This Disney Princess got to run through Cinderella’s Castle during the Disney World Half Marathon on January 12, 2013
This Disney Princess got to run through Cinderella’s Castle during the Disney World Half Marathon on January 12, 2013
Crossing the finish line at the Disney World Half Marathon, January 12, 2013. Finishing time: 3:40:43
After an extremely long hiatus of nearly 8 months, the Skinny Pink Ninja has returned. It’s been a super rough time on my end, and I have to admit I just shut down for a while. The love of my life is James Bond. No really, he is. He has a secret government job that sends him away on long assignments with very little to no contact with me.
I’ve always considered myself fiercely strong and able to overcome just about anything, but my guy is my Kryptonite, my Achilles heel. Living without him and only getting a 3 line email every 2 months was agony. I tried to keep going, but I was definitely in a depressed funk. My fitness level dropped tremendously during that time and I was just focusing on getting out of bed and trying to live my life. I also got mono during that time and was sick for about 2.5 months. Then there was family drama with my dad having emergency back surgery and some other health issues.
So between all of that, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I gained almost 10 pounds and was barely keeping my toes in the water at the gym. I still ran and worked out, but it was only about 2 days a week instead of my former 4 – 5. I didn’t really care about keeping track of my food intake or anything, because that was my comfort during a hard time. I was mad at myself for giving into the sadness, but I just couldn’t help it. Worrying about someone you love, who is halfway around the world and in extreme danger is a full time job.
He was supposed to be home permanently this month, but sadly the government took him from him again for another 2 – 3 months. Luckily he came back for a visit last week and we had a great talk that helped alleviate some of my fears and neuroses. The bad news is he’s got to do this another few months and then he has to move to Washington, DC. The good news is his contract is up in December and he is quitting. He is done and tired of being James Bond. He plans to move to Colorado after his contract is up so we can attempt a normal life. So in the meantime, once he’s back from other continents, we have to travel back and forth to see each other, but after all we’ve been through that seems so easy.
I felt better after our talk and have decided to pick myself back up again. I can’t let the PInk Ninja get down. I’ve gone back to writing down my food and making smarter choices about what I eat. I started a new workout regiment this week with a new trainer and actually got 3 solid days in. I’m going to start distance running again tomorrow. I’m signing up for the Denver Colfax Half Marathon in May.
I did manage to complete my third half marathon two weeks ago. When my guy left in May, I signed up for the Disney World Full Marathon. Unfortunately, thanks to mono taking me out for about 3 months, I had to downgrade my registration to a half marathon. I had a lot of trouble training due to the fatigue that held on from mono and my overall depression. Nevertheless, I finished the race. The conditions were fierce—85 degrees and 75% humidity. It was brutal and I barely finished in a tragic 3:40:43. But, in all honesty, I was most proud of finishing this race than my other halves. It took everything I had to overcome the heat, the mono, the sadness, the stress in my life and pull out that finish.
Completing the race helped me a lot. I feel like my fighting self again. I know I’ll get the 10 pounds off and I know I can finish my next half marathon. Not only is my goal to finish, but I want to PR and finish under 2:57:03, which is my best finishing time. I’m still scared to death about my love’s safety and it’s going to be a long 2 – 3 months waiting for him. But we’ve overcome the worst and have made it through. Now it’s up to me to pick myself back up again and return to my former self.
It’s a long road to the next finish line, but I have done much harder before, I know I can do this.
My boyfriend was deployed this past Saturday for 8 months. Needless to say it’s been horribly painful. Although the half marathon on Sunday helped quite a bit, each day apart has felt worse, not better. I was originally planning to take a week off from running following the race. I figured I needed the rest especially since I ran a long distance without training.
I decided to hit the gym today and just do some upper body weights and maybe a little bit of light walking or bike. I did my weights and headed to the treadmill for a slow walk. I was feeling especially bad emotionally today. This is the longest we’ve gone without connecting with each other and it’s likely to be another few weeks before I first hear from him. It was hitting me hard, and I really felt discouraged.
I walked slowly for about a quarter mile. The emotions started tugging harder and harder at my heart, and I found myself upping the speed on the treadmill. At first I just thought I’d do a light jog, but I found the faster I went, the better I felt. I ended up doing four quarter mile sprints in a row at 6.0 – 6.5mph. It was such an incredible release. I was fighting back the tears as I ran, but it felt so good.
I could only do four sprints as my legs were still pretty tired from Sunday’s race, but it was an incredible cure for today’s serious emotional blues. I felt such a high and sense of release when I was done. I felt hopeful about my relationship and getting through the next 8 months.
I think running is going to be my salvation during his deployment. So far, in the past five days, it has been my only true source of happiness and relief from this agonizing separation. I really think it is a cure for anything, the endorphins it produces are so powerful.
If someone told me years ago I’d use running to heal emotional pain, I would have laughed and probably popped a Prozac. But now I know it will help me get through this. Although now I’m feeling sad again, I know I can just hop back on the treadmill and let it all out tomorrow. And with each passing day, the pain will get easier and then will come the joyous day that he returns. Until then, I’ll be clocking in the miles.
The past four months have been a challenge. While some really fabulous things happened—I got promoted, a raise, some great freelance opportunities, it’s been hectic to put it mildly. I was putting in 70 hour work weeks and missed a great deal of my favorite time of year: the holidays. I finally got an assistant at work to help relieve the work load, but I still had a hard time with the work load and feeling the compulsive need to be perfect and get everything done. As a result, both my running and my happiness suffered.
I had several people tell me this past week that I’m different and not as happy go lucky as I used to be. I hated hearing it, but they were right. I was working too much, stressed and not doing the things I loved. I was going to sign up for the local half marathon, but my $450 worth of car bills put a stop to that.
However, I’ve decided this week, that I can still excel at my job without sacrificing excessive amounts of time or my happiness. I’m trying ot make a chart of the things that really matter to me and make me happy. One of the things near the top? Running. I ran yesterday in my gym at the office and it was wonderful. It was only 2 miles plus I did some weight lifting, but it was divine. I was so unbelievably happy when I was finished. I thought to myself, why have I been putting work ahead of this wonderful feeling?
It’s taken me a while to realize it and it was especially hard when I was training for the marathon, but running really makes me happy. I’m never going to be very good at it (i.e. fast), but I love it. It makes me healthier and happier. The flood of endorphins after a great run is like nothing else in the world. It can make the worst day feel spectacular.
So this time, I’m really back on the wagon. I need running for my sanity and happiness and nothing is going to get in the way. I can already feel my old self letting go of the stress and coming back. I missed me!
I apologize for not posting the last several days, but I was on vacation. To celebrate my mom’s upcoming 60th birthday, we took a family trip to San Francisco, a city I had never previously visited. I really loved the city on the bay, it was gorgeous. What surprised me though was how many runners were around. I’m in good shape and live at high altitude, but the San Francisco hills were killing me just walking around. Yet, I probably saw about 100 runners throughout the weekend including around 60 on Saturday alone in groups.
Normally when I go on vacation, I take my workout stuff with me, but since this was a short trip and I was trying to conserve precious luggage space, I chose not to. One of the pluses and minuses to going on vacation is eating out a lot as well. I love to try new cuisines and restaurants, but now that I eat fairly healthy most of the time, it was draining. By Saturday morning, I was done eating food and wanted to run. I longed to join the runners I saw out on the Pier 39 boardwalk. I was so incredibly jealous that they were running, and I was walking to breakfast! Wow, just a few years ago, I would have had the thought “those people are crazy, thank goodness I get pancakes soon.”
We got back later yesterday, so this morning I woke up to go for a run. I told myself if I could do 10 miles then I was going to sign up for the Colorado Springs Super Half Marathon on February 5th. I haven’t run over 4 miles since the marathon in October with one six-mile exception two weeks after the race. I’ve been so busy and the holidays were crazy, I stuck to 3 – 4 mile runs on the weekend.
Well, it felt awesome to run today. I was so grateful to be out on a windy, but otherwise lovely day. I didn’t look at my Garmin or care what time I was clocking. I just wanted to run and run and run. The last 1.5 miles were a challenge. My body was a bit angry. First I put it through several miles of walking San Francisco’s hills, but then I took it out for 10 miles after a 3 month rest. But I manage to plod through and finish my 10 miles.
I’m sore and tired from being out of practice, but I feel great. I am definitely signing up for the race. I’m not looking to PR and most likely won’t, but I am looking forward to getting back into long distance racing. I love that high and that feeling once it’s done. It is truly glorious.
So just a few years ago I would have jumped at the chance to go out to a restaurant. Instead, I’m dying to run 13.1 miles. Half marathon in 3 weeks? Bring it!
Since the marathon, I’ve been in a state of limbo. After running double digit miles every weekend since January, I suddenly had no obligations anymore. Additionally, at exactly the same time the marathon ended, I became short-handed in my department at work and started putting in 10 hour days ever since. All the stars came into alignment for me to cool it for a while on running. I didn’t stop or anything, but I wasn’t putting in 10, 15 mile runs either.
However, without any definite goals or any immediate races, I have begun to feel stale and lazy. I’m still working out, but it’s more like why should I run 8 miles when I can run 4 and be good? Even the latest issue of Runner’s World suggested people really take a break during the holiday time from running. They suggest incorporating more cross training, shorter distances and slower paces to get recharged.
Last year I trained hard for my two 5K races and then took it easy in November and December in preparation for the fact I was starting marathon training in January. I’m already planning on doing the Colfax Half Marathon again in May and maybe a few others, but that doesn’t need to be dealt with until January either.
However, I need something to keep me interested and motivated, even if it’s a small, immediate goal. So, last night I signed up for the Stocking Shuffle 5K on December 10. It’s a small distance, but I now have the immediate goal to beat my previous PR (39:40). It’s simple and can easily be accomplished, but I feel re-energeized now that I have something to work towards. A goal makes all the difference.
I finally feel like I am getting out of my holding pattern rut and will start pushing myself again. Granted, I’m exhausted from working so much and the holidays are a super busy time for me, but my body needs this to stay sane in the chaos. It’s the perfect time to start working towards something again. Come January, I will start training for the half marathon again, but I’m glad I have something to keep me occupied over the next couple of weeks.
Whether they admit to it or not, everyone has a real, personal reason to do a marathon. Some do it to raise awareness for a cause or charity, others are big jocks on a quest to prove themselves and more and more people have reasons specific to themselves and their experiences in life. People are asking me: why are you running a marathon? My initial response is usually “I’m proving my doctor wrong.” But it goes a lot deeper than that.
When I was going through my car accident and the aftermath, it was a really dark period in my life. I don’t mean to say it was something horrific like someone battling cancer or losing a loved one, but it was pretty bad. I was in pain 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year for nearly 2 years. That’s going to take a toll on someone. Not to mention I was 205 pounds and had the lowest self-esteem in the world. During that period, I endured ridicule about my weight both from strangers and from people who I thought were my friends. I took myself into a downward spiral every time I set foot in the shopping mall and nothing fit. I wanted something, anything to feel better from the pain I was in. The only thing I could do was eat, so I did.
After being laid up though, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I decided to do something. I lost all the weight and was feeling good. I had a lawsuit going on my car accident, but lost out on a huge settlement due some technicalities with paperwork. It was a huge blow. I thought after all I’d been through, at least I’d have some money as compensation. Even my podiatrist backed out of testifying when he saw how tough things were getting. I was so angry and hurt by the whole situation.
I knew I had to move on and let go. It was over and nothing more could be done. Yet, here I was, this person super into fitness who had turned their life around and I couldn’t run. Initially, I only wanted to run because my doctor said I never would. I was so pissed at him, that was my main reason. I used to watch the Biggest Loser marathon episodes over and over and cry that I couldn’t do it. I never knew I wanted it so badly, frankly. I think it’s just my personality that if you tell me I can’t, then I want it more. I made up my mind that I was going to be a runner and I was going to run a marathon.
I was going to prove everyone wrong. The lawyers who worked for the other side in my case, my doctor and the people who made fun of me for my weight. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I knew I would one day. That day came in August when I tried the treadmill for the millionth time, but for the first time didn’t have any pain in my foot. I bumped the speed up more and more and suddenly I was running and I wasn’t hurting! I couldn’t believe it. I went as long as I could, which was a whopping 10 minutes, but it was more than I had ever done.
I decided, if I can do 10 minutes, then I can do 26.2 miles. And so the quest and the training began. Here I am 3 days away from the marathon, an event 4 years in the making with me. I am doing it to heal and to bring closure to a bad time in my life. I’m doing it to give hope to others who feel hopeless whether it’s over a health issue or a lost job or a death. It’s to show, that if you have enough determination, you can overcome almost anything.
It may cause some damage to my body initially, but ultimately it’s going to heal me.
I’m the over-achiever type. If there is something that I am interested in, I tend to go at it full force until I excel. If it’s not something I’m interested in, like algebra, then I work hard to not let my other grades fall, but overall don’t really care one way or the other. I’ve never been in the situation of caring about something deeply yet not being good at it. I was interested in art, so I became a graphic designer and am pretty decent at it. I am obsessed with all things French and studied it until I became fluent. Then there’s running. I love it and have been reading tons of books and magazines to learn more about it. But…I am seriously bad at it. And it doesn’t look like I’ll ever really improve.
This entire training process has been really difficult, because I have had to work and work and work and not see much improvement. Granted, I’ve seen great gains in my distance ability obviously, but as far as speed, I’ve stayed steadily at the very back of the pack. It’s a weird area to be in. I’m always in the front. And I’ve done everything I can do to try to get better. I’ve read Runner’s World religiously, trying to learn new tips and techniques. I’ve changed my diet, training, refueling snacks, but no luck.
I am a hopelessly bad runner. It’s a hard fact to swallow, but at the same time, I am really happy just to be doing it. My doctor said I never would be a runner, and now I am. I work extremely hard and feel nearly every minute of every run. I’m not one of those lucky people who zones out and doesn’t realize that 2 hours and 15 miles has gone by. I realize that I’ve been running for 2 hours and am at 8 miles. But every so often, I get a runner’s high or a few moments of bliss and I realize how much I love running. I realize how grateful I am to be a runner. And I kind of don’t care that I’m bad at it.
The rest of the time I do struggle with every step and minute. I have to constantly talk myself through each mile to keep going and push harder. But when those brief moments of complete and utter joy come along, it is so worth it. It’s such a friendly sport too, where no one cares how good or bad you are. Everyone is just so happy you’re running, that there is so much encouragement and camaraderie.
I am a runner. No one take that away from me, no matter how slow I am. With the first step I took, I became a runner, and I always will be. I will probably always be in the back of the pack, but I think I am okay with that.