Saturday, March 30, 2013
Proof of 18 months of believing I can...one step at a time...no matter how fast or how slow....proof that even big girls can be endurance athletes....proof of others belief in me...proof that I believe in me
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
I started my half marathon adventures just over 1 year ago. My very first half marthon I was dead last....by a LONG amount. The only people still at the finish line was my family and a race director. I was in tears at the end of this race. I finished out of shear determination. My legs were jello, my heart and spirit ached for the loss of my eldest daughter who I was walking in memory of, and I felt very alone as nearly the entire race every one went faster than me.
But I did not quit. Over the last year I kept taking steps, kept adding races, kept working through the depression, kept trying. Most races I ran with my heart much more than legs. I ran for me, I ran for my daughter who no longer could, I ran for my other children so that they see a healthy mom in all facets - spiritually, physically, emotionally; for my husband - most importantly for me.
I had victories and learned that it is okay to be slow - just go. I learned that I am in this for no one but me. I learned that the people at the back of the pack have some great stories. I learned that we all cross the same finish line eventually. I learned that being a fat athlete is nothing to be ashamed of....I am out there.
I began this year with a half marathon....and finished 2012 today with one last half marathon -
So how far is 13.1 miles?
It is measured in steps - LOTS
It is measured in medals - (from this year alone)
It is measured in weight - 24 Pounds gone.
But most importantly for me - 13.1 miles is the distance between life and death.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
I run for my life - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It calms me, empowers me, clears my head, brings me to a center. When I first saw Forrest Gump (I was very pregnant with Halleigh) the scene when he just decided to run appealed to me. Today it does even more so. Perhaps that is due to having "enough" life, love and loss to understand. Forrest explained it this way "That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going....." That is what I did tonight. Sixty minutes nonstop running (which is a new personal record for me times a gazillion as I do walk/run intervals) at a very respectable 15 minute/mile pace on the treadmill. It may not be much for some - but for me was a marvel at what I could do. I still feel like I could jump back on the treadmill and keep going. I feel you loud and clear Forrest....today I just kept going.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I was in Los Angeles this past weekend to run (or my version of running) in the Rock N Roll half marathon. I shared a hotel room with a couple of other runners who are much more accomplished and faster than me. The night before the race we met up with a couple more runners who are also faster and/or more accomplished than me. Did I forget to mention they are all skinnier than me?.....anyway I digress. As we are carb loading the dinner before the race they are all talking about their goal times, weight lost, average speed per mile and so on. I keep quiet during the discussion until I am point blank asked what my speed is - and I respond "Super slow" and we all laugh. I am laughing on the outside and embarrassed on the inside that I run so slow. One of the women was running her first half marathon and was hoping for a time that does not even seem to be in my future - near or far. I feel my confidence slipping. Later back at the hotel one of the women I am staying with brings up again that she started running at 208 lbs and how could she have ever gotten that big....I nod empathetically .....embarrassed to tell her that I started 1 year ago at 260 lbs and am currently around 237 lbs and yes I know how I got this fat. I talk to other "runners" in the corrals at the race in the slow poke area aka walkers corral and the conversation again turns to speed.....and even the walkers are faster than me. I know I can do the distance. I have 10 successful half marathon completions coming into this race. I find myself judging my value and if I can call myself a runner, albeit a slow runner, with these people.
I start telling myself not to judge my insides by their outsides. They don't know how hard I have fought to get to this point. They don't know that running for me is not about weight loss (though a nice side benefit), it is not about the medals, it is not about "beating" someone else's record - this is literally about saving my life. This is about keeping one step ahead of the depression that seems to be forever nipping at my heels. This is about learning to live and not just survive despite the loss of Halleigh and all the other hurts in my past. This is learning a new way to work through the emotions instead of stuffing them down, hiding them under layers of fat and food, not numbing myself with alcohol.
I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. BUT I try the hardest.
I don't run with my legs. I run with my heart.
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