run with me


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Run with Me - Jamie Bono

Jamie Bono half marathon

Why did I decide to run the half-marathon?  I was inspired.  I started running a few years ago when I was invited to participate in a 5k.  It was the first time I had ever run any distance for pleasure and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do.  I wasn’t much of a runner but I wanted to experience the opportunity of running for a cause so I showed up with the attitude that I was just going to try my best. I was surprised to find that I was able to run the full course straight through and I had a lot of fun doing it.  I felt so accomplished and grateful that I was able to reach a personal goal and contribute to such a great benefit at the same time.  That feeling stuck with me and I continued to participate in 5k runs sporadically over the years.

It was during one particular 5k that I became inspired to participate in a marathon run.  A friend of mine that was running this 5k with me was training for the NYC marathon at the time.  I was touched by her dedication to training and her motivation to raise money for her charity.  She would frequently post her progress on Facebook and I could always remember my admiration for her.  She would talk about her successes and her obstacles.  She described her fight to push past the pain and her ability to rely on her teammates to motivate her through countless miles.  Her posts and pictures describing her experience gave me the encouragement to challenge myself to do the same.  This is the moment when I made the commitment to, one day, run a marathon.  That opportunity arose at work one afternoon when my friend was talking about her desire to run the Long Island Half-Marathon.  I immediately jumped at the opportunity to accompany her and before the day was through we were signed up with four months to prepare for the big day.

Training was gradual and tough and I struggled to advance running further each week. I felt my pace was too slow and I wondered if I made a mistake thinking I could run the 13.1 miles.  I was feeling limited until I read a post on Facebook that said “A twenty minute mile is still a mile.”  It made me realize that my focus should be on the finish line, not on how long it takes me to get there.  With this thought in mind I was able to center my attention on gaining distance by creating small goals.  Each week I would increase my distance by a half mile.  On days that I felt good I would push myself a little further and that would create a new goal.  Before I knew it I was running 6 miles, way more than I ever thought I could do. Although this was my personal best, it was just one week until the half-marathon and I was feeling that doubt once again.  Six miles was only half of the distance I was expected to run and I didn’t know how I would accomplish the rest.  I was planning to quit when a good friend reminded me how important this goal was to me and that I should go through with it and just do my best.  It was just what I needed.

I was motivated again and I showed up to the start line with confidence that I would give it my all straight through until the end.  I paced myself starting off slow and enjoying my surroundings.  Running next to my friend and talking made the miles fly by.  When I felt I wanted to give up I looked around at other runners pushing past their comfort zone and I agreed to do the same.  I walked when I had to and ran because I needed to.  I finished strong knowing I gave it my all and I held nothing back. Much of my success is credited to other people.  My desire to run the half-marathon was influenced by a good friend and my ability to persevere when I thought I could go no further was inspirited by strangers who stood outside to cheer us on, strengthening us to be proud of how far we had come and reminding us that victory was just around the bend.  By the time I reached the final mile my knees were in screaming pain.  The jubilation of crossing the finish line dulled that pain a great deal until I got home but victory comes with a price. My knees were in serious need of TLC. I generously applied icy/hot to both knees and wrapped them with ace bandages.  I spent the rest of the day resting, which I highly recommend, and the following day, my knees were back in business.

The day I showed up for the half-marathon I met a man on my way to the start line.  He was asking me about my history as a runner and I told him it was my first time doing a distance run.  He told me I should join his Facebook page for runners. Knowing myself and my ability, I immediately replied that I didn’t consider myself a runner.  His response was “None of us do.”  That reply made me realize that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with running or with self-doubt.  The important thing was that I continued to run in spite of it.  Our only limitations in life are the ones we place on ourselves.  We are far stronger than we give ourselves credit for.