It’s officially less than a week to the big day! It’s been 9 years since my last Boston Marathon. For whatever reason, even though I’ve qualified over the years, I’ve chosen to run other races or take other trips. This year was meant to be, I feel, and my heart and head are truly in it. In my personal life, I’ve learned to let things go but also embrace the tough and trying times. It’s that balance of not selling myself short, believing my abilities, while always maintaining humility.

This past week, I was asked about my medals. What do I do with them? For a while, I had some in frames. Then, I simply collected them in a large bag in my bedroom. The first thing on my list after my trip is to figure out a better way of displaying them!

I got them out this week and began reminiscing about favorite races, where I was in my life, who was with me, and really reflected on the why. Why did I begin running distance races in the first place?

It began with the first time I ran 3 miles without stopping. I was a 19 year old college sophomore and it was 24 laps on an inside track at the University of Oklahoma (Go Sooners)! Due to the back brace I wore through many of my adolescent years, I didn’t play sports or run in junior or high school. So, you can imagine the accomplishment I felt!

A little seed of confidence was planted that continued to grow over the years into my academics and relationships. I ran through pain, relationships ending, and new beginnings. I ran through disappointments, loss, and deep insecurities. I also ran towards bigger goals and opportunities than I ever could’ve imagined. As I learned more about myself and who I was and wanted to be, running has always been there.

Below are some of my favorite moments and races:

*Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco- once with my sister, a few others with friends, and walked what felt like the entire city the 2 days before the race! (not recommended, but wouldn’t change it!)

*New York City Marathon and ran through all 5 boroughs with 40,000 other runners!

*Disney World Marathon with Goofy, Mickey, and two of my goofiest, incredible friends.

*My all-time favorite, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I was blessed with serving as the Kids’ Marathon Director for 9 years and worked with the greatest, most-selfless volunteers and team. A piece of my heart will always be connected to them and the event.

This next weekend, I’m so looking forward to giving you an inside look at what goes on at America’s Marathon. I’ll be updating regularly throughout the week, as I travel to Boston, explore the city, and get ready for race day! Just ONE week to go- Boston Strong!!

**JAIME HOLDS A PH.D. IN EDUCATION, IS A HEALTH COACH WITH THE WELLNESS COUNCIL OF ARIZONA, AND A NATIONALLY CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER AND GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR THROUGH NETA. THOUGH SHE IS NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR, SHE DOES HOLD CERTIFICATES IN NUTRITION FUNDAMENTALS AND HOLISTIC FITNESS IN ADDITION TO HER 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH PEOPLE AS A PERSONAL TRAINER AND FITNESS INSTRUCTOR.