorrow on my own.

I had never tried to run before, though I knew I wanted to, because I knew I would fail as badly as I did that first night. And I knew that once that happened, it would only take minutes for me to convince myself that it would always be that hard. That I would always be so bad at running. That it would always hurt so much. And I would never try again.

An hour later, I got a text message: "You did great tonight. Be proud of yourself. You'll do great tomorrow too. I can't wait to watch you do this."

Turns out, encouragement, motivation, and a support system was all I really needed to run twice. So the next day, I ran by myself. I did only slightly better than I had the night before, but that I ran at all was a mountain I never thought I'd climb. The next day, I was sore like I'd never been before. But the day after that, I ran again.

It's been one year since my first run. 
It's been five finish lines, countless personal bests, and 508 miles since my first run. 
It's been four 5ks and one half marathon. 
It's been three wrong pairs of running shoes and one right pair. 
It's been three bouts of shin splints, two double quad strains, two skinned palms, and one skinned knee. 
It's been a year filled with tears of pain, defeat, frustration and of joy, pride, and pure glee. 
It's been a year of growing, learning, meeting wonderful people, sharing life's greatest moments, discovering new strengths, seeing new places, and becoming a new and better me. 
It's been the best year of my life.
Minutes after I crossed the finish line of my half marathon.

Thank you for letting me share all those wonderful and terrible moments here. Thank you, fellow runners, for all the advice and commiseration. I can't wait to Rock 'n Roll with some of you. :)

Don't forget to share your training stories — whether they be triumphs or trials, wins or woes, whether they be about your weight training goals, your upcoming race, your yoga practice or anything else you're working toward — with Tracy and me this Tuesday, December 30 for the last Training for Tuesday linkup of 2014! In case you missed it, find all the details here. We can't wait to hear how you've been doing!


  1. So many achievements in one year! I used to feel the same way, I didn't want to even try running because the limited historical data I had definitely pointed in the direction of failure. But ultimately that is what has made is so rewarding. Knowing that, like you, I've worked my way up from nothing (or even less if that's possible, since I have asthma) makes me super proud of all I've done. I was just thinking about how I really can't remember life as a non-runner and hope that that never stops being the case. I'm glad you took the time to reflect and appreciate your already amazing running career even though it hasn't been rainbows and butterflies lately.

  2. Happy one year runningversary! :) I loved reading this. We've all been there on those first runs. When I started training for my first half marathon, after I did 5 miles and felt like I was dying and had to walk multiple times I literally cried thinking that I would totally fail if I tried to the half. But then it also made me try harder and want to prove to myself that I COULD do it. That's my favorite part of running - when you set limitations for yourself, you won't go above them. But when you work hard and set goals, you'll get there one way or another! I love reading running stories and I look forward to reading more about your journey! Oh and being a part of it at the RnR!! :)

  3. Awww congrats girlie!!! You are fantastic and your motivation has meant the world to me as well. You have done sooooooo much this year so a big virtual high five!!!

  4. That is so cool that you really went after your goal this year and achieved so much - it's truly inspiring! Congrats!!

  5. stop it, you're making me cry.
    the girl i ran with the first time was super encouraging and motivating, and it really helped. i would have given up if not for her. heck, so many times this year i would have given up if it weren't for you and Tracy! you are both so inspiring and awesome, it's hard to give up. anyway, you have accomplished so much in your first year of running, i hope the next year or ten are just as awesome!

  6. Whew - that is a lot of running! Congrats. That's so awesome that you stuck through with your goal and succeeded! It's definitely really inspiring. I can't wait to see what you'll be up to in 2015!

  7. You did GREAT!!!! I've never calculated my miles, but that sounds like something I may want to do for 2015!!!

  8. I'm so glad you stuck with it and didn't quit! I remember when I first started too, and that's exactly how I was. I thought I would always hate it and be miserable, and now I love it. Awesome year girl!

  9. So proud for you! One of my wishes is to be a runner. A 1-2 miles a day person. Starting is the hardest part. Congratulations to you for sticking with it!!


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