Lauren Tucker: Body, mind and soul

I have had a lot of time to think lately on my longer runs and I have been reflecting back on this journey.

I have had a lot of time to think lately on my longer runs and I have been reflecting back on this journey. Not just the road to the Bayshore, but for me, the past year. At this time last year I was struggling with the decision to make a lifestyle change, to be healthier and to get fit. Now, I am training for what I hope to be the first of many half-marathons, and who knowsâ?¦maybe even a FULL marathonâ?¦maybe.

Running has brought about so many positive changes in my life. The most obvious would be changes to my body. I have built up muscles that I didnâ??t even know I had. My cardiovascular strength and stamina are better than they have ever been. It is a great weight management tool (calories in, calories out). Not to mention that I have more confidence in myself.

However, the benefits of running extend way beyond just the physical. I know I have referenced my friend, Meghan, who calls running â??cheap therapyâ??. What better way to take out your frustrations than to sweat them out? Not to mention the endorphins that exercise createsâ?¦thatâ??s why most runners are freakishly happy! Running has been a great outlet for stress, and it helps keep me sane and balanced. I am sure that you can achieve this with most exercise programs, but the next thing I am about to talk about â?? I donâ??t think you can get anywhere but through running.

The friendships that I have forged with my running friends feed my soul. Talk about a group of people that build you up and make you smile. To hear stories from so many runners about their experience with racing a half marathon, specifically the Bayshore half marathon, I am so ready to share whatever wisdom I gain. I am so happy to be a part of such an incredible community. Tuesday night I received my racing shirt (singlet), it fits perfectly, I canâ??t wait to wear it!!! Yesterday I was out for a run and a woman who was driving past gave me a big smile and a â??thumbs upâ??. I tell ya; that put an extra bounce in my step.

A few years ago, if you had told me that I would be excited to run a half marathon, I would have thought you were crazy. I have always enjoyed running (max 3-4 miles), but I just never thought this would be something I would want so badly, and train so hard for. I have learned so much from this experience. I am so thankful for all that I have gained through this training program. I canâ??t wait to let you know about what goes on next week and then recap the race!!! 8 daysâ?¦can you believe it, 8 days.

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