A family friend had completed what was maybe her 2nd or 3rd NYC marathon last November and I started reading some stories of the other runners who had also run that race. I became very inspired and decided this was a goal I wanted to set for myself and something I wanted to be a part of. While a full marathon is pretty ambitious to start off with I felt like it was something I needed and wanted to do. Unfortunately, but for good reason, the date of the 2016 marathon conflicted with a friend’s wedding in Jamaica. So I decided to settle for a half marathon instead. Baby steps! I recruited my high school best friend to take on this challenge with me and she jumped on board (reluctantly). We had a good couple weeks before actual training needed to start so we signed up for a few 5ks in the meantime and that was the beginning of my obsession. Or should I say the beginning of what would become a pure love for running. Never in my life did I think I would be a runner. I played sports throughout my childhood and in high school but I hated the running part of it. After having kids, every couple of months or so I would find some motivation and maybe run one or two short runs and then the motivation would wear off. But this time was different. This time I was having fun with it and realizing that at 36 years old I was doing something a lot of people my age can’t do. It was making me feel healthy, fit, energized and downright proud of myself. I was looking forward to something and excited about challenging myself and my body. When we were 14 weeks out from the big race day, we started our training plan. It was a nice, easy couch to half marathon that I found on Women’s Running. (Link Below) It worked great with my schedule and I tweaked it a little so that it didn’t totally consume my life. The first few weeks were tough. It was just a lot of short runs on the treadmill trying to get the stamina up to be able to start longer runs in Week 4. I felt at times I didn’t know how I was going to do this if it was a struggle to get through 2 miles. But it slowly started to feel like my stamina was building. When we embarked on our 5 mile run I really struggled. I also made numerous mistakes. But it was trial and error at that point in finding what worked for me as a runner and what didn’t. Each run I learned a new lesson. I completely overdressed that day so I was very uncomfortable and heavy feeling which affected my running. I couldn’t get my breathing right, I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, I had to remove articles of clothing and stuff them in pockets, etc. It was just a bad run all around. But I learned from it and I bounced back without letting it derail me or my training. From that point on I threw my whole being into really getting this running thing down and I haven’t looked back since then. Each week added another mile on to the long runs and each week was a small victory in itself. I finished each run in awe of the mileage I had just completed. And I was really enjoying it!!! My BFF running buddy and I had decided early on that we would accomplish this goal together, no ifs, ands or buts about it. We trained together, we would be at the starting line together and we would most certainly finish together. And I stayed true to my word!