When your legs are tired, run with your heart.

Last Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do: I ran 13.1 miles.

In other words, I ran a half-marathon. This is by far one of the most rewarding things I’ve done during my stay at Denison.

If you asked me a year ago if I could run a half-marathon I would have probably laughed in your face.

If you asked me the same thing a month ago, I still probably would have laughed in your face.

It wasn’t until one of my great friends, Brooke Holland and I decided to go out on a crazy whim and register to run “The Fall into Winter Half Marathon” right here in Granville. It would be a small, local and convenient race that would still allow us to push our bodies to the limit.

So, we registered and dropped $65 with no refund included–there was no going back!

We had to do it. It was time to hold ourselves accountable.

Before I took on this challenge, I needed to train so I constructed a workout schedule with Brooke:

Monday: 1 hour of cycling & 6-mile run.

Tuesday: Cross-train (another form of cardio besides running) with ab/leg workouts

Wednesday: 7-mile run/stretching

Thursday: 4-5 mile run on treadmill/light lift

Friday: 1 hour of cycling with incorporated ab workouts

Saturday: Long run ranging from 8-10 miles.

Sunday: Rest

This was my workout regime for the past month and a half…it kicked my butt! Many of my runs would be early morning–6AM or 7AM. There were many times I questioned if doing this race was worth it. But every day, I somehow got up and kept pushing.

I’m always slammed with many questions from people who ask me why I run. Others are persistent on telling me that it’s hard on the body and I should do another form of exercise to see results.

 I’ve never really been able to answer these questions or respond back to these critiques. Because, to be brutally honest, I never knew why I ran either. It wasn’t until this past weekend I had a revelation.

I run for me.

It’s that simple; running is truly a personal thing. During a race, you put your race bib on, line up at the start and go!

I’m able to run at my own pace, I’m challenging myself, I’m getting to the money and most importantly no one is coaching me. And that’s what make running different than other sports.

There’s nothing more beautiful than that.

It’s all you out there and it’s all a mental challenge. My most successful runs have been the ones where I get up and just move.

Don’t think. Just move.

It’s easy to let your head get to you and when that happens, I realize those are the toughest runs for me.

Sidenote: it also helps to keep telling yourself you’re awesome during a run.

Running was not an activity I grew up on. As a kid I would watch the Boston marathon and tell myself I could never run more than a mile. I was not a fan of running.

I grew on the foundation of sports like basketball, soccer and football. None of them compare to running. I’ve always loved running but never thought I was “good enough” at it.

Well I proved myself wrong.

This can be applied to more than just running. As humans we tend to not live to our fullest potential because we believe we aren’t good enough. Never ever did I think I could move my body 13.1 miles.

Sometimes you have to just do it and not look back.