rewritten August 26, 2010

For a large part of my life, running was not on my radar. I played softball and swam competitively until high school. Softball lasted a few more years, but not many, due to a combination of burning out on a sport I didn’t love/having some really bad coaches.

Even though I didn’t like the thought of running, I flirted with the idea of being a runner often. I knew that I was meant to be a runner, I just went about it all wrong (for some reason, this seems to happen when I’m left to my own devices to figure things out).

I wanted to be a runner so much that I often would start with too much/too soon and hurt myself. Then get depressed about it and not run again for months. My running career looks more like a dieter’s history, or my own attempts to quit smoking. June 13, 2004 was the day I quit for good (retrospectively, the day before finals week was not a hot choice for that).

After a few years of the yo-yo runner’s life, I turned 21. And became permanently bloated from all the booze/greasy bar food/fast food. (fun fact: I was the DD on my actual 21st birthday. I was sick as a dog, but my 21+ friends insisted on taking me out. They all got tanked and I drove them home. I love that story!)

All of that ended when I got pregnant. I don’t recall exercising once during my pregnancy. I spent the beginning of first trimester believing that I had suddenly developed narcolepsy or mono (these were equally viable in my mind), and the rest of it, eating to make up for it. According to my OB, I only gained 33 lbs. I say it was 46 lbs. With the miracle of breastfeeding, it was all gone (and then some!) by my 6 week postpartum check up. Except my shape was all wrong. None of my clothes fit. Good bye self-esteem.

I spent a year sort of wallowing in self-pity about the state of my body. Then I started up my yo-yo running habits again. And continued them. I ran the occasional 5k, and always considered the Bog to be a long workout (2.8 mile loop).

Fast forward to Summer 2009. And it started in a really bad way. It was a series of the most traumatic emotional moments of my life (except for being first on the scene after my grandmother had a stroke on Easter Sunday, 2005). I ran in the beginning. I even learned how to run on a treadmill (they make me so totally nauseated when I have to get off) that summer. Then we had the world’s worst heat wave: 115 degrees in Western Washington is BRUTAL because nobody does humidity like the PNW. Combine that with my personal life taking two more horribly unexpected downturns, and I quit running.

I was numb from the stresses of my life. I had to withdraw into my shell just to make it through each day. Then, only a few days after the worst of it, I lost an uncle to leukemia. Less than a month after that, my grandmother passed away due to complications of her stroke.

I craved the feeling of running, but I was so deeply depressed that taking a shower was a monumental event. I drank too much. I read and reread books that I knew would make me cry (The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn). I drank way too much. I withdrew emotionally from my husband and son. Not for long because I could see it hurting both of them.

And then miraculously, I divorced my hung over self from the couch and went for a run. I started slowly, treating myself as if I’d never run before. Because in reality, I had a lot of experience training for an injury. Not training for a race. Specifically, of the incalculable and immeasurable distance of 26.2 miles. Remember, “running” in baseball is only 90 ft and in softball it’s only 60 ft. When I started running (the first time), 1 mile and 26.2 miles were equally impossible distances. So why not make running a marathon my goal?

And now I have grand plans to run 26.2 miles in 3:40 and to someday run 135 miles through Death Valley in July. I sense that once again, I’m putting my proverbial cart before my own two legs, but that’s sort of how I roll. I open my trap and words seem to come out, then I have to follow through and live up to them.

So here we go!

8 thoughts on “About

  1. I sense that once again, I’m putting my proverbial cart before my own two legs, but that’s sort of how I roll. I open my trap and words seem to come out, then I have to follow through and live up to them.

    I love this!! I can soooo relate to you in this!!! That is how I got into a half marathon!! I am biting my tongue on 26.2 but oddly enough have it in my head to do an ultra one day! sshhh I have’nt said that out loud to anyone yet! but since I dont know you I can!

    • You can so do an ultra! As soon as I heard about ultras, I knew I’d be doing them someday. Especially since they’re almost always on trails. I figure if I can hike up a mountain with a squirmy 4 year old on my back, surely I can do trail-running. πŸ˜‰

  2. I just came to your blog after a quick exchange of tweets. I just read your about you section, and all i can say is that I’m absolutely humbled by how amazing your path to running has been over the past couple of years. Thank you for sharing your story, and I wish you nothing but the best towards achieving your goals! I’ll be sure to follow you journey and training and be there to encourage you! Us runners stick together! (yes, i realize the irony of that statement coming from a lone wolf)

    • Runners are a pack of lone wolves. And thank you. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support from the amazing people running has brought into my life.

  3. You are funny, quirky, a good writer, and clearly aren’t lacking perseverance and strength. I’m not much of a runner but you actually make it sound fun and interesting.

    Anyway, trying to say hello to as many people as possible before Fitbloggin’ this weekend! *shakes hand* or *gives hug* πŸ™‚

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