Tag Archives: Colorado

The Marathon of Life

24 Jun

Well, I’m about a month into marathon training and have yet to do a super long run other than my first 6 miler. The state of Colorado is on fire and our air quality is so bad due to the smoke that county health officials are advising against outdoor exercise and activity. We’ve also been having record heat with high temps around 100 degrees and it already hitting 70 degrees at 5:00am. I’m doing speed and hill work on the treadmill and bulking up on strength training. Hopefully this is going to let up, and I can get outdoors soon. Luckily I have time before I really need to get hard core into training, but I don’t want to lose my half marathon base.

This past month has been extremely rough. My boyfriend, who has something do with special ops/CIA/top secret stuff was deployed on his mission, and I’ve been missing him horribly. I never know when I’ll hear from him and it’s been extremely scary on a day to day basis. I’m a control freak and obsessive planner, so this entire experience has been way beyond my comfort zone or realm of knowing what to do. Yesterday, I got an email from him and for the first time, he alluded that he was afraid and feeling hopeless. I didn’t know what to do.

I am trying to use my experience with the marathon to get through this. Granted I’m training again, but I’m really using my experience of the first race I went through to try to deal. I keep thinking that this is mile 20 when I’m hitting the wall and ready to die. I felt so hopeless and out of control at that point and didn’t think I could finish. I’m trying to use the energy and determination I channeled during that time now. I’m sending emails of encouragement and love to my boyfriend, never alluding to the fact that I’m terrified too. I’m trying to tell myself that if I can run 26 miles on a bad foot, I can help him get the strength to get through this and get through this myself. I’m trying to look at it as the next 7 months before he gets home are the last 6 miles of the race where you have to give it everything you’ve got and push through the pain to the sweet moment of victory.

I’ve said on several occasions that the marathon experience changed my life. It gave me a confidence I never knew I had and the ability to overcome a lot of obstacles in personal and professional life. Once again I am drawing on it to get through one of the most difficult things I’ve had to endure. I am trying to focus on my training for the Disney World Marathon in January, though Mother Nature isn’t completely cooperating. However, I know if I didn’t have running in my life right now, I wouldn’t be getting through this at all. When I’m scared and upset, I use it to push through. I use it to send him good vibes of love and safety so far away. And I’m using it to keep myself sane. Without running, I’d be eating up a storm and shopping until my credit card was maxed out.

When this is all over in January and he’s back home safe, and I’ve gotten another full marathon under my belt, I will once again be grateful to those 26.2 miles for saving me.

I ask for prayers and good wishes for the safety of my boyfriend, and if you can help at all with the Colorado fires, please visit www.helpcoloradonow.org. The brave firefighters, rescue teams and Red Cross are in desperate need of financial assistance.


2011 Colfax Half Marathon: The Amazing Race

15 May

Today was the Colfax Half Marathon, my first official half marathon (13.1 miles) in Denver. I was awake most of the night, a bundle of nerves anticipating the long road ahead. I woke up to 37 degree weather and misting rain and dreaded what lay ahead. I was ready to conquer the race, but scared at the same time.

I was standing in my anticipated finishing time slot talking to my gal pal who came out to support me today when I met someone who I swear was an angel. She was a mom with 6 kids and on her 6th half marathon. When she found out it was my first, and I was nervous, she offered to run it with me. A complete stranger offered to run an entire race with me just to help me out and make sure I finished. I was so touched by her unbelievably kind spirit and generosity. I told her how I was very slow, and do the Galloway Method (4min run, 1 min walk), and that I was going to slow her down. She didn’t care about her time and just wanted to experience the journey together since her fiancee, who was supposed to run it with her, was injured and couldn’t.

I made a wonderful friend running that race today. She encouraged me every step of the way and kept pace. I had a glorious time on the race overall. The volunteers, police and event staff were fabulous. They were all so kind and encouraging, especially in the final, brutal miles. People who lived along the race route came out with tissues, water and posters to cheer us on in such hideous weather. It really brought this little section of Denver and the runners together. There was so much positive energy and encouragement out there today, I felt so honored to be a part of this group.

I had a tee shirt made to document this day and milestone in my life. On the back it said “11.16.07 Reconstructive foot surgery following a car accident. Doctor says I will never run again, 08.02.10 Took painful first steps as a runner. Distance complete: 0.8 miles / 10 minutes, 05.15.11 Proving my doctor wrong for 13.1 miles.” I had so many people come up to me today to say how my shirt made them cry or encouraged them. They congratulated me and shared their own stories and struggles with me. There are some fantastic, brave people out there who were all on a mission today to conquer this race for their own personal reasons. One girl I met was told she’d never WALK again in 2006 and she passed me by as she ran. There is such an amazing camaraderie in running that I think is unlike many sports. No one was cruel or so competitive that they didn’t wish you well or help out someone in need.

I crossed the finish line in 2:57:03, an amazing personal best for me. As I was crossing, I was listening to the peak of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and tears were streaming down my face. It was, by far, one of the most joyous moments in my life. I finished my first half marathon with the help of my dear friend Lara who came down to take pictures and the many, many kind strangers I met today. What an absolute high. I have never experienced such an incredible rush and feeling of accomplishment.

So, if you are contemplating getting off the couch to try a race or lose weight or accomplish a new goal, know you can do it. If you set your mind to anything, it can be done with determination and dedication.

13.1 miles of proving my doctor wrong

Posing with my finisher's medal

2011 Colfax Half Marathon Photo Album