Why I decided to run my first half marathon

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Back in September, I had a ridiculous idea that I should sign up to run a half marathon. With only 6 weeks to train. 

I'm not really sure what came over me on September 6th, but I suddenly had the strongest urge to run my first half. I guess running one has always been a goal of mine, but for the longest time that's all it was: a goal. 

A goal with no timeline and no urgency to actually accomplish. 

I guess I could say that the itch to run a half marathon started happening when I was recovering from my toe surgery. The desire to do something is always so strong when you know you can't actually do it. 

 Surgery recovery...no fun!

Surgery recovery...no fun!

I had finally been cleared to return to normal exercise, so I decided to start running again. But the problem was it really hurt. Like hell.

It was President's day when I tried running for the first time post-surgery. In true Mikaela fashion, I planned to run to the acai bowl place, get a bowl, and run back. 

As I took my first few strides, the pain was instant. I could feel it everytime my left foot touched the pavement and it was all I could think about. I made it a half mile. (still got the acai bowl though, don't worry). 

Sadly, this is what happened every single time I ran. My toe would become so red, swollen and painful that I started to doubt I'd ever run long distances again. 

Of course, this only made the desire to run a half marathon even stronger. 

Despite that, I made the tough decision to stop running for a bit and let my toe fully heal. I stuck to lower impact things like cycling and weight training during the springtime months. Running would have to wait. 

By June, I finally tried running again and began to find my groove. I started running 2-3 miles at a time and could do that without too much swelling. 

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By August, I returned to full strength. I couldn't believe it! I ran 4 miles without any pain. So I kept going. The idea of a half marathon was still in the back of my mind, but I feared I still wasn't ready. 

After successfully reaching 4 miles, I signed up for a 7k race for September 4th. In the back of my mind, I was using this race as a test. I knew if I could just get through the race without any issues, I'd be ready to train for a half. 

Sure enough, the race went great and the desire to run a half marathon became strong. 2 days later, I decided to go for it. 

Making that decision was equally exciting and terrifying. I made the tough call to sign up for a race that was only 6 weeks away. Considering the weather in Denver, I knew October would be the last chance to run in such a race before winter arrives. It was now or never!

Once I decided to run it, there was no turning back! While I knew it would be a tough 6 weeks of training, all I could think about was how great it would feel to cross that finish line. 

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The best part about it was that I would be running this race for ME and me alone. It would be my chance to prove to MYSELF that I could overcome a rough injury and bounce back. It would be redemption for all those months when I couldn't walk, let alone run. 

Training for this race would become one of the most fulfilling things I've done this year. I can't wait to share this journey with you!