Jennifer Blake: Seacoast Half Marathon

Seacoast Half Marathon

November 8, 2011

So I was sitting on the couch last night eating some cookies and I stopped in the moment and said wow, what is happening to me! It was about this time last year I was in the best shape of my life, I mean I am only 22 years old so maybe in the future I will be in even better shape then I was, but for dramatization and for this story I will just stick with saying I was in the best shape of my life.
I have always been a fan of being outside, enjoying nature, and getting exercise. I played sports all throughout my childhood, including all through high school, and I have danced for 18 years. I even attempted a new sport in high school, ever heard of cross country skiing? I am sure you have, well it was probably the most difficult sport I have ever done, you REALLY need to be in shape. Anyways, college brought on an enormous amount of work and my love for team sports pretty much vanished, I was never amazing at anything, and I certainly did not want to embarrass myself in college. I stuck with dance for a while and then moved on to simply going to the gym (3 days a week if I was being good). But then last August my loving father decided he wanted to whip my butt into shape. He has become an avid runner and has been coaching people for a while. He was starting a half marathon training group in Portsmouth through Runners Alley and really wanted me to do it. It went from August to November, and at the end as a group we ran the Seacoast half marathon. I was MORE then hesitant to sign up, I am certainly a go getter, but this consisted of not only a lot of exercise, which a the time I was not a fan of, but also I would have to drive three days a week from Merrimack College to Runners Alley, about an hour drive. Not to mention one of those times was a Saturday morning, where I had to be there by 8am...umm hello I was a college senior, 8am did not even exist in my vocabulary,  there was a reason I picked all my classes to start at 10am. I knew my dad was leaving for Iraq in November and I think that motivated me the most to sign up. Since my parents are divorced and I mainly live with my mom I thought it would be a great way to bond with my dad, and reluctantly get my butt into shape. So I said, "Sign me up coach!"
Well the first day I bit off more then I could chew, I ran 4 miles strait out of hibernation mode. I was exhausted and in pain! From there is only got better, I wont lie and say there were days I didn't want to drag my butt out of bed for the commute and the run. I will also admit that as the weather got colder, I wanted to move back into hibernation. Overall it was one of the best experience I have had, I made amazing friends, got into the best shape of my life, bonded with my dad, and got a free running shirt and medal for completing the 1/2 marathon (whats better then a free shirt!).




I figured after that race I could officially call myself a runner. Well after the race ended I ran another 10k and since the group was over and my dad was in Iraq I had to motivate myself to get out there and run. I consider myself a very dedicated and disciplined person, but man is it hard when it comes to exercise. I will be the first one to tell you I put everything over going out for a run, sitting on the couch curled up under a blanket watching re-runs of FRIENDS is way better. I realized yesterday how going out maybe twice a week for a run if I am lucky is not cutting it. I felt so much better about myself when I was running more and in shape. So starting today and I am lacing my shoes back up and hitting the pavement! Hopefully my new found sense of motivation will help me stick to it. It might be the fact that I finally purchased a wedding dress and am already having nightmares about it not fitting next September (good thing for the lace up back!) My long term goal is to run the SF marathon, my short term goal is to get out at least 3 days a week for a run, and make one of them a long run. Hopefully another half marathon in the near future as well! 
Wish me luck! 

J

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