Just over five years ago, on a cold, dark December morning, my sister Megan and I pulled up in front of the American Airlines Center in Dallas. It is probably most famously known as the home of the Dallas Mavericks, but on one day in December each year it is also home to the starting line of the White Rock Marathon.
Megan was anxious and jittery that morning as she prepared to toe the line of her first marathon, and I just stood there in awe of my surroundings, and her. She had trained diligently for months and was in great shape. I definitely felt fat and pale standing next to her, and there are pictures to prove that was actually the reality of things. I had never seen so many people of all shapes and sizes and abilities gathered in one place to do what a lot of people think is the unthinkable - run 26.2 miles. On purpose. During the time span of one morning. And pay good money to do so!
This morning in December of 2005 was my first real introduction to the world of endurance sports, and from that moment I was hooked. I'm actually not sure what the motivating factor was for Megan to get her to sign up for the marathon, but I am forever grateful that she did. And thankful that she invited me, my sister Michelle, and my parents to Dallas that weekend to be a part of her marathon experience. One year later, in November 2006, I began training for my first marathon. Five years later, I am still running and training every week and loving it. I have an active and healthy lifestyle, have made lifelong friends through running and have been able to travel to places I probably never would have visited (such as the exotic Columbus, OH) if it weren't for a race. Needless to say, I am thankful I was a spectator that December morning! If you are a runner, know that you could be inspiring someone to start running - just by getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other.
All that to say, this weekend I will be heading to Dallas to meet up with my mom, Megan, my cousins Amy and Emily and friend Kourtney to run the Texas Half. I suppose I am feeling nostalgic because this race will also be held at White Rock Lake. After running a 15k this summer, Emily and Kourtney decided that they would like to train for the Texas Half. Unfortunately, Emily has been plagued with IT band and knee issues all fall and will not be able to run this weekend, but hopefully we will get to do a race together this year. I am looking forward to the race, but more excited about spending time with my family! Hopefully I will have a race report and pictures posted fairly soon after I get back home.