Why Should You Join?
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I’m also thankful that Across created this wonderful event and opportunity for me and other teens to run together. Without the support from them, I wouldn’t have the motivation and the confidence to join this marathon or even start to run. Through monthly practices at Across, I realize that not only will our practices improve our running, but we are able to meet new people and make new friends.
In October 2014, I survived my first Half Marathon. My sister’s response to my Facebook announcement of finishing the race and asking for donations really captures the reaction many people had. She wrote “Go Nancy! I will donate! I think this is a big feat (haha, get it?) for you, esp. considering your past of not exercising.”
For those who know me, I am not an active person. My goal that year was just to finish without being disqualified. I didn’t prepare well that year and ended up having to go to the chiropractor for 6 months after to fix my knee and lower back. But, I’m still glad that I showed up and was able to achieve and surpass my goals. I was able to do this thanks to my “big sister” Diana at Across U-hub. It was through her positive attitude and encouragement especially between kilometers 15-21, that I was able to persevere and finish the race. I actually surprised myself and this experience gave me a new understanding of myself. I learned that I can actually achieve more than what I expect of myself and what others expect of me through my perseverance and encouragement of those around me.
This year, I am also running the 21K and have also registered my mother for the 5K. Young or …not young, we can always try new things and surprise ourselves and the people around us.
Last year was my second year joining the half-marathon and I felt like I blindly joined the marathon. I was not motivated and I stopped doing many of my regular physical activities. I was definitely not prepared physically and mentally for my race. Not knowing what to expect of myself, I used a “running plan” that my friend was going to use. It was basically running each kilometer under a certain time to keep up with my own pace. I told myself that I would follow the plan and not gonna stop, but eventually I started walking at around the 13km mark. I picked up my pace and continued with the plan after some quick rest. Strides after strides, I started sprinting in the last 3km or so to the finishing line. To my surprise, I ran slightly faster than my first year joining. I guess sometimes running smarter is better than running harder. But, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t dare to not prepare myself again for my 3rd time joining in 2015!
Completing the 21km half marathon was a huge milestone for me. This experience has pushed me beyond both my physical and mental limits as an athlete. I could not have accomplished this 21km milestone in my life without the support of my friends at Across U- Hub. They kept me accountable, pushed me to keep going and cheered on the sidelines. Without them, I would not have been able to check this off my bucket list. Running allowed me to grow as a person since it helped me redefine the words: self discipline and perseverance. The dedication of training 4-5 times a week no matter how tired was a big test of self discipline for me. And the will to keep going at the 17km mark reflected my ability to persevere through hardships. This has been an amazing experience that I recommend everyone to do, whether it’s just the 5K or the 42K. Get outside, and get active. You will be surprised what you can accomplish when you believe in yourself and when you have the right encouragement.