Written by Jacqueline Newell
Now that it is 2015, a whole year has passed since I became a part of a committed relationship. My sneakers and pavement have been nearly inseparable through snow, ice, wind, rain, heat and humidity. In the last year, I have run the streets of my home town, weaved through college campuses, and completed three half marathons. I’ve run in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, Illinois, Tennessee, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
I took on my first half marathon in the form of the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN. My dad & I toured the streets of Nashville with tens of thousands of strangers. We bought some sweet swag, rode a mechanical shoe, and received bracelets for free beer (although, after 13.1 in the heat, that was the last thing we wanted). It was difficult to fit in runs while being a consultant, especially on travel days but I was able to make it happen! I started to plan my meetings with collegians around my running schedule. And if it was a long run day, there’s a chance we didn’t meet until after I was fed… twice.
In July, I ran my first solo half marathon with the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon. We wove through both the West end and East end of Portland, Maine. We had the refreshing smell of the working water front (i.e. fish markets) greeting us at mile one and a sewage plant at mile eleven – definitely my fastest miles! The photographers managed to snag this awesome photo at mile eleven (seen to the left) and they have been using it as a promo photo for the last six months.
Lastly, in October, I ran the Maine Marathon’s half. With a cramp at mile two (somehow, I forgot to train for this one), it was a struggle. The morning started off rainy but quickly got warmer as we all hit the road. Dad participated in the full marathon in a relay team. All teams were made up of four people and had bracelets for the first and last runners in order to get their times. After 13.1, I headed in for an 8 hour shift at work. It was probably the biggest mistake I have ever made but I just can’t say no to a bib and a medal.
Now, I am a month away from my next half – the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, FL. Costumes are in the works and travel plans have been set for 6 months. Looking further ahead, I am prepping for my first international half marathon and my first ever full marathon. I am planning to do the Mendoza Half Marathon (Mendoza, Argentina), a half in Rio this summer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and the full marathon in Buenos Aires, Argentina come October!
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the second anniversary between my feet and the pavement and celebrating many more years to come.