Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it." ~Josephus Daniels

A few years back I went on a long run with someone who was in faaaar better shape than I was in. No training. No 'I've been doing it for a while so I'm going to join this person'. Just; they were going so I threw on my sneakers and went. That run ended with me walking about 3 miles alone, nearly passing out in the front yard when I finally made it back. Then me crying, fully clothed mind you, in the shower nearly 30 minutes later when I was able to walk up the driveway and into the bathroom.

I can't speak for my running mate that day but I can say that I lost a ton of respect for myself on that miserable walk back. Every step closer to the house added to how badly I felt about myself. I was out of shape and unhappy about it and was doing NOTHING to change it. I couldn't even do a simple jog. I had started huffing and puffing just a few blocks in to the run. It was humiliating.

Now I started this post by saying "a few years back" mind you. It has taken me that long to get off my ass and actually DO something about it. I certainly thought about it a lot. I talked about it a lot. But I still hadn't done a damn thing. Then I moved to Sacramento where everyone is outside running or biking or something. So I just started taking walks. And then I started to watch what I was eating. Then my walks turned to very short jogs. Then those got a bit longer

That made me pretty happy so I joined a gym where I could track how long I was jogging for. I still remember the first day I ran an entire straight mile. I look back now and laugh at how silly it was. But in that moment, it was monumental!  Soon, I was ticking off longer distances in less time. And then, a very casual conversation with a then co-worker and now very dear friend started like this: "Hey, you should try running a half marathon with me."

I will not sit here and pretend that I wasn't terrified. I certainly didn't think even in that moment when I said yes to trying it that I could ever complete a half marathon. I just wasn't going to do that walk of shame ever again. That competitor within just woke back up and said "look bitch, you're going to do this!" And I was quite frankly too afraid to say no to it...or say no to Angela! (Love you girl!!) So clueless was I to what I signed on for, that one day while reading through some of the material I was sent from my marathon training group; I emailed said friend in an absolute panic asking her if she knew that a half marathon was THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES..!?!?! 

Her response? "Well sweetie, I'm no math genius but if a full marathon is 26.2 miles...then....." HAAAAA!!!!!! What a dumbass I am!!! 

So I trained. And there were certainly some bumps in the road. I suffered from wicked shin splints in the beginning. I spent a bloody fortune on new running shoes and inserts. I had some knee pain that almost got me bounced before race day even arrived. I was hospitalized with some lovely stomach issues that I won't share here... But I kept on running. And I kept going further and further. And faster and faster. And then it was race day...

Included in all my prayers for being able to just finish was the request for good weather & I swear to you, we had perfect running conditions for race day. All I had as goals were A. Not to die. And B. to finish without walking any.  And miles 1 through 10 were fantastic!! No pain, no issues. Just gorgeous weather, lots of support from the sidelines and great company & conversation from my running partner. 

And then we stopped to use the loo. The mere act of stopping just killed my momentum. The next 2 miles were miserable. I had a blister that suddenly made it's presence very known. My quads were on fire and I was dying. I could just feel myself getting ready to start walking. I was sooooo close to giving in to that doubt.

So I popped on the running playlist I'd created for this very occasion & dug real deep and I thought about that dreadful attempt at a run from a few years back. I realized that I had come so far. I had people waiting for me at the finish line. And I just couldn't punk out at mile TWELVE!!!!  I had something to prove. To myself.  

And right then, the runner in me was borne.

So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. And I kept going forward. I imagined hearing my girls yelling my name as I crossed that finish line. And suddenly, I could hear the roar of the crowd at the finish line cheering and clapping. And it kept me going forward.  And I DID it!!! I finished!!! I ran 13.1 miles!!! I even got a bit misty eyed when the MC announced my name as I crossed that finish line. (Just for a quick sec, so don't get it twisted!!) 

Now, I may not be in the perfect body or the perfect shape. But I am healthier. And I am in a much better head space than I have been in years and year and years. And I completed a run. I even ticked off one more thing on the ol' bucket list. Now all I need to do is decide where I'll be doing my next half marathon... or maybe this time, I'll climb a mountain... Anybody want to join me...??
  "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 
'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."   


  1. I'm so happy you got to experience that. I did a 13.1 run at the beginning of this year. I have to admit I did walk about 4 miles in between. Its awesome to be able to finish though.

    You should post your running playlist. I need good music now that im back in the gym :)

    Great job on inspiring ppl, doll!

  2. You are so awesome and I am so proud of you. I shed a tear reading this because I felt your struggle, your pain, and your victory! ANYTHING is possible. I am a true believer in your faith quote.

    "With the faith of a mustard seed...."

  3. You're awesome!!! And so inspiring hermosa!!!
    I'm so proud of you and I know that you can do ANYTHING!


  4. Lori, Lori, Lori.... girlll i am so PROUD of you! A half marathon is an amazing accomplishment... i hope you are still basking in the moment... savor it for all it is mama! It is something that i am HOPING i can do...someday. I love reading your words...your emotions & struggles jump off the page and hit me right where it hurts... whether you know it or not, it helps give me strength. i know we haven't chatted in a while, but i need that strength more than ever. i love your blogs../ I love your words... I love that you don't give a shit what people think and you lay it all on the line.... i love ya chick!

  5. Congratulations, chica!!!! What an amazing accomplishment. Actually finishing a half marathon is fantastic; but even more importantly, setting a goal, working towards it, and succeeding. I'm so proud of you! I know you must feel great and you deserve it. Nothing in life can stop you now that you know the secret. :)

  6. I'd like to add my CONGRATULATIONS!!! I know you had your doubts as to whether or not you could do it, but I never did. But just wait, the real changes haven't started yet. Running/walking does something to you emotionally and mentally. It changes the way you look at a lot of other things in your life, especially when it's about distance, like it has been for you and me. So proud of you!!

  7. love this. you are so much more motivated than I can ever be!