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Runner's Journey: From Out of Shape to Marathon Powerful

Lita's running journey started at a low point - she had just graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing, was unemployed, and didn't like the 15 extra pounds that grad school pressure had put on her. "When I went out to run for the first time, I could run for four minutes at a time - at most. And then I'd walk home, which took like ten minutes," she says. Lita did this routine twice a day, running for four minutes, walking back for ten. Eventually, the runs got a little longer. One day, she says, "I accidentally ran down a hill in San Francisco, and realized I'd have to walk all the way back up!" She didn't consider herself a "runner."

As Lita was taking her usual hour-long walk around the lake, she started thinking about how long her walk always took, and how much time she could save if she just ran it. She says, "One day, I got impatient, and I started jogging and walking around the lake."

Months later at a coffee shop, Lita remembers telling a friend "I started running... or, at least, I think that's what I'm doing?" Her friend asked if she was going to run a race, or a half-marathon, and she said "Noooo, that sounds like a terrible idea."

Weeks later, she entered her first 5K. Two months later, she ran her first half-marathon. And one month after that, she entered her first marathon.

"I'd never been interested in running a marathon, but my friend said 'Running a marathon is about the power that comes from being able to run a marathon.' And that resonated with me. Maybe I didn't do it well, but I did it. That's the important part of running. It shows you can persevere and that you are powerful, even if it's just in your head."

Of her first marathon, Lita says she felt great for the first six miles, and the next six, and even at mile 18, she felt good. But at mile 20, she hit the wall. 

"I was like, F-this, F-everybody. Why am I doing this? But I'd prepared. I'd paid a lot of money to do this - marathons aren't cheap. And it became this back-and-forth battle of wills between myself and my body. I knew that if I didn't finish, I'd feel like a failure, and that feeling would be worse than going through the physical pain of reaching the finish line." 

Lita considers herself a runner now - she hardly misses a day. And, she regularly participates in marathons and triathlons. 

Thanks for sharing your story Lita!
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