|I won this medal for completing runDisney's
Coast to Coast Challenge by finishing a
half marathon at Walt Disney World and
Disneyland in the same calendar year.
So now that I'm finally in and typing... what's new? Well, probably the most dramatic change in the intervening years is I have become a runner. If you had told me three years ago I'd be a runner, I would have laughed squarely in your face. I've lost about 45 pounds, so I can breathe easily after walking up a flight of stairs. I've run distances on my own two feet that are even still hard for me to comprehend. I've simply taken it in stages.
In the summer of 2010, I began climbing at my favorite mountain, Stone Mountain, on a regular basis (two or three times a week, and I even stuck to it through the winter months) and that's how I shed the early bulk. In March of 2011, I kicked it up a notch to running in my own neighborhood. My first time out of the gate, I ran 1.4 miles. The next time I ran, I doubled it. From then on, it was a head game. Once I increased my distance I had no excuse to do it again because I knew I could do it.
I ran my first official 5K on May 14, 2011. It was the Brookhaven Bolt. I immediately wanted a bigger challenge. After buying a race bib for Atlanta's famed Peachtree Road Race (they had already sold out by the time I wanted in), I ran my first 10K just two months later on July 4. I just recently ran my first official half marathon in January of this year at Walt Disney World, and the next weekend I ran my second one at Disneyland, completing runDisney's Coast to Coast Challenge within just eight days.
Running has changed my life. It's improved my mood and allowed me to handle stress more easily. I dare say I wouldn't be in the job I'm in now if I wasn't running regularly. I've met great people that helped to inspire me to higher and higher levels. Running has challenged me to think about other aspects of my life. If I am capable of running 13.1 miles, what else can I do? It's been an amazing two years and I will continue to go onward and upward (Excelsior!).