When I moved to Knoxville so many years ago I hated running. Absolutely hated it. My family would try and drag me on our Thanksgiving morning run and I would say “no, thank you.” They would literally have to drag me to the finish line. There were a lot of tears on Thanksgiving 🙂
Then, I moved to Knoxville and life happened. I was forced to learn how to deal with stress and unhappiness on my own and I started to run. At first, it was just at the gym- a couple of miles here and there. As I started running more I realized how much I enjoyed it and kept going, even when I wasn’t at school.
The summer after my freshman year, I ran my first 5k, The Munford Celebrate 5k. I wasn’t fast- and it was incredibly painful, but I finished. My dad ran that race with me and he was running a few yards behind me. I remember coming up one of the final hills thinking “God, I want to quit. I hate this.” and right after I thought that I heard my dad say “Keep going, Sarah. You can do this.” Seriously, I was already out of breath, and being choked up did not help at all, but I finished.
I was bit by a running bug and shortly after signed up for my first half marathon- the St. Jude/Memphis half marathon. This by far was my favorite race I had ever run, and was so exciting. I did what no one else had done before. Running helped heal a lot of wounds and it helped create an independent side of me. Running helped me learn a lot about God and his power in me. He has been good to me and shown me how to rely on his strength above my own. He is so good.
2 years ago I ran my first full marathon- The Covenant Health/ Knoxville Marathon. This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, without a doubt. The training was excruciating and I was tired all the time. I gave up most of my spare time during my last semester of college, but it was worth it.
(look how skinny I was! Intense running will do that for you.) And now, running and I have an on and off relationship. I fully intend on running a full marathon again, and getting back into it. All I know is that running has blessed me.
I’m thankful I married a runner.
He inspires me to get off the couch and just jog a little bit. Its fun that we can travel together to races, and we always have something we both enjoy. I think we are the only people who watch the entire marathon during the Olympics. We love running.
And then there are these people- my parents. Best. Parents. Ever. The most supportive, encouraging people I think I will ever meet. Even when they tell me I’m crazy- they are still at the Start line and finish line- and places in between cheering me on. Running has blessed me. Running has taught me how blessed I am. I am so thankful.
My goal is to run the Knoxville half in April, but I’m a little far behind in my training. I could use some encouragement and some motivation.
I love running. I don’t think I will ever get running completely out of my system. I hope I don’t. I have had far too much fun running.