From Nike’s to Brooks

You might be wondering what in the world the title of this blog post means. I shall explain. It’s been about 2 years since I’ve written a blog post. (Holy crap, where has the time gone?!) About two years ago I was just getting into the sport of running and had just moved to Columbus. The first blog post I wrote in Columbus was sharing the story of how my apartment flooded during my FIRST week in a new city, starting a new job. I titled the blog post, “The Case of the Floating Nike Flyknit’s“. Again, you might be wondering why. Well, after the flood, I waded through my apartment and all my shoes were underwater. All except my “beloved Nike Flyknit’s”. They were floating.

Oh, and here was my room situation just to give you a visual.

flood room

I promise you I’m going to relate this back to running somehow. At the time, I thought Nike Flyknit’s were pretty awesome. I ran in them all the time, just 3 or 4 miles at a time. Fast forward two years and I’ve learned enough about running to know that Nike’s aren’t the best shoes to run in. They’re cute but provide very little support. Two years have taught me much more than just what shoes to run in. Since this rather unfortunate (and wet) start to my time here in Columbus, I’ve gone through similar symbolic “floods” in my life (haven’t we all?!) and other moments of pure excitement, joy and celebration.

As in life, the sport of running has its ups and downs. Some days I feel like 3 miles is impossible. Other days, I can run 10 miles and feel like Superwoman. This is why I think I enjoy the challenge of running so much. You have to persevere. Endure. Push yourself even when you feel like you’re drowning. But you also get to celebrate accomplishments, watch yourself improve and be a cheerleader for others. Again, so many parallels to the journey of life. Ya, feel me?

So, as mentioned before it’s been two years since the “flood”, two years living in Columbus, two years since I’ve written a blog post (I’m surprised I can still write!) and two years of running my race all over this town.

brooks

Now, I run in Brooks. You could say I’m official. I’ve completed four half marathons and one full marathon. Ya, the Nike Flyknit’s would never stand a chance against 26.2 miles. The Brooks barely made it!

I ran my first full marathon in Phoenix, Arizona. Wow, was it beautiful and one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life!

phoenix marathon

I crossed the finish line and thought to myself, “I’m never doing that again!”

Fast forward to a couple of months later. I forgot about the pain I endured the last 5 miles of the race and decided to apply for the Columbus Marathon Sister Cities Marathon Exchange Program. Greater Columbus Sister Cities International and the Nationwide Children’s Marathon partners together to send three athletes to three different international partner cities. This past June I received word that I’d been selected to represent Columbus by participating in a full marathon in Curitiba, Brazil! (This is one of those yay! “celebration” moments in running).

I’ll be heading there in late November and actually get to stay with a Brazilian host family. I am so excited and honored to be a part of the program!

So there you have it. From Nike’s to Brook’s. From a flooded room to a heart flooded with gratitude for this opportunity! From 2 miles to 26.2. From Columbus being a new city to calling it my home.

I still have those old Nike Flyknit’s and they serve as a reminder of my beginnings here in Columbus and the start of my journey as a runner.

But, for now, I’m gonna run this race in my Brooks!

-Carly

If you’d like to learn more about the marathon exchange program, check out this video

If you’d like to donate to my GoFundMe page to offset flight and Visa costs, you can do so here.

 

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