My first Half Marathon was in Feb of 2009. Since then I have run 6 Half Marathons (Tallahassee, Philly (2x), Nashville, Disney, AC), 3 Full Marathons (NJ, Philly, Disney), and 2 Ultras (20 in 24). That is pretty amazing, considering I was scared to run a 10K in 2007 (My first ever race). When I start Nursing School in January, my life will change completely. Every time I get an email from Active.com or other race sites telling me about the races coming up, I do get a little sad. This was my last race for awhile and it hit me with those last tenths of a mile. I started to tear up from joy and sadness at the same time. I am so grateful that for some reason I decided to start running a few years ago. Countless people have encouraged me, from the very beginning, and I have had a chance to help other people get into it too. The races I ran with Back on my Feet and with Team in Training, all of the friends I have made purely because of our common hobby, and of course the people I meet on each race day, are simply irreplaceable. My life is absolutely better because of those people, organizations, and the places I have gone.
Every time I have started a race, I have finished feeling like a champion. I have never broken records, and do not plan to. I joke a lot about why I run (medals, t shirts, soft pretzels) but the truth is that I have proven to myself that it is possible. From that 10K Run (Ben Franklin Bridge Run in 2007) to the 20 in 24, every step I took went beyond what I thought I could do. I have literally gone miles past my expectations because I took it one step at a time. I am getting choked up typing this because I am realizing what a huge part running has played in my life. I know in my heart that anyone who sets their mind 100% to doing what they truly want, can do it. When people congratulate me and say ‘I could never do that,’ I tell them ‘ you absolutely could.’ The human mind is so incredibly powerful and it is up to us to shift that power.
That first race in 2007 came 18 months after I finished college (the first time). My mind had not thought about shooting for the stars in a very long time before then. I trained for that race and suddenly I had something to talk about with people, other than my job. When someone asked ‘What’s new?’ I jumped at the opportunity to tell them. I was excited to do something I had never tried before.
When I moved from Jersey to Philly in Dec ’07, I was nervous about making friends and what my life would be like living in a city. My mom had given me the information about Back on my Feet and I joined in Jan ’08. 3-4 mornings a week, I met with BOMF members and volunteers at 5am and we would run before the sun came up. We entered a few 5 K races and then it came time for Broad Street and I thought ‘10 miles, that’s crazy,’ as my mouth told the other members ‘you’ve already come this far, you can run 10 miles.’ I started to run on my own and shift my thinking. What would I say to someone else if they were running with me? And that incredible mind power switched from negative to positive. Some people may just have the gift of being able to switch to positive and optimistic without any outside influence but for me it helped to pretend I was encouraging someone else. I would run with other people and mean those positive things I said to them, so why couldn’t it be true for me too?
|Michael, Sera, & Laverne- BOMF|
|20 in 24- 2008 BOMF Team Mercy (8.4mi)|
|1st Half Marathon- Tallahassee, FL 2009|
|1st Ultra (61 miles)- 20 in 24 Philly 2011|
|Philly Rock N Roll Half- 2011 (with Carol)|
|Disney World Full Marathon 2012 (I met these guys 26.1 miles before this pic)|
|20 in 24 (61 miles)- Philly 2012|