Almost a year ago my friend Mandie asked me to do the BAA Distance Medley with her. I roped in another friend and as a result signed up for my first half-marathon. I had never run a half-marathon before and was not sure how well it would go. After a year of training including a month of getting up at 5:30 a.m. to run before work on Tuesdays, I made it to a place where I was ready for this challenge.
Training was not without its challenges and sacrifices. The blistering hot summer made running more brutal. Some days I only made it half way before giving up. Longer runs and more sweat required extra tools. I got a new water bottle and gained a new appreciation of Gatorade. I found a sweatband to keep the burning mix of sunscreen out of my eyes. My sweat and the rain destroyed three pairs of bluetooth earbuds. When the distance is far, minor discomfort can derail major progress.
Running this race has taught me much about grit, dedication, and following a plan. Not every run was my best. Sometimes there was rain and headwinds. I had to eat and drink based on how food made me feel instead of how it tasted. When it felt like I could not go any farther, I persisted because I knew that doing so would make it easier next time. I kept my eye on the North Star and followed the plan to get to it.