You Never Forget Your First Time

They say you never forget your first time; it’s one of those special moments that stays with you forever.

When asked are you ready, you cannot deny how prepared you are to do it.

When it begins, the feeling is magical. All the thoughts, images and feelings of what you imagined the moment would be like cannot compare. Your heart is beating so fast that you can barely think, and yet your body responds without deliberation, and the energy takes over.

After it’s full speed ahead, questions begin to pop into your mind. “Am I doing this right?” “How is my form?” “How will I feel after this?”

And then gradually the questions are abandoned as your body shows you that it knows the answers. With each movement, you are one step closing to finishing, that illustrious feeling of accomplishment; the climax of so much effort.

You build up to it. In spite of the sweat in your hair and the tension in your legs, you feel amazing. You feel ready to be rewarded and celebrated. You try to smile, but your breathing intensifies as you push to the end.

It’s a long climb, at times painful. During the first time, there is no doubt going to be pain. There may even be pain after, but it is temporary. As Bob Dylan once said, ““Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”

And then you reach that point, that point when you give it everything you have left. The momentum and the passion carry you forward. When you reach the finish, everything releases. You heart rate is still pounding and your hair is sticking to the back of your neck. Any lingering self doubt is erased as you bask in the glory of that end feeling. There is a rapid fire of emotions, and there is no holding back.

In those few minutes after it’s over, you think about all that has just happened. The pain and the endurance prove themselves to have been worth it. You feel a high unlike ever before and already your mind begins to wander about doing it again. After all, practice makes perfect.

All it takes is that first time to get you wanting more.

Crossing the finish line at your first marathon is just the beginning. Once you finish, there is no going back.

Feeling 22, Ready for 26.2

DSC_0005Yesterday as I was sifting through one of my notebooks during an office meeting, I found a list of my goals for 2014. Crafted at the start of the new year, I made a list of things I wanted to achieve and get in a habit of doing. In the midst of trying to cook three times a week (fail), read two books a month (some months were a fail), and heading to California (I made it kind of close), I wrote “Fall Marathon.”

And here I am, four days out from checking off that item.

At 22, I’m going to run a marathon. Continue reading

The Last Alarm

On Saturday morning my alarm rang for the last time at 6:25 A.M.

Since the end of the June, my alarm has gone off at the same time each Saturday morning. Only a few hours after most people my age go to bed after wild and crazy Friday nights, I woke up to do my own wild and crazy things.

At the beginning, it didn’t seem so crazy. Eight miles, ten miles; it didn’t sound so bad, Then it progressively got harder and harder. As the weeks passed, the temperatures also climbed with the mileage, By mid-August, SLR totals ranged in the middle teens. Waking up to run 14, 15 and 16 miles all before many of my friends even woke up became a common feat.

But even as the temperatures started to decline, the miles did not to do the same. So, like weeks past, I laced up my sneakers and headed to Fleet Feet for 16, 18 and 20-mile runs. But even with those runs successfully completed, this past weekend’s SLR might have been the hardest. Continue reading

This Thing I’m Doing in a Week

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.

I have 9 days until I’m supposed to run 26.2 miles. I’m ready for October 26th to be here already, but I’m also beginning to feel the nerves because of what I will do on that day.

Yes, will.

These past four months have been an emotional and fatiguing experience; yet it’s also been an uplifting and empowering journey of self-discovery. If you want to push yourself to the limits and see what you are capable of, sign up for a marathon.

Continue reading


In the classic novel Les Miserables, Jean Valjean, the story’s protagonist, is also known as 24601. His identification during internment, the number is a reminder throughout the novel of the pain and suffering the character experienced as punishment for his crime of stealing a loaf of bread.

I now also have my own self-identifying number, albeit one with a more positive association: 18351. It doesn’t have the same roll off the tongue sound that makes it perfect for a few musical notes, but it is the number that sums up everything I have been working towards for the past four months.

In less than two weeks, I will wear a bib reading 18351 and join nearly 30,000 others as we weave our way through Virginia and D.C. for 26.2 miles. As the day gets closer and closer, the anticipation is titanic.

Fellow runners in my training group ran the Chicago Marathon yesterday and while I could not have felt more inspired by all their posts and results, I also felt slightly jealous that I still have to wait until it’s my turn.

I just want it to be here already! Continue reading

When Life Gives You Lemons

IMG_1376“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

I heard that quote the other night at trivia. One of my coworkers knew the answer to the question asking which comedian is to credit for that line (Ron White). Trivia nights with him and other coworkers had become common, but after today they will no longer be co-workers.

Today is the last day at my current job, the end of one era and the beginning of another. Today, I leave economics and return to my passion of women’s advocacy and development. Today, I start running on a new path with an unknown ending. Continue reading