Tag Archives: inspiration

I AM a Runner

4 Feb

I just read a quote in the latest issue of Runner’s World from airline pilot and “Miracle on the Hudson” hero Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. He said “I’m not a good runner, but I’m better than someone who doesn’t run at all.”

I always feel embarrassed in a way when I tell other people that I’m a runner. I think, I’m not a real runner. I’m painfully slow and I mix running with walking. When I do run, my form isn’t lovely and I don’t look like a graceful cheetah, but rather an awkward giraffe.

After reading Sully’s quote, I realized he’s right. Maybe I’m not good, but I am better than someone who does not run at all. I’ve completed three half marathons and one full marathon. Not including the training, that alone is 65.5 miles that my little feet have covered. When you include the training, I’ve done over 500 miles. So, yes, I AM a runner. Good or bad, anyone who puts one foot in front of the other at a pace above walking is a runner.

Until I’ve gotten back in the gym these past three weeks, I hadn’t realized how much I missed running and working out. More importantly, I didn’t realize how much I felt how good it makes me feel. When I’m pounding away the miles on the treadmill or dying a slow death in the plank position, I’m really happy and finally feeling like me again. I feel like a real runner and I feel strong like I can conquer anything.

So right now, I’m going through a really tough time. I miss my boyfriend and am horribly worried about him. Work and home life have also been extremely stressful. But what I can count on is that I am coming back to me, slowly but surely. And I can say, no a matter what, I am a runner.

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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.

Disney World Marathon Training: Day 1

4 Jun

It all begins again—the weekend long runs, being sore most of the time, analyzing what I eat, checking my hydration levels. Yes, I’ve committed to doing another full marathon. Yesterday, Sunday, was my first day of training. It certainly went a lot better than when I started training before. 

I was much more relaxed this time and just went out to enjoy the run. Since I am technically starting from a half marathon base instead of ground zero, my training this time around is a bit different. For the next 3 months, I’m going to focus on getting my half marathon base very strong. So I plan to do a 4 week training schedule of 6 miles, 8 miles, 10 miles and 13 miles. Then repeat for 3 months. When I get back from my vacation in September, I’ll start building miles beyond the 13 for the marathon. 

Yesterday’s 6 mile run was a challenge nevertheless. It was very hot, humid and my allergies were insanely bad. I actually really struggled with it and my energy levels. I had received an email from my boyfriend who is deployed the night before, so that caused me to have trouble sleeping. As a result, I was really tired for yesterday’s run. 

But, I made it through without too much of a problem. The really neat thing is that the 6 miles was pretty easy, I actually enjoyed myself and I no longer had the high stress and tension I had last time I was training. I now know that no matter what I will finish another marathon, so I’m much more at ease this time around. 

I’m using this marathon training to help me through my boyfriend’s deployment. The pain of missing someone is excruciating. It’s far worse than I even imagined it would be. Running out my feelings is the only way I can get through this and it’s helping tremendously already. I’m able to work through my doubts and issues during my runs and keep positive. 

This week will be speed training on the treadmill and resuming a heavy strength training schedule to stay strong and prevent injury. Then it’s an 8 miler. It feels great to be back in the groove again! 

Sunday Inspirations

22 Jan

I was planning to do a long run today, but we’re having 60 – 90mph wind gusts, and while I will run in extreme cold, I won’t run in the wind. It is horribly unpleasant and wreaks havoc on my allergies. This past week, I’ve found some great inspirations online that I’m posting in my cube to keep me motivated to run as well as a few videos. I wanted to share them with you so that those of you who aren’t having inclement weather can get a good run in today!

Nike: Believe in the Run

Nike: Courage / What Was Your Soul?

Nike: I Can Do This

 

 

The Incredible Power of Running

7 Dec

Before I became a runner, I had become a fairly decent athlete. I had worked out two solid years lifting weights, conquering the dreaded stairmaster, biking and the elliptical. So I had a good fitness base when I started running that made it easier from that side of it, but extremely difficult since I really wasn’t good at it. As I ran, more and more, I began to realize what an incredibly powerful sport it is.

Running affected me in a way far different from any other athletic activity I had ever tried. It was a powerful drive inside me that fueled me to take on new challenges. It gave me the most joyous feeling when a high would set in. It joined me together with people that I may have never otherwise talked to. The same could not be said for the stairmaster or the elliptical.

I’m a graphic designer and as part of my job, I work with different printers and their reps. Just a few weeks ago, I found out one of my reps is an avid runner. We immediately began bonding over our love for the road. It didn’t matter that he was a far better, faster runner than I was, we were joined together by this sport. We talked for nearly a half an hour about our training, races we’d tried and goals for the future. Today I was speaking with a freelance client, who is in the running industry, but it was still an amazing conversation about the power of this sport and how it changes lives.

We both knew that completing a marathon dramatically changed our lives. We knew what it was like to work hard and cross that finish line. We knew that no matter how bad a day was going, running could fix it, even if it was just a 30 minute jog. It is seriously amazing how this one sport that anyone with a pair of sneakers can do, can changes so many lives and join so many different people together.

Tonight I watched last night’s episode of the Biggest Loser. At the end of each season, contestants compete in a marathon. Completing a marathon is a monumental achievement no matter who does it, but seeing people who were 300 and 400 pounds do it just 5 months later is even more inspiring. I remember when I was overweight and couldn’t walk after my foot surgery, I watched the Biggest Loser marathons. I used to cry at the end when they finished as I longed to do the same. I was sad that I couldn’t run and sad about the state I was in with my weight.

After I initially lost weight and watched the episodes, I still cried because although I was thin, I couldn’t do what they did. The funny thing is that I had never had the desire to run a marathon until someone told me I couldn’t. Then one day I began to run. And today, I watched the episode as a marathon finisher. I still cried at the end, not because I was sad, but because I knew what immense joy those people were feeling and that no one would ever quite get it unless they’ve done a marathon too.

To share that bond with people I have never met shows the power of this fantastic sport. No matter what your body type or where you’re at in life, nearly everyone can run at least a little. So, lace up your shoes and hit the pavement. Feel the power of running and use it to change your life.

Happy Anniversary: 4 Yrs & 504 Miles

16 Nov

Four years ago today I had foot surgery. I had been in a car accident the previous year, but it took that long to figure out what was wrong. The arch in my right foot had collapsed, and I had reconstructive surgery to rebuild it with bone grafts. It was an extremely painful recovery that took nearly 2 years.

My doctor said after the surgery I’d never run again. I celebrated my anniversary of my surgery today with a run. I celebrated it a marathoner. I celebrated the fact that one difficult event in my life brought forth the most positive change I could have ever imagined.

It was awful going through the car accident, the surgery and the recovery process. I was in constant pain for nearly 3 years at the young age of 25. But I am so grateful because it motivated me to change my life. I lost 65 pounds, and I’ve kept it off almost 3 years. I became a runner and finished a full marathon when I was told I never would. I helped friends and coworkers lose weight and run their first 5K.

The accident was definitely one of the best things that happened to me. I learned that I could overcome anything as long as I put my mind to it. I learned to test my strength and limits and keep reaching higher.

I used to be embarrassed by the six inch scar on my foot. It was ugly and looked terrible when I wore sandals. Now I look down at it with pride. It’s a symbol of what I’ve overcome and how strong I am.

You can overcome anything and reach any dream. Don’t let an injury or self-doubt stop you. We all have a fire inside waiting to be let out and conquer the world. Let it out and start conquering your dreams!

How the Marathon Changed My Life

12 Oct

This past week, I watched the documentary “Spirit of the Marathon” for the third time to get inspired for my race. I also watched “Marathon Challenge.” Both films carried the same message: the marathon will change your life. I figured the race would. I mean after all, I trained for 10 months and it had taken such a huge part of my life to get to race day. But I really didn’t realize how much it would change my life and how quickly.

I learned so much about myself on race day, things I always thought were there, but was never quite sure. I have always known that I’m very stubborn, and I will push through things if I set my mind to it. However, like anyone, I do have a breaking point. I wasn’t sure where that point was until race day. I came so close to giving in at mile 14 when my foot got so bad, but then I pushed through until the finish. That is when I realized how truly strong I am. If I could push through excruciating pain to finish a 26.2 mile race, well I could do anything.

I had no idea on the day of the race that I was going to need that new found confidence and grit so soon. Yesterday, I found out about some very major changes at my job. My two-person art department is shrinking to just me as we are transitioning some staff. I think before the marathon, I would have been freaking out about taking on two full time jobs until new staff is put into place. It’s a lot of new and foreign responsibilities that are coming my way. Given my high-strung, high-anxiety personality, I know that I would have been downing Maalox for an upset stomach last night scared to death about what would come.

But, now knowing that I’ve run a marathon, which is physically one of the hardest challenges on the planet, I know I can do anything. Sure, the changes are going to be difficult and time-consuming, but I absolutely know it’s not only something I can handle, but excel at as well. Running for 6 straight hours is far worse than learning some new skills at the office.

The marathon did change my life. It gave me a confidence and strength I wasn’t sure I had. It gave me reassurance in myself and in my abilities. It may have been one six-hour day, but the benefits will last a lifetime.