i made a bargain with myself—i had to go. there was no other  option. but i'd bring my phone, and I'd call an uber if things got dodgy. 

about a year ago, this is how i would to psych myself up before a 2 mile run. everyday, for weeks. uber was integral to my plan because what if I ran a few miles, and then realized that I didn't have it in me to run back? i'd have to uber. it seemed logical at the time. 

a year ago, running two miles was really fucking hard. [honestly, some days it's still hard]  up until that point, i'd been a self-proclaimed run-hater. 

but falling in love made me change my mind on many things. suddenly, i considered trying meditation. i stopped thinking of texas as a state full of guns and cows. and, well, he was a runner, so how bad could it really be? during those first few weeks of our whirlwind romance, he mentioned in passing that it'd be fun to try it together. ok, i thought. how do i do this? is there a special way to run? i've never run before. i'm going to look stupid. but i really like him, and worst case scenario... i'll just take my top off to distract him. it was decided: we went running. 

and i didn't hate it. so i went again, by myself. yah know, to practice. 

i'd leave my apartment early, before the sun so no one could see me struggle. make sure the uber app was connected—just in case. and then go. one day I made it all the way to the los angeles county museum of art, which is about 4 miles from my house. the sun was coming up over levitated mass, and i was so excited about my accomplishment that i signed up for my first marathon. 

 oh, my naivete. 

of course, although i had no idea what was in store for me, that was one of the best decisions of my life. running has completely changed me for the better. i have never felt more beautiful than when i crossed the finish line of my first marathon, more vulnerable than the last few moments of my second, and i feel most powerful when lace up my shoes and click in my headphones. 

my next adventure? 

a 31 mile race on mt. hood in oregon. oh yeah, it's pretty terrifying to me, too. but i can barely contain my excitement. follow my training, my fueling, and my travels on instagram @betterbymichelle. 

what races are you training for? are you a beginning runner? let me know in the comments below! 

xx michelle