“I would go running like I was going to therapy. And it worked.”

“We all go through tough times. For me, the years between 2006 and 2009 were the hardest. We’d lost our daughter, before her first birthday. I was stunned, and just going through the motions.”

“At work, I spent hours every day driving. That meant a lot of time alone, and also a lot of fast food. At home, I was on the couch too much. I didn’t have many ideas about the future, and I sure didn’t see myself as a runner. But running became the big thing that helped me deal with my grief.”

“It started at a dinner with guys from work. One of them said we should all run a 5k. By the time dinner was over the 5k became a half marathon. For some reason, I agreed to run 13.1 miles.”

“I didn’t know about running groups or training programs. I just bought some shoes and started to run. When I was in the Army, I hated running. But when I was out on the greenway, at my own pace, I enjoyed it.”

“The Spring 2010 Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon was my first race. Two weeks later, I ran another race in Charlotte with a friend from work. Out of five guys at dinner, two of us did what we said we’d do.”

“Next I wanted to run a full 26.2-mile marathon. I knew I’d need help staying motivated to train through the summer heat, so I decided to join a group. I had no idea that my life was about to change.”

“The group I joined turns out four to five hundred members for a Saturday run. Over the course of that summer I made so many friends. You run, you talk, and the miles just go by.”

“I talked about a lot of stuff, but never mentioned my daughter. Then one day my running partner told me something about her life and a door opened. I was finally able to tell my story. It takes time to dig into stuff, I guess. Gradually I learned that grief is not who I am, it’s one part of my story.”

“Fourteen full marathons later, at the age of forty-four, I don’t see myself stopping. I’ve even started to coach people who want to get in better shape.”

“Not everybody needs to run a marathon. Get yourself in shape to do what you want to get done. That may be walking around the block two times instead of one. Or being able to play with your kids.”

“Whatever you want to do, there are groups that will support you. Find one online. You can share your story and maybe even change the way you feel.”

Blue Cross NC is a proud partner of Race 13.1, the premier half marathon series. You can find running and nutrition tips, plus free training plans for 5k, 10k and half marathon races at

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