12 Half Marathons & 1 Full Marathon later, the quest goes on.
"What you seek is seeking you." - Rumi
"What you seek is seeking you." - Rumi
1. The ability to endure is a superpower
Your ability to endure discomfort, uncertainty, challenges, pain, fear and exhaustion will take you places.
2. Adventures will redefine reality
The body, mind, soul & the spirit are made for adventures and it is your adventures that will show you what you are made of and will help you discover what your body, mind, soul and the spirit are capable of.
3. Limitless Potential
The body, mind, spirit and the soul have limitless potential to manifest our core powers but we must be willing to stand at the edge to become aware of the depth of our potential. If we do not push ourselves to the very edge of our perceived limits, we will not know our potential.
4. The body is a Star
Quite literally, our bodies are made of Star Dust & metaphorically, what our bodies endure and surpass to keep us alive and to help us achieve our goals is the stuff of legends.
5. What is inside of you never dies & what calls out to you is always waiting for you
You get as many chances as you decide to take. And the path that calls out to you is a path that your body, mind, soul & the spirit have the power to walk and run on, at any age & time.
6. Willpower & Purpose
A strong willpower fueled by a strong sense of purpose will keep you going for as long as it takes.
7. Take a chance, embrace the unknown & trust the Universe
Take a chance & show up because when you do - the right people, miracles, the wisdom, the awareness, the skills & the Universe will help you forward in your path.
You will over-train, under-train & end up with injuries; mistakes & strange things will happen. But the body heals fast and the mind, soul & the spirit will forever be excited by a worthy, meaningful cause.
9. It gets worse before it gets better
The pain, discomfort & fear roars the strongest when it is about to die and strength, endurance and serenity are about to be born.
Once the body, mind, spirit & the soul have picked up momentum, do not let your conditioning interfere with the flow because if you break the momentum, you will lose time & sometimes it is not possible to recover the same pace before the end of the race.
11. Be open & rediscover
Be open to changes. Be open to new things. They come to us for a reason, often, to help us evolve.
12. Not every race/life experience is going to be the same
You will sail through some races & at some races, you will flail like you are going against a strong current.
13. You do not need to know the how when your why is strong enough
You forget about how it will all turn out or work out because you don't care that you don't have all the answers; you only care that you get started on this path because it speaks to you.
14. Surrender the need to control and to know everything because you do not control reality
You can only give your best effort but you do not control the outcome and you cannot predict reality. What happens on race day is a combination of far too many factors like weather, your training, your skill, the road elevation and the road conditions, your body performance and several other variables.
15. You can push through
No matter how well you train, there will be moments when you feel like you cannot go on anymore. But then you push through and you make it to the other side of the finish line.
16. When you walk the path that calls out to you, you are running your own race
When you are true to your path, you don't care about what everyone else is up to because you are not trying to conform to a set idea. You are simply doing your own thing.
17. Only you can choose a practice/way of life that works best for you
Your body & mind will tell you what works best for them: running solo, running in groups, running trails, running on roads, running marathons, running 5K, running all the way or running in intervals. Only you can know what works best for you.
18. Comparisons are pointless
Someone else will be faster but everyone is a complex product of their genes, experiences, natural abilities, training, food, sleep and countless other life habits. So comparisons are pointless.
19. Finish Line will turn us from zombies into superman
Once we glimpse the prized finish line, our lead like bodies turn into wings & we fly.
20. Anything monumental/life altering comes with a fear tag
If you are not scared, you are not really in the midst of a life altering adventure. Being scared gives way to a monumental accomplishment that shatters your perceptions about what is possible.
7 days after the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon, I went out for a long run and had such a blast that 7 days later I was in Nashville for the Nashville Half Marathon.
On a Friday evening at 7 pm, I set off in the darkness, driving my week old new car with some excitement, exhaustion & trepidation, hoping I would reach the hotel in one piece. Four hours later, I parked the car, checked into my room, munched on energy bars & crashed.
Tossing & turning, sleeping & awake, after 6 hours of fitful sleep, I was up. At about 6 am, I stepped out into the biting chill in shorts & a fleece jacket & gloves. Randomly picking a parking lot near the race venue, I set off in my car and 10 minutes later was at the destination. The parking lot was deserted except for a couple of cars. I parked awkwardly, got out, felt strangely vulnerable & did my best to stay super alert. I traced my way out of the parking lot & wondered which way to go as my phone took its own sweet time to map out the directions to the race venue. As I saw a bunch of runners get out in a parking lot, I checked with them for directions and 5 minutes later, I was at the starting point of the race. Thousands of runners were everywhere & I immediately felt happy in this sea of kindred spirits. Something about being among runners has always felt like being at home. I got my BIB & there was nothing else to do but to shiver uncontrollably & to move my limbs in strange ways & to jump on the balls of my feet to keep myself warm.
After an hour of wind bathing in the maddening cold, we were off. We ran through neighborhoods & alongside parks & trees. I felt totally strong & kept going, happy & revived & before I knew, I was at the end of the race & then I was cursing. A monstrous uphill road that went on forever was one of the very last piece of running that the runners had to tackle. It broke my right hip which began to throb & twitch as if the road had some kind of strange remote & was hell bent on using it to wreck my right hip. I groaned & cussed & grumbled & kept going. And soon enough I crossed the finish line. 2:11:46 was my official time.
Feeling cold after the race, I set off towards the car, shivering & writhing. 15 minutes later, I was in the hotel & was happy to have made it to the breakfast buffet. I grabbed some coffee & fruits & went to my room & called my Mom & surprised her with my half marathon run. Couple of hours later, at noon, I checked out of the hotel, refueled the car & set off towards Atlanta airport.
The drive back was beautiful. Trees glimmering in shades of red, orange & yellow, mountains of Tennessee & the blazing sunlight made for a sublime, splendid drive. I barely made it in time to Atlanta airport for my flight to Las Vegas. The crazy weekend was far from over. I was headed to Death Valley in California the following day.
Death Valley was amazing & I was running & scrambling across the desert like an excited 8 year old. Surprisingly, my limbs & everything else was functioning brilliantly. No soreness, no aches. After 11 hours, I was back in Vegas, stranded at a hotel because of the Vegas Marathon, which had slowed the traffic to a crawl & halt. Wondering if I would make it to my plane, I was fortunate that a cab showed up & as it dropped passengers, the gentleman agreed to take me to airport.
He drove this way & that way, through busy streets, assessing, rerouting, guessing & in the end after some tense moments where I questioned my safety & my heart skipped some beats, fretting about being in a cab with a stranger on strange roads in darkness & having no control or no clue, I was at the airport in one piece. He had been chatty but he kept switching from a happy topic to a rage inducing topic, speaking in excited & agitated tones.
After a long night of traveling, I was back home at 5:30 am Monday morning, a zombie who happily crashed after an adventurous weekend & who was soon up in 3 hours to get to office.
After much soul searching & brain scrambling, it came to me that I should dress up as the Incredibles for the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon. So, on the day of the race, I wore black shorts, a long sleeve red shirt onto which I had glued a hand drawn Incredibles symbol like a sloppy craft project of a clumsy kid. It looked good though.
My running friend, Jessica and I, were at the race venue by 6 am. She picked me up from my apartment & I was glad that for once I didn't had to worry about parking. It was dark and mildly chilly. We collected our BIB & I gazed in wonder at the wonderful Halloween outfits the runners wore. From Flintstones to superheroes to villains to ballerinas to witches to magicians, it was amazing like some kind of costume party.
After an hour, we were off. I was not in my best health and so I knew this would be a slow race for me. The weather was pleasantly cold & I was out of breath, wheezing & panting like a 60 year old. I felt like a fish out of water, flopping about in horror. But gradually, my breathing returned to normal & I felt good & strong. The roads curved up, up & up and sank down, down & down. The race was a series of hills & it was quite challenging. I pushed myself to run & for the most part I managed fine. At times when it got tough, my mind went blank & my will & my body pushed on.
We passed through a portion of downtown & through neighborhoods and the race ended at a park. I was cursing by the end as my right hip had begun to hurt from mile 6 & I had simply endured because what else was one supposed to do. The last 20 minutes of the race were really hard on me since I had no idea how much more distance I had left to cover & my brain just kept screaming, "how much more?"
They had no mile markers towards the end & I couldn't be bothered to look at my phone. After cursing through a particularly uphill road at the end, I was at the finish line. 2:14:55 was my official time. In an hour, I was back home & an hour later on that Sunday, I was back to reading & writing, feeling a sublime kind of bliss known as the runner's high.
On August 13, for the second time in two years, I stood at the starting line of the Area 13.1 Half Marathon. It was 7 pm, bright as noon & having run this race previous year, I felt like I was some kind of veteran who had been there & done that.
The one thing that was different was that - this was the first race I was running with 3 of my running pals: Jessica, Dao & Erica. We had trained to run this race in intervals of 3 mins run & 1 min walk, which is what we did until mile 7. And then I crashed. I went from running brilliantly & strongly to not being able to take another step. I fell behind the group & pushed on, calling upon my willpower.
The last 4-5 miles I simply switched between walking & jogging & it almost felt like my body had turned into lead & just didn't know how to move anymore. We ran in darkness for the last hour of the race & finally after much struggle & effort, I completed the race.
The girls were at the finish line already & I was simply happy to have finished the race in 2:25:53. Drenched in sweat, I drove myself home, following the GPS, and as I returned, an hour later, I felt nauseous & threw up, couple of times. I almost felt like I was dying or something. I didn't feel like eating, so I drank tons of water & soon fell asleep. My theory is that I did not hydrate well on the race & so my body got dehydrated & crashed. Oddly, I had felt sick & had puked the last year too, which made me make a pact that I am never ever running this race again.
Gripped by the bucket list fever, after 3 weeks of running a race in California, I decided to do a race in Boston. Early one Saturday morning, I caught a flight & flew into Boston. At the airport, I got a rental car, set the GPS to a specific address & off I went to collect my race BIB. After much circus of driving about in the traffic filled roads of Boston, trying to figure out where to park & where the Seaport World Trade Center was, I parallel parked the car & stepped out in the blistering heat to collect my BIB.
After I had my BIB, I drove to my hotel but not before driving around in circles on the confusing downtown roads until finally my brainpower figured out how to get to the hotel. Exhausted to the bone, I slept for a couple of hours. Hungry, I found an Indian restaurant online & went out walking to get some food. Following GPS, I passed through beautiful streets with trees & elegant brick red apartments. I felt like I was walking through a history textbook because the architecture looked very historic.
I ate at the hotel & after a couple of hours I just slept off. The next day I was up at 4 am, scrambling about in mild anxiety & hyper excitement. I set off in the rental car towards the race venue, hoping to get a parking spot. I drove this way & that way, tried several different parking spots but nothing worked out. Finally as I was driving around clueless, I found a spot & quickly parallel parked on a busy road.
A bunch of runners were all around & I followed them to the race venue. It was insanely windy and I was in a sleveless tshirt & a running short, shivering but smiling. There's something very energizing & exciting about being around runners at the start of the race. There's so much anticipation, goodwill, energy, enthusiasm, laughter & banter that it eases away all anxiety or doubt. And one is left with the feeling of thrill that one feels before embarking on a quest or an adventure.
The race started at 7 am & as we passed through the beautiful downtown roads alongside gigantic towers & buildings and scenic waterfronts, I was huffing & puffing, having an extremely hard time trying to run. Every step of the way, I wanted to stop because i felt like my heart couldn't keep up anymore with the effort & I was breathless most of the time. As the elite Boston runners whizzed past me, I wondered what planet they were from & if the same kind of science ran our bodies.
At one point in the race, a series of cop cars lined a road & cops cheered us on, which was quite a unique experience. Finally, after pushing myself to run hard & fast, as I neared the finish line, something within me stirred & I sprinted at top speed to the finish line, overtaking other runners. I was happy that the running gods had let me survive this race. I was shocked to learn that my official time was an awesome 2:10:35, just 2 mins away from my PR of 2:08:35.
After the race, I walked around in confusing circles, trying hard to recollect where I had parked my car; getting lost & finding my way was becoming the norm in Boston. After I found my car, I set the GPS to take me back to hotel & after driving around in circles yet again, I was finally at the hotel. I showered & set off towards the airport.
Barely reaching in time, I handed over the rental car & sat blithely, sipping coffee at the airport on a beautiful Sunday, thanking my stars for this sublime running adventure.
One cold Saturday morning, I set off from Atlanta towards Miami. Stranded at the airport for 2-3 hours due to stormy weather, I sipped some coffee & roamed about, excited & nervous.
Finally I was in Miami, the land of palm trees. I got a car from the rental center & the super friendly sales person wished me luck for my race.
I drove to the place where the BIBS were being handed out & after driving around in circles on the packed streets, I found an empty spot & after much swearing, I managed to parallel park the car. I collected my BIB & was surprised to find that the race organizers had arranged for bus services to take the runners to the famous South Beach. Since I was out of time, I had to skip & I drove straight to my hotel.
After much effort of googling nearby Indian restaurants, I gave up since there was none nearby & set off to a pretty good restaurant beside the hotel. It was dark when I stepped out. So I forced myself to pick pace to keep safe & as I sat by myself at this top notch, packed restaurant, I felt odd, sitting by myself, almost like a calm in the storm. I packed my food once they served it & returned to the hotel & ate in much peace. And in a couple of hours, I slept off.
I didn't sleep well, which was nothing new. I got up at 4 am & didn't know yet how I would get to the race venue. The previous night I had checked with the front desk if there were other runners in the hotel & how to best get to the race venue. The receptionist had said there were other runners who would leave by 5 am & the best way was to take the metro nearby. I asked her if it was safe & she said absolutely.
So, at 5 am, as I stepped into the lobby, I saw a runner heading out. We exchanged good morning & hello & I asked him if he was headed to the race venue & if I could join him. Soon, we were walking towards the metro station in darkness with no cars around. Everything was still & silent but it was freezing cold & the wind was going nuts. We both shivered & complained about the atrocious wind. 5 minutes later at the metro station, we found other runners & we changed two trains that were packed with runners. It was interesting & a pretty cool experience. Finally, at the race venue, as I stepped out, I saw an ocean of runners everywhere. I was overwhelmed & so happy but so cold.
After walking for a bit & trying hard to find a warm spot & finding none, I gave up & stood in awe, watching the beautiful buildings around. I was thrilled & psyched & excited as hell. Its almost as if every runner's energy rubs off on you, charging you up. We were off at 7 am & it was slowly beginning to dawn.
We passed through beautiful waterfronts & ports with ships that looked mindbogglingly surreal & breathtaking in the odd mix of light & dark at dawn. I wanted to stop & take pictures but I knew that would ruin my rhythm & pace. So I kept going.
I was strong & the weather was beautiful, cold but no wind. The sun was up, there were palm trees by the side of the road & waterfronts were everywhere. The race was going fine until mile 9 which is when I abruptly crashed as I was running up a particularly nasty bridge that curved upwards but also sideways. It was ridiculously tough on my legs & after that uphill, monstrous bridge, I could barely run at the same pace. I forced myself despite feeling tired & stopped once to take a picture, which was a big mistake. That was the final blow because after that it was sheer agony to keep running. It was almost as if my body had built up a resistance shield to running.
Somehow I completed the race and had to limp back to the metro station where waiting for the train was pure agony. I was unbelievably uncomfortable; my leg hurt & my body was going numb with cold. Finally the train arrived & I was back at the hotel few minutes later. I was surprised to run into Carlos, the guy that helped me find the Metro station earlier in the day. He was an elite runner & had completed the race in 1:30 & I couldn't help but wonder - what is he made of. We wished each other goodbye & I made it to my room, exhausted but running around to get to the airport in time. The flight was only 2-3 hours away & getting to the airport was a grand scrambling around adventure. I reached in time, returned the rental car & sat, waiting for my flight.
Lets talk sleep patterns before a race, or the lack of sleep, really.
The night before a race, I am sort of a semi-nervous wreck. I worry about finding the parking lot, and a parking space, getting to the venue on time, the notorious bladder and bowel deal, my knees, and ankles, and generally the cold, if its winter, and the heat, if its summer. Needless to say, the mind is a skilled extrovert, chattering away, and creating an endless noise of the billion and one things that can go wrong, and the billion and one ways in which they can go wrong. As tired as I am from the travel, and the generally semi-sleep deprived state that I constantly personify, I still cant completely shut off my mind, and sleep peacefully. Its as if my brain's too addled to understand what's good for it, and what's not. Why fret when you can sleep? That is what I would like to know from my mind.
Helpless and out of my depth, I toss and turn, grumble and groan, stare vacantly at the room, neurotically lunge towards the restroom, and force my eyes shut, pretend to fall asleep and try to trick and coerce my mind into sleeping by thinking of legitimately boring, arduous things. None of anything rarely works. I lie in bed, somewhat asleep, somewhat awake but feeling more edgy and awake than relaxed.
Finally, when the alarm screams, I am a weird combination of tired and recharged, wanting to get off the bed, and reluctant to part from the cozy sheets, dreading the effort of the race, and looking forward to the race. More often than not, I will wake up a full 15-20 minutes later than my original, overambitious, stringent timetable.
The only exception to this sleep tradition was when I slept for 13 hours straight prior to a race. I hadn't slept well throughout the week, and since the race was at 7 pm in the evening, and only 30 minutes away from my apartment, I slept until 5:30 pm without any qualms. It was the rare combination of the race venue, and the race hour that contributed to the freak spell of a great sleep.
Usually, since I don't get much sleep the night before a race, I try to make an effort to sleep, rest and hydrate efficiently the week of the race. I hope my mind learns to unwind and sleep fine in all of my future races.
So, I have been traveling by myself to run races, and I feel compelled to talk about what happens when an adventure beckons, and when someone like me heeds the call.
Traveling to Oklahoma for my very first full marathon:
My flight was delayed by 9 hours because of a torrential downpour and the ensuing floods. I spent almost 12 hours at the airport from 6 am to 6 pm, which would have been absolutely insanity personified, if it weren't for this wonderful library book: "Death be not proud by John Gunther". Regardless, I still had my mayhem filled madman like moments. I almost bawled my eyes out, and tore my hair in despair because the flight delay meant I couldn't reach in time to collect my BIB, and I couldn't run a race without the official BIB.
"Please, I have a race to run. I need to be there at the earliest possible time. Help me.", I frantically pleaded my case with the airline personnel. Her laconic reply was that the earliest flight would get me there by 7:30 pm. I was in total shock, and quite mad.
I called up one of the runners from my running group, and left a Facebook message, asking her to collect my BIB since she was also running at this event. I messaged a friend that we might have to drive out to Oklahoma despite warnings of an impending storm, and hoped the rain wouldn't kill us. I messaged the race organizers asking if I could get my BIB after 5 pm. I called someone else from the event organizing team, and she said she couldn't help. All I could do for an hour was wait, and hope, and tear up and curse. Thankfully, my running pal was able to collect my BIB, and she was kind enough to drop it off at my hotel. She saved the day, totally. The race organizer was also kind enough to respond to my email that I could collect the BIB from her hotel until 11 pm that night. In retrospect, I know, one way or the other, I would have made it to the race because it mattered more than anything else at the time.
I did finish three quarters of a wonderful book at the airport, which was the only good thing about being stuck out there.
Traveling to Rockford, Illinois:
It was freezing cold, raining hard and a grey day. And, because I hadn't checked the weather, and had been under the illusion that it would be summer, I was drenched completely, marching on the streets of Chicago downtown, chilled to my very core. I shivered, my hands had gone numb, my head had begun to throb, and my phone battery was almost dead. So, I spent an excruciating hour in a mall trying to find a cheap sweatshirt, and a reasonably priced portable charger.
I got mugged at the parking station in downtown, cant say in broad daylight because it was overcast as hell. A man pretending to be the parking attendant asked me to pay him 15 dollars, took my parking ticket and blissfully disappeared. I was stuck in the lot, and no one was around. My phone was about to die, and I was about to start crying. At that very instant, thankfully, the actual parking attendant drove in, a lady who empathized with my situation, apologized and swiped her card to let me out of the parking lot. I was partially soaked, cold, and totally overwrought as I gripped the steering wheel of my car, and drove on. I plugged in my GPS and drove for 2 hours through a godforsaken farmland kind of creepy place with very minimal cars. Again, I was thankful that it was summer, and it didn't get dark until 8:30 pm, else I probably would have lost my mind driving in the dark through that strange land.
At the hotel, my room door wouldn't budge open. So, I had to trudge back through the long, winding corridor, and had to follow a repair personnel to my room to have the issue fixed. I was unhappy and annoyed because for safety reasons I prefer to be as inconspicuous as possible.
My hotel room was at the end of a long corridor, and there was a door that separated the entire corridor from my room. Why were these doors out here, condemning me to the other side? That was not the only thing strange. Beyond my room laid a passage of stairs leading down to a maintenance room and a laundry room. What was the point of separating my room and the notorious stairs from the rest of the hotel? Geometrically and architecturally, shouldn't the doors be after my room? In my imagination, I thought I was going to be eaten alive by whatever creature they bred down those stairs. I asked the receptionist if she could change my room, and she refused saying all the rooms were already taken. I told myself I would try to stay awake to keep vigil and ensure my safety, but I was so exhausted from the adventure of the day, and from the mere 2 hours sleep the previous night that I slept off soon enough.
And, finally, because I needed google maps to navigate me through the labyrinth of downtown Chicago, and because I was dumb enough to hold my phone out in the rain, it stopped working a month later.
Traveling to Chicago:
I almost missed my early morning flight, but thankfully an airport personnel pointed me to the lightly populated section of the airport, and I made it with enough time to spare.
I got lost while returning from the race. Google maps had thoroughly confused me, and I kept driving round in circles in the concrete maze that is the Chicago downtown. It was unpleasant and annoying, to say the very least.
I almost missed my return flight. I was sitting at the wrong gate, and had the flight not been delayed, I would have never made it to the right gate, and would have missed my flight. I am not sure why I had goofed up, or had been harebrained enough to be at the wrong place.
Traveling to Roswell, Georgia:
By the time, I reached the race venue, all parking spots were taken, and as I was backing out of the crowded lot, thankfully, a maintenance truck was pulling out of a spot, and I quickly parked in its place. If it hadn't been for this stroke of luck, I wouldn't have been able to run this race because I wouldn't have had the time to find a parking spot, and to get my BIB before the race began.
Traveling to Birmingham, Alabama:
I lucked out, and except for being lost once while driving to my hotel at night, and freaking out elaborately for a couple of minutes, everything went smoothly.
The journey of living is only accomplished by a sense of purpose that can no longer be denied.
Here's what I mean by that:
This is how I determine if I am truly living or sleepwalking through my life: If I am not striving to live a life of meaning; if I am not pursuing that which calls out to me; if I am not meditating; if I am not honoring the truth of my core - I know I am not living but merely breathing and embodying a farce.
Running, for me, is a way to experience life with purity and integrity. It's one of the few things that called out to me and that calms my otherwise hypercritical, and frenzied mind. It gives meaning to my life and helps me become a better individual.
Its when I run that I find that I am truly living and being my true self. With every run, I am moving further along on the journey of living.
Its been my experience that when I am truly psyched about something, I can push beyond the perceived difficulties, and the challenge becomes an adventure and a roller-coaster. Strength, courage and perseverance can be called upon by a sense of purpose, a childhood dream, a passion, and a labor of love, and not by external expectations. Its the thing that you do for yourself by yourself that helps you fulfill your destiny. At least, that's my experience and philosophy.
As a testimony to how great it has been to be a runner, and how it has made me a more complete person, here is a brief narrative
I am an adventurer at heart, but with a mind that is the opposite of daredevil. For many years now, for every single second of my life, I have been aching to hit the road, climb a mountain, a cliff, hike through the canyons, a valley, a forest, be under the stars, but I am too afraid of venturing out on my own, and since I have this overwhelming, natural propensity to be shy around people, and to stay away from groups and social events, I am kind of cornered into a classic cul-de-sac. So, I try to read adventure books, and get a visceral sense and a vicarious experience of what it means, and how it feels to be out there, and I wistfully hope and long for the growth that accompanies these excursions into the unknown.
But then I wanted to run marathons and half-marathons, childhood dreams are hard to forget even by a mind as warped in fear as the one I seem to have.
After completing my first half marathon, I was left with an IT band injury and a sensitive ankle that ached and cracked. I spent a year and half moping around, and failing to run by myself.
It was time for action. So, I signed up to train with an elite running group called HoustonFit, an unnerving proposition.
What if I am the slowest and I get left behind? What if I am not cool enough to be in this group? What if my injury resurfaces? What if I don't get along and fit in? I was anxious and a little scared, but a personal crisis compelled me to take a leap of faith and show up.
And, precisely because of this personal crisis, I spent quite a few sleepless nights, laying awake in bed, and feeling morose. But somehow, I made it to my morning runs, and got the job done.
I traveled to Oklahoma, Chicago, Rockford, Alabama, and Roswell in Georgia by myself for various half-marathons and a marathon, something I had never done before. All the planning, the traveling was a brand new adventure, one I never would have believed I was capable of and never would have conceived and pursued if it weren't for running.
Being shy and an introvert, I tend to keep away from social events and large groups of people, but that never deters me from being around thousands of people in marathons. Somehow, I can surpass the tuning out and weirdness of being around people. This, to me, is a personal victory again.
In a nutshell, running has shown me a new way of life, a new world where I can travel, and be around tons of people by myself, run in groups, and have adventures.
The story so far
I was born athletic and running called out to me as a young kid. So, being a runner, is my way of staying true to who I am and bringing meaning, love, joy, adventure and peace into my life.