It’s My Runnerversary!

Two years ago, Brian and I went to Savannah for the Fourth of July weekend.  While we were there, we did a LOT of walking.  One of the days, we walked about 2 miles to the river and then 2 miles back.  When we got back to our room, I was so exhausted I could hardly move.  At 28 years old, I found this ridiculous, and decided right then that when we got back, I was going to try to start running.

On the 4th, I remember looking at the weather and commenting to Brian that it was raining in Atlanta, and how sorry I felt for everyone running Peachtree.  I couldn’t even fathom running 6 miles, let alone running it in the rain.  Little did I know, less than two years later, I would run a marathon in the rain.  Life’s funny like that.

In honor of my runnerversary, I want to reflect on how far I’ve come in my running & fitness journey in just two short years.  When I started running, I couldn’t even go a quarter mile without stopping.  Since then:

–          I ran my first race, a trail 10k, just 6 weeks after I started running.  I used the run/walk method and it was awful, but I survived.

Here we are before my first race.  Fun fact: it was like 60 degrees that day and I thought I'd be cold....

Here we are before my first race. Fun fact: it was like 60 degrees that day and I thought I’d be cold….

–          I trained for and ran my first half marathon just 6 months after picking up running shoes.  I’ll never forget how scared I was the first time I did a “double digit” training run.  I bought so much running stuff off Amazon that training cycle, I wanted to try all of the things.  Again, I used the run/walk method, and was officially hooked on running after crossing that finish line.   Since then, I’ve run an additional 3 half marathons, soon to be 4 in a few weeks.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon!

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon!

–          I learned in the Spring of 2014 that if you only run, and don’t cross train, strength train, or take proper rest days, you’ll end up injured.  Less than a year after I started running, I realized how much of a part of my life it had become when I ended up in a boot for 2 weeks with Achilles Tendonitis due to good, old fashioned over-training.

–          I went from a woman who wore heels everyday and put together outfits for the grocery store to one who lives in flats and whenever possible, running clothes.

–          I started strength training and learned that I’m stronger than I thought.

–          I ran my first Peachtree Road Race!

Heading toward the finish of my first Peachtree!

Heading toward the finish of my first Peachtree!

–          I took vacations and looked forward to running as part of them.  I even took some vacations just FOR running.

–          I’ve made friends in surprising places.  Social media has connected me to runners both near and far.  I will forever be grateful to Elizabeth to inviting me to her holiday Atlanta lady runner blogger party last year, where I met such a wonderful group of women.  I didn’t know any of those ladies in real life at the time, and going was so outside of my comfort zone! I also have a runner friend in just about every city I could ever want to visit thanks to Instagram and Twitter.

–          I re-discovered my love for chocolate milk.

–          At 29 years old, I finally started to learn some of the foundations of proper nutrition.  I still have a lot to learn, but as someone who always ate whatever she wanted, this was a big deal.

–          I’ve become a morning person.  I never thought I would be, but even on the weekends I’m up with the sun.

–          I ran a marathon. In the rain.  And wanted to do it again.

I'll never forget the moment I became a marathoner!

I’ll never forget the moment I became a marathoner!

–          A friendship I already had became stronger and unbreakable.  Nothing ensures a lifetime of friendship like training for and running your first marathon together.  Did I mention it was in the rain?

–          I finally conquered my fear of deep water and learned to swim.

–          I learned that with the right time, dedication, plan, and support system, I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

It’s amazing how much I’ve been able to grow and what I’ve been able to accomplish in just two years.  It is truly exciting to think what I’ll be doing 1, 2, and even 5 years from now.

This year, I’m celebrating my runnerversary with what else? Running! Christina is coming into town to run the Peachtree Road Race with me and we’ll do lots of other fun stuff.  I’m so grateful for all the things running has brought into my life, and so grateful for the ability to run.  I’m looking forward to many more runnerversaries!

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Jess

4 Comments

  1. I’m so proud of you. You’ve come so far and pushed yourself so hard to accomplish your goals. I’m so glad we’ve taken this journey together and look forward to many more runs in many more cities. Runcations for life.

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