When my first daughter turned one, I began this amazing adventure of running long distances. My first half marathon was the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 2006 and since then I've had the great fortune of running four more half marathons and the Chevron Houston full marathon last year. And this upcoming January I will be running my fifth half marathon: The 2016 Aramco Houston Half Marathon.
A very important part of these races has not only been the satisfaction of crossing the finish line, but also stories and experiences I’ve had during the months of training.
Training for each marathon I've run has been totally different. My first will always be special because of the excitement I felt after realizing I could run farther than the previous weeks. I felt like Rocky the first time I ran two laps at Memorial Park. My training for the Chevron Houston full marathon was also unique because of the mental and physical challenges it involved and also because of how proud I felt when I realized that I could accomplish much more than I had ever imagined.
After I completed my third half marathon I realized I could run the distance, so I started looking back at the number that wasn’t so important to me at the beginning: my time. I discovered another type of pleasure when I was able to shed minutes off my pace and how each of those minutes took months of training.
During all of my trainings, I've always had the good fortune of having the unconditional support from my husband, my kids, my family and of course my friends. But honestly, the type of support I received during my current training for the upcoming Aramco Houston Half Marathon has been very special and this is why:
A few months ago, several of my running friends created a WhatsApp group and we started inviting all our friends who liked running to the group. We meet every Friday for a long run.
I’ve never trained with a group of friends before and it definitely has been an amazing experience. In our group chat we share our successes, vent about frustrations, pains, talk about joys, fears and seek advice from one another. This group chat is the reason why I get out of bed and run. We’ve all made a commitment to support and help each other cross the Aramco Houston Half Marathon finish line.
I hope we all can continue to enjoy our long Friday runs even after our race on January 17th.
Yo Mariana recommends that you get a group of friends together if you plan on training for a marathon. It’s a way for everyone to share advice, experiences and motivate each other, which is key to a successful race.
I would like to thank my running group for making this training a fun journey filled with happiness. The difficult weeks still lie ahead, and so are the longest runs, so let's keep supporting and motivating each other so we can all together cross the finish line of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon this coming January 17th.
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