Running Can Alter Your Body And Mind
After my mother completed her breast cancer treatments in 2014, I made a decision to run the half marathon “13.1 with Donna” race in February of 2015. At the onset of my training, I was faced with multiple challenges. First and foremost, I didn’t believe I was an athlete. I wasn’t sure that I could complete 13.1 miles, even though I finished the Gate River Run, a 15K race. Next, was an achilles injury 2 weeks before the race that prevented me from running. After three months of training for this race, I was devastated. Next, I suffered from a hamstring injury while slalom skiing just a few months prior to the next training season. I had to go to physical therapy in addition to doing many exercises at home daily to improve my mobility and decrease my pain.
I have always enjoyed running alone for the peace and solitude with my thoughts. However, I found that the more I ran, the longer it took to get my runner’s high. The long runs became boring and I didn’t have the will to challenge myself. I started running with two of my girlfriends and all of a sudden, the intense training started to feel like a social encounter among friends who happened to be running long distances while catching up on life. Running became more about being with my friends and my commitment to physical fitness and recharging my mind than a chore. I eventually started looked forward to waking up early on a weekend to run 11 miles while feeling energized and ready to tackle the challenge the moment I woke up.
There have been multiple positive physical changes I have noticed after running the “13.1 with Donna”. However, the bigger changes have been to my psyche. I now consider myself an athlete – a word I would have never used to describe myself before. Additionally, I now know that despite multiple physical setbacks, I will still stand true to my commitment and reach my goals.