What a difference 2 years can make...

Leigh_b Posts: 449 Member
Two years ago this past Sunday I ran my first half marathon. I had been running for about 4 months. When I stood at the starting line I had two goals in mind. The first was to finish the race. The second was to run the whole time. I didn’t care how slow I was going; I was not going to walk. There were times along the way that people were walking faster than I was running. Coming out of the Windsor Tunnel at an extreme incline I think, for a while, I was running in place. I could see the literal light at the end of the tunnel, but it was not getting any closer. I finished in 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 43 seconds (an 11:30 min/mile pace). Crossing the finish line was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I had set out to do something REALLY HARD, I committed to it and I pushed myself harder and further than I ever thought I could go… and I did it. I was so proud of myself; I couldn’t wait to do it again…

And then I spent the next day limping around and barely able to walk. Yes, I pushed myself, but now I needed to recover. It took almost a week and a half before I felt back to normal again.

Fast forward to October 20th 2013 (this past Sunday)… I ran my 7th half marathon. I finished in 1 hour 59 minutes and 26 seconds (a 9:07 min/mile pace), and that wasn’t even my best time (I ran a half marathon 4 weeks ago and finished in 1:56:23 - a 8:54 min/mile pace). I got up this morning feeling great. Got out of bed and headed downstairs to let Jillian Michaels torture me a bit before heading to work… and on my long traffic-filled commute I began to think about how much I’ve accomplished these past few years and what it has taken to make it all happen:

commitment, consistency, diligence, will-power, stupidity, failure, disappointment, determination, discipline, strength, perseverance, persistence, grit, drive, courage and the steadfast belief that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.

I have learned the importance of a foam roller, orthotics, and body glide. I know which flavors of Gu I like best and which ones make my stomach turn. My running wardrobe includes options for spring, summer and winter and I have a very specific plan for which kind of outfit to wear based on the outdoor temp. I have accumulated more running related gear than I ever knew existed: GPS watch, HRM, hydration belt (with 2 different sized bottles), a head lamp (for those dark cold mornings), yak trax (for those snowy, icy days), headbands, gloves, reflective lights, and special ear buds that won’t come out of my ears while I am running.

The Detroit Marathon offers both a half marathon and a full marathon option. Both groups run together for half the course, when at 13 miles those of us that signed up to run only half the distance turn off to the right to finish the race and the remaining (less sane) group turn off to the left to continue their journey. When I ran the race two years ago, I very definitively told myself that I would NEVER turn left. Running 13.1 miles was hard enough… 26.2 miles would be IMPOSSIBLE. So, this past Sunday as I was making that turn to the right, I had a very different thought in my head and after the race was done and my husband and I were walking back to our car he asked me, “Do you think you will ever run a full marathon.” And my answer? “Yes, probably”.

What a difference 2 years can make.


  • Oh man how inspiring! A great spirit in these words! Fantastic!
  • As someone who wants to get into running, this is a great read! Hopefully in 2 years I'll have a similar success story. Great way to start the second half of my 30s :)
  • Fellow Michigander here. I have friends that ran in the Detroit marathon this year, it's a heck of an accomplishment. You've come this far, why not do the whole thing?!?!? Nice motivation......wtg.
  • Leigh_b
    Leigh_b Posts: 449 Member
    Thank you everyone :flowerforyou:
  • myJOF
    myJOF Posts: 26
    Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to look back two years from now. This weekend will be my first official 5k, and my longest distance is 5 miles. I know I'll run a half but I don't know when. At one time I couldn't fathom 3 miles and 5 wasn't even in my realm of maybes.