On May 17, 2013, I received the call from my doctor that my second IVF procedure was a failure.
In that moment, I felt like my body had failed me. With all the power of modern medicine, I still could not will my body to do the one thing I so desperately wanted it to do.
I remember very clearly what came next: an overwhelming desire to run. More than anything, I wanted to feel in control of my body once more.
I had toyed with the idea of a half marathon ever since I started casually running a couple of years ago. But once I got that call, it became something I knew I had to do.
As the year progressed, my half marathon dream got pushed aside. But in January it resurfaced, especially as I committed myself to my One Little Word, thrive, in 2014.
So I signed up to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon. And I started running. When I started training at the end of January, I could only run a little more than 3 miles... slowly. But I hauled myself to the gym 4-5 mornings a week through the coldest and longest winter I've ever experienced, re-watching Friday Night Lights from the very beginning as I pounded out mile after mile on the treadmill (by the way, it's quite possible that show is even better the second time around). I almost made it through four entire seasons before it was finally warm enough to start running outside at the beginning of April.
There were highs, like finishing my longest training run of 11 miles three weeks before the race, and there were lows, like trying to run 9 miles late at night on a hotel treadmill during our trip to Disney in April after a full day at the park eating all the terrible things one eats while at Disney. I only made it 8.36 miles that night before I felt like I was going to be sick and couldn't go one step further. It wasn't pretty.
But on May 17, 2014, I ran 13.1 miles.
What a difference a year makes.
PS - I can't write about my Brooklyn Half experience without giving a shout out to my friend and old college roommate Mandy, who flew here from Phoenix to run this race with me. I don't think she knows it, but she was a huge motivator to me during my training, mostly because I kept reminding myself what an idiot I would look like if she traveled all the way out here and I couldn't run the race. So thanks for the motivation Mandy... maybe I'll be able to run as fast as you one day. ;)