Sunday, May 26, 2013

My First Half Marathon

                                                   My First Half Marathon

I'm sorry I wrote this back in March and forgot to post it. 

 I can’t believe it, I just completed my first half marathon! At Disney World in Florida
no less! I’m 51 yrs old and because of my girls ~ aka, Naturally Fit Sisters, who are
My inspiration, my best friends. But let me back up a little.
 All my life I have always said I am not a runner. I have never been athletic. Always
as long as I remember. I’ve been big breasted and that was always my reason for not
running. I have always admired people who were diligent and disciplined enough to
                              work out and eat healthy. I have always wanted to be “That Person”. In 2007  I think it was, I joined Weight Watchers because I was sick of having such a big gut, the tire That is my most weak area and to this day still is. WW’s has changed my Life. It has taught me about healthy choices, portion control. I’ve learned to eat more
fruits and vegetable’s and to really like my veggie’s.                                                            So we will speed up to close to
the end of the 2010 year. They were building a Anytime Fitness in our town. I told
husband I would like to join. I kept talking about in so when they opened in Feb2011
we did join. Its so convenient for me because its right across the street from where I
work so I go before work. I really enjoy my time there. I have feet problems and 3
disc bulges in my back so with the exercise’s I try to be really careful of my back. But
I have since found that the working out has seemed to strengthen my back.
So sometime in 2011, my Weight Watchers leader had a 5K walk, she had one the
2 years before and it didn’t interest me AT ALL, then the next year, I was mildly
interested, then last year I really wanted to do it, so I asked a really good friend of
mine who isn’t in WW’s to do it with me and she did. I walked the whole thing, but it
struck something inside of me. I really don’t know why because Cassey my oldest daughter had ran several different ones and I wasn’t interested, then Brittany, my youngest started getting into it and even then I wasn’t. But somewhere along the way, I guess since both of them were so involved with healthy lifestyle choices. I wanted to. I have sometimes wondered, when I’ve thought about this to myself if it didn’t have something to do with the life changing event in Dec 2009, and that’s another story in itself, but My oldest son, the girls brother died in a 1 car accident. He wasn’t buckled up. Our lives changed forever that day. My husband and I took an active part in helping with his 3 children. Life as we knew it changed, in that split second you hear people talk about. Then two years later another, milestone in my life I was fixing to turn FIFTY!! So I think in my mind that with all the events in my life that happened that I had no control over and no way of changing, I realized I could control my lifestyle. I can control if I workout or not.
 My daughter Brittany started talking about her, her husband and some friends doing the Mudslinger Mud Run in Sept 2012, it sounded like fun, and Cassey had already ran one in California, so I told Brittany I would like to do this. She signed me up, I started training some for it at the gym trying to run more which was a whole new world for me. The weekend I went to Abilene, I took my 3 grandkids that lived near me with me and the morning we went to the run there were kids attending it and my 6 yr old (at the time) grandson wanted to run it with us so we signed him up and off we went. We were dirty, tired and, happy!! It was so much FUN!!
 Then comes Oct 2012, the girls and I signed up, 5K for myself and for them a half in Ft Worth. We had a great weekend, I remember when I was running I kept thinking,
Why did I think I could run this. I’ve never been a runner so why did I think I could do it now. I was so tired, and just before the finish line there was   a big hill to go up, for me it was a large mountain!! I got to the top and the mantra in my head was “I’ve got to run across that finish line” over and over, and I did to! I was happy and tired. But I did it.                                                                                                                                                     Then before my birthday in Dec 2012, my girls gave me my birthday/Christmas gift and it was the Disney Princess Half. And I asked them what made them think I could do it. All I can say is that they have so much more confidence in me than I do. But I started training for it. I was scared though because I couldn’t run past 5 miles and I only did it three times at the gym. But I felt that at least I could run/walk it if my pregnant daughter could.
 So fast forward and it’s that time, we are there with over 25,000 runners. It was amazing, I was scared to death and excited! You could feel the excitement in the air. They let each corral go at a time, which probably had 3,000 or more runners go at a time. Then its our turn. And I think I’m crazy! What ever made me think I could do this?” I look around me and I see mainly ladies, but men also. All shapes, sizes and ages. I see so many runners and I think, I can’t do this, you know we all have these doubts I guess, but I do not have a lot of confidence in the things that I do and sometimes in large crowds like that all my fears come to the fore front, all the doubt. And its funny how even when so much is going on around you that our minds can wonder off on its own. Its saying are you sure you want to do this? Your not like them. Your not graceful. But I can try. And deep inside I realize I want to do this. When I was growing up, I was never encouraged to try new things or go out of my comfort zone. I was never told that I was good at one thing or you can do this (this is not meant as a slam of my parents, it was just a different time back then) But my girls always tell me I can do it or at least try. And at one point when its me & Brittany running side by side, she is, as she always is so encouraging, so positive. And even when Cassey is struggling with her 8month pregnant self, she finds the way to tell me your doing a good job Mom! And then just when I was thinking “am I crazy, the little courageous girl comes out of me somewhere I guess deep inside and I realize I am doing this. There was even a little time where I was running by myself. Now I’m not a graceful runner. I’m not a pretty runner.  And after passing a couple of different girls, who had makeup on and not a red spot on their face and I believe I even said out loud “how can they run with their makeup in place” and it looked like they were going shopping, they didn’t seem red or sweaty and they seem to barely puff a breath but they were running. That’s not me, I’m huffing and puffing. My face is red and I’m sweating. But then I finally realize I am a runner! In my own way, not anyone else’s but mine. I’m running a 13.1 mile run. Me, who has never been a runner. But I was doing it! It went faster than I thought it would. The last mile felt longer than the other 12 miles did. My legs worn stiff when we were through but it was temporary. I after we went across the finish line together I was so proud!! I had feelings I didn’t even know how to process, but now I know it was pride, not a boastful kind but just proud that I stuck with it and completed!! I said I was going to get that medal if I had to crawl over the finish line and I’m happy to report I didn’t crawl ! We ran across!
Oh I almost forgot to mention in April I’m doing the 5k Color Run in Dallas with my daughter Brittany and my two grandsons and Cassey will be there to cheer us on. Then the following weekend  I will be going to Shreveport for a 5 K Mud Run with some of my friends I’ve made at the gym, its going to be great!
 By the way, if your wondering about my husband that I spoke of. He’s not into running or anything like that and he has to work a lot but he dos give me a lot of moral support. He bought me for my birthday a real nice Under Armour long sleeve and Capri leggings set and new running shoes. Among other things. He always leave me nice little notes to root me on. He doesn’t complain of my runs, so even though its not something he is interested in, he doesn’t try to keep me from enjoying myself.
 One last thing, I have a new mantra in my head now, from a sign I saw at Disney, it said… “One day I may not be able to, but today I Can!! I love this and need to find a small poster of this. I hope maybe someone reads this and may find some inspiration to know that your not to old to try something new, even when you have aches and pains or a bad back such as I do. Or whatever the problem may be, I truly believe that being active helps it. No my pains haven’t gone away but I honestly believe that getting up and moving around more will help ease the pain, even if its for a little while, you don’t have to start running because I will be the first to tell you that it’s not for everyone. I don’t know if I will ever do another half, which is 13.1 miles if you didn’t know. But at least I know I did one and made it. But just get up and walk around outside. Any activity is better than none. This I really believe. And make small changes every day. Drink more water than you usually do. Have a serving of a vegetables instead of ice cream for dessert have a fruit and yogurt. Little changes add up.  Then before you know it you will notice a difference. Or you may find that something you didn’t like before , you may like now.
One Day I May Not Be Able to But Today I Can!!
Make a healthy Choice Daily!

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