Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reasons Why I Have Not Completed a Marathon Since 2004... and Why This Time It's Different!

In 2003, I was recently married, teaching a million aerobics classes a week (and yoga, so I wouldn’t completely die), and decided I needed a goal. I was working as a group exercise coordinator at a University Gym, and someone brought in a brochure for “Team in Training”.

I looked over the brochure and thought, “You know, I do all these dances, and choreography, and I have goals like ‘lose 10 pounds’ or ‘look a certain way’… but I need a real GOAL.” So, I decided to sign up.

Before training started, I worked up to running about 30 minutes at a time… on a treadmill (I was unaware of the treadmill vs. road controversy at that point). I had never been a strong runner. Growing up, I had asthma, and my asthma manifested itself in loud, honking wheezes, so whenever we ran in school, I honked, wheezed and came in last… while the other kids made honking sounds to mock me… (whoa, and that still hurts 30 years later… I have some issues…)

Let’s just say, I started running, but the marathon training was just going too fast for me. I decided to try to walk/run, and eventually I decided I could just do the half. By the time the Oklahoma City Marathon was coming up in April 2004, I was down to just walking. I hated running.

Well, my friend and I decided the day before the marathon that, since we were going to walk anyway, we might as well do it for 26.2 miles instead of 13.1. I mean, I felt like I could walk forever. So we changed our registration.

I did it. I walked 26.2 miles. Then walked back to the car for at least a mile (WTH?), then rode in the car for 2 hours.

Holy Guacomole, my legs hurt after that!

So, I took some time off from running. Actually, I took some time off from *moving* after the race, I was in so much pain. In the summer of 2004 I was just building back up to my 30 minute runs, when on September 1, I ran over myself with my own car.

And, there began my long line of obstacles.

Late fall 2004, my mom got sick. Spring 2005, she went into hospice and died. I wasn’t interested in much of anything for a few months.

Fall 2005, I started teaching aerobics again and started doing a few short run/walks at the gym before and after classes. I was having fun.

Spring 2006, I decided to go back to school for my library degree. I started running on the treadmill at the school gym. It was going well. I wouldn’t say I was a terribly strong runner at that point, but I was getting better.

By Summer of 2006, I was ready to commit to a half marathon. I registered for the Dallas White Rock Lake Half Marathon, which was in December (I’ve always wanted to do this race). But, almost immediately after registering, I started having pain in my achilles tendon, and eventually had to stop running for a while. I decided to try for the next year.

In January of 2007, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Well, so maybe this wasn’t my year for endurance running.

After my son was born, and I struggled to lose the MASSIVE amount of weight I gained from doing nothing and eating constantly, I started the Couch to 5K program in January 2008. It was going really well. I was running 30-40 minutes at a time, losing the weight (slowly) and doing pretty well.

Then we moved to another state (Summer 2008).

Here we go again: Start new job, get back to running. Run a lot.

I registered for the April 2009 Country Music Half Marathon. Almost immediately after registering, my knee started hurting.

I decided to keep running, but do shorter distances.

Fall 2009, I was a running maniac. I was doing races, and I was awesome. I had an amazing 4 mile run on Christmas day, and then I knew I was ready: I registered for the 2010 Country Music Marathon.

January 2010: What? I’m pregnant AGAIN? (A wonderful surprise, but still, a surprise…)

By this time, I’m tired of obstacles. I’m thinking, “Why can’t a 5 month pregnant woman do a half marathon?”

I ran up until about the 5th month, when it just got to be too much.

I had my daughter in September 2010, and started running about 4 weeks later. This time I’m serious.

I have not yet registered for the Country Music Half Marathon (I was afraid to jinx myself) but that is the plan. Then, I am planning to fly back to Dallas in December to do the White Rock Marathon (all 26.2 miles).

Feel free to wish me luck/cheer for me/encourage me/ or laugh at my bad luck below…

To your health,


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(Originally published 1/19/2011)

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