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Becoming A Runner

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

There is absolutely no way I could find the words to convey how awesomely exciting it feels to be just three days from my first Half Marathon!!!!


There is a lot of emotion tied up in this for me. A year ago I was 267 lbs. and had not even a thought of running!

When I started the Couch to 5K program in October, I had a great sense of accomplishment every time I ran a little further or a little faster than the time before. A huge well of emotion would hit me and many times I would cry. I would cry with joy for the new things I was accomplishing. I would cry from a sense of guilt (that is not the right word) because I felt I had cheated myself for far too many years. Mostly I would cry because I was seeing myself as a strong woman for the first time.

I borrowed this quote from my running friend PrincessNurse:
"Our running shoes are really erasers. Every step erases a memory of a past failure. Every mile brings us closer to a clean slate. Each foot strike rubs away a word, a look, or an event, which led us to believe that success is beyond our grasp."
~ John "The Penguin" Bingham

That best sums up the totality of my feelings. The first time in my half marathon training when I pushed myself to run 4 miles without walking a step, I celebrated! That was so huge for me! I cried the kind of tears you cry with you see your child accomplish something huge for the first time, knowing the struggle they had to get there.

I think the huger the obstacles you have to overcome, the bigger your sense of accomplishment is. This is mine! I sweated! I worked through exhaustion! I planned, prepared and executed each training! I learned a lot about the character of the woman I am through these months of training. My long runs teach me about endurance and how to tackle big projects by taking them on one step at a time, moving closer toward my goal all the time. My speed work, is a newer addition to my runs, as I didn't have the running base or stamina to be able to focus on both endurance and speed until about 6 weeks ago. Speed work reminds me of my limitations. I may not be fast, but I can work on being faster. I learn a lot about acceptance from speed work. Tempo runs teach me to keep the fun in running. Run because you like it and you like the way you feel about being a runner.

A couple months into my training, I announced to my husband that I would not be doing more than one Half Marathon a year, that the distance training was too hard on my body as the miles increased. At that time I think my long runs were 6 - 8 miles. Now that my training is complete, I referred to my run this past Saturday as "Just 8 Miles" ! Once I had gotten to running 11 and 12 miles, 8 felt like nothing. This past week, I said to my husband "Maybe I will only do 3 - 4 half marathons a year.

My plan had been, and still is, to focus primarily on 5k's and 10k's. These shorter distances will help me to have more energy and time to work on speed. But, I'm not thinking that will be enough of a challenge for me. I am a fighter. I do best when I have a struggle or something to overcome. I need the physical challenge to get something done. It increases my sense of accomplishment, improves my ability to focus and refines my understand of the woman I am. There is a quote that says something to the effect that when a woman enters a race, two women emerge, the woman she was and the woman she becomes.

Become THAT woman!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are awesome. Thanks for the inspiration.
    3790 days ago
    You go girl, is all I can say!

    Love you bunches my sweet and wonderful cyber friend!

    God Bless you and keep you while you begin this journey to accomplish one of the most awesome journeys in a woman's life!!!

    I am with you in spirit my friend!

    3791 days ago
    Fantastic, very inspirational, thank you for making the woman in me feel like it really is possible! It seems like the sky is the limit for you and I love that!
    3792 days ago
    You are an inspiration to us "Newbie Runners" who are in the beginning stages of developing stamina and endurance as we run. I am just celebrating being able to run a little over one mile with no walk breaks -- 10 to 12 miles seems a long way off. I know that I can get there, though, with time.

    Hope you knock their socks off during the half-marathon. I will participate in a 5K this weekend (I will probably be running/walking/running because I'm not quite there yet to run the whole way, next time) I'll be thinking of you and wishing you well. I can't wait to hear how it went.

    Have a Fabulous Friday and an even better weekend!

    Take care,

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3792 days ago
    Whenever I see you have a blog... I run (pun intended) over to read it!!

    My heart rate sped up as I read this... I did not cry (not sure why) but I wanted to!

    Saving this to my hard drive because a runner I WILL BECOME!

    This blog gave me all the reasons why!

    3792 days ago
    Wow, you rock lady!!! You've accomplished amazing things in just one year, and deserve only the best of everything. Good luck at the marathon, and the one after that, and the one after that, . . . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3792 days ago
    Wow, you rock lady!!! You've accomplished amazing things in just one year, and deserve only the best of everything. Good luck at the marathon, and the one after that, and the one after that, . . . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3792 days ago
    What a lovely quote! I just started the C25K program last week so I have a little ways to go but was already looking at runs in the fall--it's good to have a goal! Congrats and enjoy your race!
    3792 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    I love this blog! I LOL to myself when I say I am going to run "just 5 miles". That number grows as time rolls on. I am looking forward to your race report and wish you HAPPY RUNNING this weekend! You will rock it!

    3792 days ago
    I am so excited for you; I'll be thinking about you!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3792 days ago
    "There is a quote that says something to the effect that when a woman enters a race, two women emerge, the woman she was and the woman she becomes.

    Become THAT woman!"

    Holy crap-tacular. That is so amazing and awesome and you are already one heck of a woman.

    Rock that race, gorgeous.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3793 days ago
    I can't wait to say 'just 8 miles'! You're an inspiration.
    3793 days ago
    emoticon So exciting!!!
    3793 days ago
    You are a beautiful, strong, amazing woman! You're half is gonna be amazing and the race report phenonenal!
    3793 days ago
    OMG! I can't believe your progress in running. It's amazing. I started C25K back in September and still struggle with 3 miles!

    Good luck on your upcoming race, though I don't think you will need any luck at all!
    3793 days ago
    You go. I am excited for you. I started with the idea of doing a bit of running to help with my cardio, and it just got a bit away from me. Almost without knowing it I became a runner, and I am in the process of becoming a better runner.

    It is time for you to focus on just the joy of doing what you set out to do. I assume you are into a bit of a taper, and so your body, legs and mind are making the shift towards the race. I am excited for you, and I will be thinking about you Saturday (I assume it is a Saturday run?), and on each of my runs between now and then.

    You go runner! My running thoughts and prayers will be with you each of my runs from now until you get this done.

    I will look forward to your report.
    3793 days ago
  • NEWME0519
    Awesome job on being able to run a half marathon!
    3793 days ago
    (i love it! 'just 8 miles!' you rock!

    good luck on your marathon - i know you will do amazing!)
    3793 days ago
    Wow! Great job. I am looking forward to my first half this year!

    Keep on training.
    3793 days ago
    I got a bit teary reading this blog. You've come so far and had such an amazing journey. I'll be cheering you on from Ohio on Saturday...I can't wait for you to experience the power of crossing that finish line!! Good luck and know that my thoughts are with you!!!!!
    3793 days ago
    What an inspiring blog! Many of the things you said I can mirror back on myself. I wish you all the best on your half marathon. I look forward to the day when I can celebrate as you are now.
    emoticon emoticon
    3793 days ago
  • B-N-ME
    Carolyn, what can I say that hasn't already been said. I HOPE you fully feel and see what everyone else sees in you. You are an awesome and inspirational person! Enjoy your victory...run like the wind! May your steps be light and filled with joy and anticipation!

    Wishing you a fantastic run!

    3793 days ago
  • MARK1963113
    What you have accomplished is awesome! Congratulations!

    3793 days ago
    You are an amazing and inspirational woman. I am so excited for you and know that this will be an incredible weekend! Enjoy each and every moment of it, take it all in, and then tell us all about it!! You have a huge cheering section here!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3793 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/5/2010 10:00:42 PM
    So proud of you! I sobbed like a baby when I finished my marathon 8 years ago and that day is still such a precious memory. Here's to your precious memory this weekend!!!

    3793 days ago
    Gurlllllll you are SO like me. I love it...."Just 8 Miles!" Just wait until you say... "Oh I JUST ran 12 miles!" Actually that is part of my mental game talk. Serioulsy. I always tell people if you can get over the "oh crap that is a long way to run" mentality you are really good to go. Yup there is a physical component, but I thrive in the mental game.

    3793 days ago
    You just motivated me to keep trying to become a runner. I have been training on the treadmill, but could barely run a few hundred yards outside with my ds on Monday. I am going to start over running outside and can't wait to try it.

    You are such an inspiratioN!

    3793 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and being so inspirational. I got a little choked up reading it. I've experienced some of the same.I can especially relate to your "just 8" comment. I remember when 8 miles seemed like a marathon to me and now I too say...just 8, just 6 or 7. You will do great on your race. I can't wait to hear all about!
    3793 days ago
    Fantastic. Such an inspirational blog - from an inspirational person. I wish you all the best luck in your half marathon! Looking forward to the pics - and hearing about your success!!!
    3793 days ago
  • TEMPEST272002
    Carolyn, you really touch my heart and motivate me to continue moving forward. I feel like learning to run is teaching me about learning to change.

    You inspired me to focus on running goals, and then supporting them with other healthy choices.... and boy is it paying off! Since I've started running 5 weeks ago, I've lost 6" from my thighs alone! I'm feeling happy & energetic. What a world of difference my 2 months sparking has made!

    I'll be thinking of you and envisioning you crossing that finish line! I know you'll do great and meet your Marathon Goal!
    3793 days ago
    So inspirational! Thank you for the thoughtful blog! I wish you the best on your first half marathon! It is an exciting feeling getting ready for a big race, and hearing about it makes me want to sign up for another one! Thanks!!!
    3793 days ago
  • KRISSEY2006
    WOW I couldn't imagaine saying, "just 8 miles" I could even imagine being able to do that and if I could how long it would take to finish that. You truly are inspiring and I hope to be "a runner" like you someday, because you definitely are a runner now. Congrats on all of your accomplishments and thanks for the motivation that your accomplishments bring to others. Great Work!!
    3793 days ago
    WOOHOO! I'm doing my first 10K this weekend, myself. I'm proud to be able to call myself a runner...there are so many great stories in that band of people. Go for it and have a great run!!!
    3793 days ago
    I weep with you and I celebrate with you.

    YOU are an amazing woman. GO FOR IT!

    emoticon Kelli
    3794 days ago
  • CARSON09
    I am right there with DLEE27. I will do WK2D2 tonight and it seems so hard right now. Side stitches, breathing problems... UGH. Your blog gives me so much motivation to keep going. I want to be a runner!!
    3794 days ago
  • DLEE27
    Wow. This was so inspiring to me! I just started the C25K program (I'm on W2D2) and it's so difficult right now. It gives me so much hope and faith and motivation to see that you did it! It's possible! And I can do it too!
    Three Cheers for you!!! Congrats on all of your success.
    3794 days ago
    You are just amazing & i know in my heart you will do great this weekend. You are an inspiration & what you have said makes me think about who I was before my race & who I am after completing my race. Thank you for your words. emoticon
    3794 days ago
    You are my hero!!! You are such an inspiration to me!!!! I feel chills for you, and the tears. I am where you are when you started, in my 3rd week of C25K and you have shown me what it can be like, that light at the end of the tunnel. You rock and good luck on your marathon!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3794 days ago
  • IILAAD65
    I am crying FOR YOU! Wow.. what a momentous moment! I am looking forward to seeing a pic of your crossing the FINISH LINE!
    3794 days ago
    You inspire me girl!

    I'm just working back into running again. Not sure if I'll ever race, but I just like to run. When I'm running I'm totally in the moment - free, unencumbered and capable of anything.


    Good luck on the race, and enjoy the journey!!! emoticon
    3794 days ago
    You are quite the inspiration, I am hoping to get there !
    3794 days ago
  • KARVY09
    So excited for you and all you've accomplished in just a little over 6 months of running, my RUNNING WARRIOR.

    I hear you on the distance running thing. People ask me if I want to do a marathon, and I *do* just because I want to say I've done it, but even the 13.1 miles I'm planning in November seems daunting and challenging. I love the quickness of 5Ks! But we shall see!

    Whatever happens, do what you love!
    3794 days ago
    I remember well when training for the walking marathon that the day I walked 6 miles felt like a whole lot ... until I got to the days when I was walking 16 miles. 6 looked piddly.
    Way to GO on getting fitter and enjoying yourself as you head toward your mary!
    Hey, you made an appearance in my blog this week. I should have alerted you!
    3794 days ago
    I am so excited!!! Can't wait to hear about it!!! I'm using that quote on FB today...awesome quote!!
    3794 days ago
    I'm so happy for you! I love the quote about the erasers. I had an eraser experience last night with my shoes and I want more! Your story is an inspiration to me and after I tackle some other hurdles, I plan to race as well.
    3794 days ago
  • NANC304
    You've come so far! You're an inspiration.
    3794 days ago
  • DIXIED88
    You are such an inspiration!! I love that you are creating a new you. It's infectious!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3794 days ago
  • CAALAN23
    THIS is what motivates me every morning, you said it very nicely.

    You are going to do STELLAR on your upcoming run!

    3794 days ago
    I am so very, very excited for you! :) I'm praying for you & rooting for you to do your very best. I love the quote you grabbed from PrincessNurse, about running shoes being erasers. I can apply the same to biking & each time I pedal. Each one is taking me further & further away from past failures & from every time I avoided the good stuff of health & fitness in the past. This is HUGE for you, & it's great to read this. I can't wait to read about the marathon! :D
    3794 days ago
    Great for you!!! You will do wonderful!! I can not wait to see pictures. You should be so proud of yourself!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon Love you, ME
    3794 days ago
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