Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why I Run by Karen Banks

A Full Marathon is one of the hardest physical challenges a person can do. I started my running journey about 3 years ago in August 2011 when I made a life change: I had an intensive surgery and lost weight to get healthy. I began running a single mile – which was painful, but over the course of a few months, I was up to 5 miles. I signed up for 5ks, 10ks, and any small runs I could handle. I started to get the so-called “runners high,” where I felt incredible and amazing after running. It gave me a feeling of freedom and accomplishment after completing each mile.

I successfully finished my first half marathon in July 2012, which was the 2nd half of the SF Marathon. I found out if I completed the 1st half the following year I could get an extra medal. I was hooked on “run bling!”

After doing both half marathons, the next obvious choice was the full marathon, but I was scared of not finishing. The fear caused me to be lax on training, to just will my way to the finish. The most I had ever run were the 7 half marathons before - I never made it over 13.1 miles.  I made excuses and told myself for months that I would train the next week, and then all of a sudden it was Sunday, July 27th, and the start line was staring me in the face.

I began to breathe very hard and I actually panicked and teared up and told myself, “I can’t do this. I can’t complete this. Who the hell runs around the city of San Francisco?” But I just went for it.

I got through the first half as easily as I had other half marathons. It wasn’t until the 15th mile that I thought I could go through with the whole marathon. By mile 20 however, I was in pain. Bad pain: every muscle in my body was sore; it felt like my toes were bleeding; my knees ached; my calves were swollen. I walked more than I wanted to, but it was because I felt like I couldn’t go on. I just kept pushing. Every single mile slowly went by and it felt like agony.  “When would this stop, why did I do this?  I can’t go anymore.”

But I did go; by mile 25 I could see the Bay Bridge and then the turns around the Embarcadero and again I started to tear up and be short of breath when I saw the mile 26 marker. It was the marker that told me, “You are here and there is no turning back. Who the hell runs around the city of San Francisco?” I do, apparently.

Why did I choose to fundraise for Family House? I choose to do this for the kids I meet at Family House who may never get to run, ever.

In my day-to-day I get to meet some amazing kids who have changed my life forever. Those that are going through tough struggles and sometimes do not get to see another day. It is because of these incredible superheroes that I choose to run and am asking for your support financially.

Family House is an amazing place where there is laughter, love, and a community to support 34 families while they are dealing with serious illness. There are so many families and hearing their stories and being there to help them through the toughest times imaginable is what drives me to run for them.


1 comment:

  1. I work with Karen on a daily basis. Her drive to run is beyond me, but to witness the dedication and passion she has for it is truly inspiring. Her willingness to go "the extra mile" for the families is something I have always noticed about her. I am proud to be working along side an incredible individual. Great job!


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