Running had always been something I wanted to try, wanted to be able to do, wanted to succeed at. A 5K, half marathon, full marathon…. something I thought about, but never really felt I could achieve. I have always been a big guy, active at times, but nothing consistent. Running would take dedication, and up until last year, I wasn’t ready to give it.
In order for me to get really committed, I knew I had to go big, and take a giant leap. So in November of 2016, I announced at dinner with my leadership team, which included the CEO, that I was going to run a half marathon in 2017. Mind you, I had NEVER run in my life – but without a goal, and a lofty one at that, I’m not sure I would have done it. I just couldn’t look like a fool in front of the CEO! This guy had competed in American Ninja Warrior and done an IronMan! Now, my co-workers around the table all looked at me as if I had just said the craziest thing they had ever heard. There was no turning back.
By January, I was ready to actually put my feet to pavement. It was time for me to start taking time for myself, and to work on my health. As I started, I found it gave me clarity. My job is very stressful and I was always prioritizing everyone else. I also wanted to be an inspiration for the employees at the plant. I started on January 23, 2017 and could only run 2 minutes before stopping. My goal was to run the Mini Marathon. It took me a few weeks of struggling before I realized I had become a running addict!
I came to realize that running to me is my sanity. I love going for a long run and leaving the stress of the week on the trail I can clear my head, get away from my phone, and find the focus, and calm that helps me throughout the rest of my week.
My training quickly progressed from 3 to 6 to 10 miles in preparation for my first half marathon. I was running several times a week, and was signing up for events whenever I could. I ended up completing 4 half marathons in 2017 and logged over 440 miles for the year.
My last half marathon of 2017 was the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. It was my favorite of the year and I ended up getting a PR. One thing I loved about this race is discovering the neighborhoods and parts of the city I did not know existed. Running the last section of the course, coming into all the screaming crowd was a high I didn’t know existed. I knew after completing the Monumental that I was going to run my first full marathon in 2018. To me, status quo is boring. I love raising the bar so the next logical challenge was running a full marathon. I am scared and excited about the challenge of training and completing a marathon.