Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Life as a Runner (So Far)

A few years ago I thought running was crazy. Living just outside of Boston means every April people from all over the world show up to run 26.2 miles. A few years ago I went into Boston with my ex & we watched a little of the marathon. I saw people of all ages running this race. It made me think about how some of these people were 3x as old as I was! I couldn't run a mile. I wouldn't even think about it! So it was right then that I decided if they can do 26.2 miles I surely can do a 5k! (Then I probably questioned how long a 5k was.) I then signed up to do the 5k during the 2010 Disney Marathon Weekend. I had a friend doing the half so I would have a roommate & supporter. (I still though she was crazy running 13.1 miles.) A 5k was pretty easy. Not a huge deal, but it was an accomplishment for me.

Here we are at the finish!

It was a few months later that I thought I want to accomplish 7 things before I turn 30. (Being 23 that gave me 1 accomplishment a year.) I said I wanted to do a half marathon and a full marathon. I even thought I was crazy during this time.

Rewind to this past January. I found myself back in Disney World during Marathon Weekend. I had a full weekend of running. On Friday morning I was standing alone in the dark and cold waiting for the 5k to begin. I was not worried about this by any means. It was the rest of the weekend that was scary to me. The next day I was running my first half marathon. Could I do this? Was I crazy? I can remember getting out of the Magic Kingdom thinking people who do this all the time are crazy. I don't want to do this ever again. I finished. It may have taken me 3:21:55, but I finished. I was excited & proud of myself. I could feel my right knee getting sore, so after a little while I chose to go back to the hotel to ice it before meeting up my mom & our friends for fun in the Magic Kingdom. On Sunday I was awake at around 3 am again to be part of the Marathon Relay. I knew I was in trouble though. My left knee was in a lot of pain. (Yes left knee which was fine the day before!) I was okay walking on so I figured I needed to just warm up a little bit. I was runner #2 during the relay, so I got to go through the Animal Kingdom & Disney Hollywood Studios before returning to Epcot for the finish. Even though we had to be at the runner #2 area at the same time as the first runner, we spent a couple hours just sitting around in a parking lot. I was really nervous for this half marathon. After finding Andrea (my relay partner) I was off on another 13.1 miles. I tried to do a run-walk ratio of 1 minute running, 2 minute walking. I knew I wouldn't be able to do this. I tried 30 seconds of running, 2 minutes of walking. Still I could not do this. I was getting discouraged big time. I even thought about quitting more than I would like to admit during the entire thing. I knew I couldn't let myself or Andrea down though! Being the second runner & being towards the beginning of the pack of marathoners was a little nerve racking. I mean here I was walking! Even when I had a few miles left I wanted to quit. Around the Beach Club I got the push I needed for a complete stranger. Behind my sunglasses were tears & thoughts of failure. I just happened to look at this complete stranger. She looked at me & gave me a thumbs up with a head nod. That was it. It was what I needed to finish. After forcing myself to run to the finish line I did finish. There may have been tears, but I did it! Fast forward 3:38:54 I was getting my medal & hobbling to the bus while calling my mom saying I need ice & lunch meet me in the lobby! I said I would never do that again. Goal accomplished. Then I signed up for the Disney Marathon. My training hasn't been awesome, but I'm not scared of a half marathon now. I'm working towards it. I'm listening to my body & getting support by people I never thought possible.

A weekend of running!

This blog isn't just about my story towards completing a marathon, but my story of doing another half marathon for a reason. I'm running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC with Team in Training. Raising money is scary to me then any amount of miles. Here I am helping other people. The official training hasn't really begun yet, but I will be meeting some other members on Saturday as they prepare for the Disney Marathon! I'll fill you in on what Team in Training is. Team in Training works with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. By signing up for an endurance event you are also raising money that goes directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For this half marathon I have pledged to raise $2,900. I have already raised $775 thanks to generous friends, family, & co-workers. Any donation amount to any cause is helpful. I know $1 doesn't seem like a lot, but If 100 people all donated $1 that would equal $100. That helps more than we think about.

If you would like to donate to my cause here is the link:

I will also be holding fundraising events over the next couple of months. Keep an eye out for that. 

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