Before we decided to start trying to expand our family, there was always one thing that I told myself I HAD to accomplish first. One goal, one achievement.
Run a full marathon.
And I did! Twice! I ran one for a time that I’m proud of, and one for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Not to say that I will never run another marathon again, but I knew that the motivation and pure joy that comes with it, might not always be there. Especially once I have more than just myself or Adam to worry about. Hopefully I will run another marathon one day (I say that very, very cautiously!), but until then, I think I will always cherish my marathon memories, ESP. my Disney marathon memories.
My experience being pregnant has been WAY different than I ever thought it would be. I thought for sure I’d breeze right through, and still be able to run. But, I haven’t been able to, and that’s okay. It’s been a huge eye opener to see just how active I was, what all I accomplished, and what kind of shape I was actually in. I’m using this time to motivate myself for getting back in shape after baby, and accomplishing even more. I mean, I am pretty darn proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished so far, but it’s fun to look back on it all from time to time!
With National Running Day last week, I found myself reminiscing on some of my favorite running accomplishments, even those outside of the marathon. Here’s a quick look back!
My First Marathon: 3 Bridges Marathon, December 2013
The feeling I had when I crossed the finish line of my first full marathon was pure elation, pride, and JOY! I will never forget coming over that last bridge, and running with every last bit of energy I had through the finisher’s chute to finish this huge goal! I remember having tears in my eyes and I crossed the finish line and every single second of hard work and preparation for this day had all come together perfectly and paid off.
1st place in age group
My Half Marathon PR: Soaring Wings Half Marathon October 2013
I trained really hard for this race, and had my heart set on racing a sub-2 hour half marathon for the first time. I was so proud of myself after this race, and when I started training for my first marathon a few months later, I actually ended up running several sub-2’s in training! It’s amazing how once you accomplish a goal and KNOW you can do it, it’s like you graduate to a new level in your mind and you won’t settle for less after that! Of course, I have yet to race another sub-2 half marathon, but I’ve come close!
My First Half Marathon: Country Music Half Marathon May 2010
Time: 2:32 ish?? It was definitely right around the 2 1/2 hour mark. We didn’t have a time goal, or know anything about running times for that matter! We just didn’t want to die.
This is the race that started it all! My sister in law wanted to run the local half marathon, and she convinced me that if she could do it, I could. So, I signed up, ran a lot (had no idea what I was doing!), and we crossed the finish line together! I’m sure you can tell how inexperienced I look by that COTTON T-SHIRT I’m rocking. Good heavens, what a terrible, terrible idea! And actually, the full marathon that day got cancelled due to thunder and lightening, and we were luckily able to finish the half just before the storm hit! I ran this same race two more times after this, and fell in love with long distance running. I had no idea I’d run 6 more half marathons! I’m already itching to run my 8th!
Warrior Dash September 2011: Manchester, TN
Adam and I ran this while we were engaged, about 9 months before we got married. It was my idea, but Adam ended up having to drag my butt through several of the obstacles! Ha! This race was SO much fun, but also made me realize how important cross training and strength training are…hello weak arms!!! I’m so glad we did this together, it was definitely a great marriage primer 😉
My Most Unique 5K: Anything is Possible 2AM Time Change 5K November 2011
This race was a BLAST but oh my goodness was it tough! One of my best friends and I ran this spur of the moment, as in, signed up for it that afternoon. The race started at 2:00 AM, but since it was daylight savings and we were “falling back” an hour, we actually finished before we started. Hard to explain, but so bizarre! I want to say my time was 25:30, and I actually threw up right after I finished! It was the first 25 minute 5K I’d ever run!
I couldn’t find a picture from this race, but I know for sure I’ve got one somewhere. So instead, here’s one from another 5K just a couple months later with my same friend! This race in particular was below freezing and SNOWING (which you can’t see, but it was!).
My 5K PR: Firecracker Fast 5K July 2013
This race is known as one of the fastest races in the south, as the entire course is pretty much downhill. Every year there are incredible PR’s set, and I was so excited to FINALLY break 25 minutes and hit my PR of 24:28!
My Favorite Race Ever: Walt Disney World Marathon January 2015
I can’t even put into words how much fun this race was. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience, and I vividly remember every single mile! Even though our time was slightly horrendous, we didn’t care one bit because we took tons of pictures, stopped when we wanted to, and soaked up as much of the course as physically possible! I could just cry thinking about it because it was THAT fun.
And there you have it, a quick look at a few of my favorite running moments! Talk about motivation to get back out there after Baby Ingle makes her debut!!
What are some of YOUR favorite running accomplishments? What are you most proud of?