My First Trip Around the Sun as a Runner

Tomorrow is my running anniversary so I thought what better time to post a blog about my journey into running so far!

On Sunday February 22, 2015 my Dad said he wanted to come over to spend some time with my kids. He told Justin and I we could go get lunch or run some errands but we decided to go to the gym together. Up until this point we always did separate things. Justin always ran and I would do fitness classes. It was snowy and the treadmills were open so I decided to hop on one and give it ANOTHER try. I should back up and say that at this point I had ran 1 real 5k and finished in 43 minutes. I was in shape though, I was just not a runner. I remember before we had kids trying to run with Justin down our street and could barely make it a half mile without feeling dizzy or like I was going to have an asthma attack. I had pretty much chalked it up to “I’m never going to be able to run, it’s just not for me”.

This is the official results from my first 5k in 2012 when I decided I would NEVER try that again:

Female 25 to 34
Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time
14 Jessica Hadley Davisburg 28 122 43:35.0 43:35.0



Back to the story of what happen that day. For Valentines Day I had registered Justin for the Mackinac Bridge run. A run over the bridge that connect Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsula. It was Memorial Day weekend and I figured it would be a good night away for us. It was 5.06 miles and when reading the requirements you had to be able to run it at a 12:00 minute mile. 1. I’m terrified of bridges and 2. CLEARLY I couldn’t run for 5 miles. So I registered just him and was happy with a night away.

Then I got on that treadmill that Sunday. I started at 5.0-5.5 on the treadmill(a 12:00 pace) and ran 3.64 miles without stopping. Justin kept looking at me from his treadmill and I kept giving him the thumbs up because I really didn’t know how I was doing it. I got off the treadmill and right then and there I WAS ADDICTED! I started not doing as many classes and would opt for running instead. This is one of my first Instagram posts about running, it was the first time I ran 4 miles and I remember feeling on top of the world! IMG_0560.JPG

So you know what obviously happened then!? I signed up for the bridge run with Justin. And honestly I was more nervous to run over the bridge than the actual run. The weather got nicer and I started running outside and realized it was harder to pace myself outside than on the treadmill. Also, breathing was much more of a concern for me outside because of the elements. I honestly still struggle with that the most. I really just LOVED having something to do with Justin. My parents were very good about watching our kids early on Saturday mornings so we could run together- even though he usually doesn’t run with me because he is faster than me, it was still something fun for us as a couple.

We ran a trial 5k before the bridge run because I wanted to try out another race. It was at the University of Michigan and little did we know we would be running a 5k with 5,000 other people. I did well in my opinion for my first real 5k and a little over a month of running under my belt.

IMG_8618image1 (2)

My running bug was a little out of control and before we even did the bridge run I signed us up for the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. It was scheduled to be on my 32nd birthday in October and seemed like a perfect way to start a new year! I was so proud of myself when I crossed that finish line after running 13 miles, I started crying when I talked to my oldest son on the phone after.


In the span of a year I have done:

Six – 5K’s ; One- 10K; 1 – 5 miler(bridge run); 1- 10 miler; and 2 Half Marathons.  

My race 5K PR is 26:34 and my half PR is 2:02.04. I’ve now had faster training run 5ks and 10ks.


WHAT?!? I honestly ask myself that everyday! Sometimes I will say “Oh I only have to run 5 today” and then I think “who am I?” When I hear myself say “I’m a runner” It seems strange and not right coming out of my mouth.

What I love the best about running is the feeling after you are done. The feeling that you accomplished something and that you gave it your all, even on the bad days when you are not running at your best! I still feel great just knowing that I put it out there and did it. Every single run is a reminder to me that this is something I couldn’t do in my twenties. This is something that I just started doing at 31 years old and I have to work for it with every single step. I’m a Mom of two, with a full-time career, and I have to make time for this because I love it SO much!

I also fell in love with the inspiration I get from new found friends on Instagram. I see the dedication and pride in each workout and run and I feed off of that. I’m so thankful for it because I think it has kept me even more dedicated. I’m also lucky enough to have a husband who loves to run and a best friend who loves to run too- they both inspire me in different ways and always push me to keep going. I’m thankful for the encouragement I get from my family and friends- and thankful that the people that love me understand my crazy new found love of this sport.

I have recently started working on just speed with short mileage and I’m amazed at the times I’ve been hitting. 7:30 paces…WHAT?! Oh and I signed up for a marathon in September, still freaking out about that! In fact I ran a 10k over the weekend and I thought “how the heck am I going to be able to run 20 more miles on top of this”… Still processing that in my mind!

Running has changed my life, my body, my soul, and my goals in life. I love that my oldest son is proud of me and talks to me about running. I am so proud to call myself a runner and I am excited to see what improvements I can make in the next year!!!!





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