It has been two months since I participated in my first half marathon - the 2013 ING Miami MarathonIt literally took me almost two years to prepare my body and mind to complete my first half marathon (13.1 miles). Let me tell you about myself, I am an ambassador for Black Girls RUN! South Florida. I joined BGR in October of 2011. I was so excited. I was running every day. My pace was getting better. It was in the 10 minute range. I was approaching sub 30. I even signed up for ING a year in advance during the blitz. You know a girl loves a sale J Then in March, I injured my right leg. I barely recovered and kept on running. Then it was the left leg. With the left leg injury, I couldn’t even wear heels. Unthinkable! Unimaginable! The nerve! It was time to literally rest my body and learn about training properly to run. I started Bikram Yoga. I was going three times a week. My body became flexible. I was feeling good. I could wear low heels without limping. (The limp with heels – not cute!) However, with my 4 inch or higher – PAIN!!. I started strength training. The knee brace was gone and 4 inch or higher came out of the closet. Did you notice I never mentioned hitting the pavement? I was scared. I was literally terrified about re-injuring myself. I am not in my 20s or 30s. The body does not like to recover that quickly. I started running again in October, I took it slow. For the first several weeks, I would not do more than 2 miles. I rested when I needed to rest. I did not let the pressure to be on the pavement push ME before I was ready. Then I increased 3 to 4 miles with my running buddy, Nadine, the whole way. Then in December, we did 8 miles! Yes, I was in pain, but it was good pain. The pain was not from injury. ING weekend came. I had no time to be scared or nervous. I had company the whole weekend that I entertained. We laughed, ate, walked on the beach, and just plain relaxed. Sunday came bright and early. My running buddy was there and we ran together and completed 13.1 miles in 3 hours. Can you say PROUD? There are those that may not consider the time to be so great, but I learned that it takes time, training, and preparation to complete a half marathon. Woot!! Woot!! Remember, you RUN your OWN race, not anyone elses. Listen to your body it is the only body who have to cherish and love unconditionally.
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