For me, the fitness journey began at the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in October 2008.
I didn’t know how long it took a person to run a marathon (26.2 miles). When I went to support a friend, I showed up at hour 4.5. It didn’t occur to me that people could run 26 miles in a little over 2 hours!(!!!) By the time I arrived at the finish line, my friend had long since completed the race. I was awestruck by the finishers struggling up the last hill and pouring across the finish line. Before long, I started cheering for people whose name were printed across their shirts. “Go John!” “Almost there, Sara!” I listened to the announcer give facts about the People’s Marathon, and I vividly remember the announcer saying one man had lost 90 pounds and trained for 7 months to run the MCM that year. I was truly inspired.
I had never gone for a run before, I had never wanted to, and I had never thought that I would. But standing by the MCM finish line, I knew if these people could run 26.2 miles, then there is no reason why I (even at 300 pounds) couldn’t run one mile. My mind wondered that if I could run 1 mile, then there is no reason a healthy albeit overweight 26 year old couldn’t run a 5K. I was going to run a 5K that spring. Decided.
I went home to do research. I found a website that said that anyone in reasonable health could run a 5K in 45 minutes. 45 minutes was the goal.
I trained from January through May 2009. During my first day of training it took me 25 minutes to walk a mile. I shit you not – 25 minutes. But I continued, and I am proud to report that I met my goal – I ran my first 5K with my best friend on May, 2, 2009 in 45:21….
…and I haven’t stopped running!