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Letting my Anti-Distance Running Inhibitions “Fly”

The Gazelle Sports Activator Blog Series is written by a group of passionate individuals, willing and eager to share their personal stories of trial and triumph. Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is filled with ups and downs, lessons learned, successes and failures. Get to know them as they share their journeys—you might learn something new!


By Eva Reiter

Today I’d like to talk a little about the event that turned me into a distance runner (or at least started my journey). In 2012, one of my good friends approached me about participating in the 2013 Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the time, I was running 3 miles at a time and was beginning to enjoy it. Before then, I had always identified myself as a “non-runner” and was haunted by the short runs we had to participate in during middle school gym class, where I always felt slow, awkward and incapable.

When my friend started the convincing process, I immediately told her no. When prodded again, I said maybe to the 10K. Finally, after a lot of arm-twisting, I agreed to the race. The reason I agreed to the race was because I had started researching training plans (notably the Hal Higdon novice training program) and realized that these distance runs are about long-term preparation. Being an engineer by training and a self-proclaimed task-master, I realized that long-distance running isn’t about being some mutant human gazelle; it’s about consistency, mental endurance and dedication. I built up my weekly training sheets and got to work. Each week I went through many feelings on the spectrum, from frustration to joy, but I kept going; partially out of fear that come race day, I wouldn’t be prepared enough to finish.

When race day finally came, thanks to my many weeks of training, I felt cautiously confident. I completed the race without any major issues and when it came down to it, I was more than capable of accomplishing something that just a few months prior, was not even on my radar as a possibility.

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So what’s my challenge to you? Whether it’s a half marathon, 5K, triathlon or even just a run around the block, I encourage you to consider breaking down these goals and figuring out how you can defeat them. Finding allies in your fight and ‘positive enablers’ is a huge part of building your strength and confidence along the way. Good luck to you!


My name is Eva and I will be one of your friendly neighborhood Gazelle Sports Activators for roughly the next year. When I’m not marauding through the streets of Grand Rapids in obnoxiously bright high-vis gear that could melt the retinas of Medusa herself, I’m a just a “normal” young professional and a profoundly proud mom of a goofy dog named Howard. I’m excited to share some of my experiences with you over the next few months and hopefully provide some form of inspiration. If nothing else, I hope to at least leave you with a laugh or two. Because who doesn’t need a laugh?!

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