Sports were never really my thing. Of course I love to cheer on the Red Sox and yell at the referees through the TV during hockey season, but I never got involved with school athletics. I did theatre and dance never stepping foot into my high school’s locker room.
Fast forward three years later and running has become a huge part of my life. If you told high school Hannah that she would be training for a half marathon this summer, she would snicker in your face. My athletic ability is truly being put to the test but I am welcoming the challenge with open arms and fast feet.
Running allows me to push myself further than I ever thought possible. I set my own goals and follow my own schedule without having to rely on anyone else. This independence makes me feel strong and powerful, bringing out the true Leo inside of me. My training schedule is also a test of discipline because if I wanted to I could snooze my alarm and sink back into my pillow. Everyone gets lazy sometimes but the self determination instilled in my brain is pretty unbreakable. Rain? That’s why raincoats exist. 85 degrees? Wet my hair and bring extra water (hydration nation!) The only time I really skip a day is if my feet are sore. The last thing I need right now is any feet or ankle problems so I am religious about stretching before and after every run. Stretching and water are my best friends.
Last summer I ran a 10K (6.2 miles) with my dad. He had never run before we started training last May. When we hit race day, he was feeling stronger than ever and we both crossed the finish line within four minutes of each other. I was so proud that my dad could reach his goal and that we had both come so far. He didn’t feel ambitious enough to take on the half marathon with me this year but he has been running regularly ever since last summer which makes me so incredibly happy and proud.
Waking up at 8 a.m. on my day off to go on a 5 mile run is not desirable. What really perks me up in the morning is the fact that I am working towards a bigger goal. I open my eyes and think of crossing the finish line on July 16. I know my body is capable, I need to put in the effort to see an end result.
I won’t lie, training is tiring. There are a multitude of moments where I want to quit and forget about the race altogether. If I give up, the only person I’m letting down is myself. I work so hard to keep the mindset that in the end I will be happy, looking back at what I have overcome. Every workout takes me one step closer to checking this off my bucket list and taking home a bib number and a medal to prove it.
Right now, I am only on week 3 of the training process but so far things are going smoothly. I am not at all close to being a professional, but I have developed the mindset to train like one over the next 8 weeks before I cross the finish line. Maybe this time next year I’ll be gearing up for the Boston Marathon–but first let’s see how I feel after 13.1 miles.