Before the Spring of last year (2013), I had never run more than a mile. I was actually a smoker for 10 plus years. I know. Disgusting. Though in relatively decent shape (or so I thought), I didn’t have great lung capacity and just never felt ambitious enough to tackle a sport that, for the most part, is based on self-accountability. I had not even considered that there might be support groups of females who could identify with the challenges I was facing that might be there to lend a supportive hand or even just an ear when I needed to vent about my running frustrations.

When I started out, I signed up for as many races as I could throughout the entire course of 2013, with only the goal of showing up for and finishing each race. I ran a few 5Ks (both fun runs and timed), ran a 10 mile race (the Crim in Flint, MI) and finished my first half marathon (the Detroit International Half) all in 2013. For me, that year alone was a year of firsts. I haven’t yet gotten to a place where I’m tracking my personal bests, for me the accomplishment is having given up something that hindered my ability to be as fit and active as I’d dreamed of being, along with overcoming a state of mental defeat I often found myself in before I even started a run. Within the first mile of a training run I would hear myself saying… “You’re not a runner… what are you doing out here? You’ve got other work to do…”

The most challenging part of all was finally accepting that this is something I need to do for me. It’s something that helps me stay focused, relieve stress, and better equips me to handle daily struggles associated with this messy thing we all live together – LIFE. So, until next time… Keep up the good work ladies.

Sam