There’s nothing quite as intense as the moment of clarity when you suddenly see what’s really possible for you.

It’s April 22nd and I am only five days away from my first half-marathon! I can’t believe these three months of training have already gone by. It’s interesting to think that up until today, I have not thought through the actual day of the half-marathon. I’m now beginning to question various things. Will I be nervous? Will I be overwhelmed with the amount of people I’m running with? What should I eat before the race?

I’ve been so focused on my incremental gains along the way, rather than my final goal. This has actually been a mind shift for me—I’ve always been one to look out way ahead of my reach and have lofty goals for myself (travel the world, live in a wonderful apartment in New York City, make the world a better place) that I would become so overwhelmed, I wouldn’t know where to start.

Things have changed since I started my half-marathon training. I took a hypothetical step back. After setting the goals to run a half-marathon and raise money for After-School All-Stars (ASAS), I first researched and created a 2-pronged plan. Firstly, I spoke to friends who trained for races, and I researched training plans to learn about what challenges I might face. After hours and hours of reading other blogs, researching workout plans, and setting personal plans, I was finally ready to start training. Secondly, I researched various crowd funding tools and created my Indie Go-Go page.

I am not going to lie—my training has not been perfect. It was a frigid winter and many days I decided to sleep in late rather than go for a run. However, I still made gains along the way. When I started my training in October, I was averaging 1-3 miles on a run. I would have never thought that I would ever consider myself a runner, but now I can confidently say I am.

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Training for the half-marathon has opened up a new opportunity for me to stay active as well as stay focused. I’ve never regretted one workout or one run. I’ve also raised over $3,500 for ASAS, and will raise more. I have a little bit longer than one month to raise money, and I’d love for everyone to contribute to After-School All-Stars. Every dollar raised allows students to receive free after school programs, keeping them safe and contributing to their future success.

So, with a few days left to the half-marathon, I am extremely excited! I hope you are achieving both your fitness and personal goals as well!


Read more about Melissa’s journey to find out how she stays motivated, her training, and more!

Check out this Arnold impersonation from one of the ASAS kids.