I became a runner accidentally. Well, not really by accident but it was something I never really desired to do.
Back in 2010 I was working out regularly and enjoyed taking a spin (cycling) class along with some cardio. Then a childhood friend challenged me to participate in a 5k.
I trained for one month and ran my first race with no problem. I discovered I actually liked to run and it helped me relieve some stress of being a single mom and graduate student.
Another very close friend of mine was a runner also and I asked if she wanted to train together for the half-marathon coming up that Fall. The race had grown quite popular in our town and I felt like it was a great challenge for me.
Plus it was taking place on my 30th birthday. I wanted to celebrate a new decade of my life with something I never dreamed I would accomplish.
So Corinna and I ran together sometimes at the YMCA, we shared our weekly running accomplishments, and were both excited as the race grew closer.
Then about five weeks before the big event I hit a wall. I was overwhelmed with school work, the training schedule, and trying to be both parents to three small children.
I called Corinna and told her I didn't know if I could compete. I cried to her and explained how I was just. plain. tired. She encouraged me to take a break from running and focus on my family.
Two weeks after that phone call I decided I wanted to finish what I had started all those months ago.
Corinna met me at our local Greenway and together we ran 10 miles. This was the longest distance I had ever completed and I can tell you, it felt WONDERFUL, CATHARTIC, EXHILARATING!
I cried a little as we ran the last leg, feeling so appreciative for this amazing woman beside me. She had encouraged me, coached me, and didn't let me give up on my dream.
Race day soon arrived and Corinna and I began at the starting line together. As the flare horn went off I watched my tall, athletic friend speed ahead of me. We each decided to run our own race and meet at the end.
Two hours and thirty minutes later I entered the track where our race was ending. I came around the corner and the first people I saw were Corinna, her husband Jason, and their two children cheering wildly for me. I got so emotional I didn't think I would finish! Of course I did and was so relieved.
That evening, Corinna and I along with my best friend and their spouses, celebrated my birthday and our earlier victory (we were both happy we didn't finish last!).
Corinna has been with me through some tough trials and coached me through several. I am so appreciative of her friendship and I miss her!
This photo is a sweet reminder to me of our friendship and a time in my life when I needed to push myself to try new things. I'm lucky my friend was there every step of the way.
Q2Y: Have you had a friend push you to achieve a goal?
Linking up with Crystal Stine today for her Tuesday feature Behind the Scenes. Check it out and read some other wonderful stories. Don't forget to leave a comment!
Also linking with Stephanie at Where He Leads!!