It was one year ago from today when I ran my first Half Marathon in Brooklyn 2019. It was a cold, but crisp fall morning. I had never run a half marathon in my life before. I had only seen basic betch instagram’s of guys and girls my age running through the streets of NYC or Boston while their friends hold up signs. This isn’t a humble brag, but I am a relatively “popular” kid. This is ironic because NO ONE was there to support me when I crossed the finish line. My friends would’ve came if I had asked them to, but this wasn’t about social status or for anyone else. This was about myself and personal pride.
As an ex Division 1 athlete, running was never my thing. I HATED it. “Hate” is such a strong word, so maybe I really fucking despised running. I think this also stemmed from the fact that it was always a chore. I was always forced to run. It was never a luxury or a personal freedom of choice. I strongly believe this factor had a huge part in it.
One of my friends, who is extremely into fitness and nutrition recommended that I join this running challenge with him for the month of September. It’s a “Mile-a-Day Challenge” for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The concept is simple, you run a mile a day for everyday in the month of September. Build daily healthy habit of lacing of the kicks and putting them to the pavement. I am not a fan of “30 Day Challenges” because what’s the point if you’re going to go back to your old ways after it? I am a believer however of using those 30 day challenges to help build daily healthy habits in which you can accumulate gains and personal growth off of. This is exactly what I did.
Not going to lie, I got a bit cocky around the mid mark of September after lacing up the shoes and running every single day. I decided to look into Half Marathons near me given I am in the biggest city in the country. I saw that there was a Brooklyn Half Marathon on October 19th, 2019 and I was like… this is it. I AM DOING THIS. I adjusted my running routine a bit… running for more than 5KS (3.10miles) a day and going for at least 8 miles a clip every time I put those shoes on because I knew on that Saturday October 19th, I was going to need to reach 13.1 miles.
Despite the rough start of leaving my official runner’s bib in the Starbucks, I showed up in the Brooklyn that morning, the energy was surreal. It felt like I was lining up in a tunnel for an NFL game. So much diversity… men and women from all parts of the world. Remember, NYC has a ton of foreigners, all ages as well. I had my shoes laced up (custom Kids for Kids yellow laces), my leggings tight, my long sleeve fit, and my running bib in check. I was really about to run my first half marathon! I ended up crushing it and it was one of the greatest achievements of my life. There was no one at the finish line (I met up with friends that afternoon, please don’t think I’m throwing a pity party), but being able to look up after conquering those 13.1 miles was such a great accomplishment. I had a smile from ear to ear. I had done it.
With 2020 circumstances of large group gatherings, there have been no communal marathon / half marathon runs, BUT… I do plan on running a 10 mile run THIS Saturday. October 23rd. Again, no other reason than for myself and pure accomplishment. I have been having an awesome October with my running practice. I am at 32.70 miles this month! One day at a time. One run at a time.