In 2011 I went to Fenway Park to watch runners cross the finish line of the Run to Homebase. I stood there amazed as a girl on crutches came wobbling in to finish the race and I thought, “If she can run 5.5 miles on crutches, why can’t I?”  I did some running that year but I was in the middle of planning my wedding so, of course, running took a back seat after a while.

Danielle Feature

The following year, I trained to run the Run to Homebase but 3 weeks before the race, my back gave out and I was forced to walk it. So I decided to train smarter and signed up for the couch to 5k training plan. I ran my very first 5k, the “PawSox 5K” in August of that same year in 36 minutes without walking! I was so pumped and proud of myself because I never EVER thought I could run. I didn’t run in High School yet here I was at 31, running a 5k.

Gansett Half 1

In 2013, I signed up for the South Boston Boys and Girls Club 5k and wouldn’t you know, my time improved! (How about that, training works!) Then I signed up for, you guessed it, Run to Homebase again but this time, I trained smarter and harder. As I ran, I realized that running was helping me deal with a bad marriage and subsequent divorce. (I never realized that running could help you so much mentally.) That year, I ran the Run to Homebase in under an hour and I was so proud that my parents even came to cheer me on! It was one of the best days of my life.

Danielle

I figured running a half marathon was the next step in my progression because I had run multiple 5ks, a 9k and a 10k. I would also rather try something and fail than never try it so that same year, I ran my first Half Marathon, the B.A.A. Half Marathon. (I finished but it wasn’t pretty.) The following year, in 2014, I made it my goal to run at least one race every month. I ended up accomplishing it and along the way, ran another half marathon, the Newburyport Half. My second half when went much better than my first so I thought, “Why not try for a whole marathon?”

So that is exactly what I did in 2015, I finished my first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon in 5:23:03. They aren’t lying when they say the training is the toughest part.  Getting up at 4:30 am to run on weekdays and then spending a good couple hours every Sunday running is rough, but so worth it. I am currently training for my second marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon in November. And after that? I am running the BOSTON MARATHON in April for Dana Farber to help stomp out cancer.

Danielle

Running a marathon taught me that I am seriously stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.  That I am willing to work very hard for what I want and that I can accomplish some really amazing things.