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Sunday, June 21, 2015

How Long Distance Running Changed My Life

2015 Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon with Renne and Rose.

Just last weekend, two of my college best friends and I knocked off an item of a our bucket list. We rocked the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. They both did amazing and I am proud of them. I barely survived it! I'm not making it up. My knee gave out 10 miles into it, so I pretty much walked and jogged the rest of the way. I was in so much pain after; even cried at some point. I kept pushing myself. I took my time. I stopped when needed... and cried a little more. Good thing I was wearing sun glasses. Those last 3 miles destroyed my time, especially that last one. It took me nearly 45 minutes. Worst ever. But, I finished and I am damn proud of my accomplishment. 

I have two more races to complete this year. The Michelob ULTRA Seafair Pirate 5K Run and the Lake Union 10K. I'm contemplating a few others, but it probably won't happen. I took a week off from running, but started training yesterday. Picasso and I went on a run around the neighborhood. The little guy made sure to let me know he had enough right before we hit the 3 mile mark. So we went back home and did some fun yoga poses for runners. Now, please don't think I'm cruel for making a 12 lbs chihuahua go on a run. My dog has energy for days. He ran the Seattle Furry 5K  back in 2013 and kicked ass. I make sure to massage his little legs and give him lots of loving. As for myself, I found out that I need to stretch for at least 15 minutes before and after. I recently started showing my running feet some love with a tennis ball. In fact, lol,  I'm doing it right now.

After talking about it, the girls and I decided to once again sign up for the half. Then yesterday, my friend Jerry who is an avid runner gave me a call to motivate me to sign up for the full marathon. I've known him for a few years now and he is one of the most active individuals I know. This guy ran the Seahawks 12k with a bunch of us and then went on a crazy hike the day after. There was this one time, we decided to run GreenLake and take a boxing class at Cappy's Boxing Gym right after. It was a very active morning for me, but not for him. This guy went to Alki for another run later that day. That's how active Jerry is.  By now, we've ran a few races together. So when he tagged me on a FB post and then called to motivate me to sign up for the full marathon, I just couldn't say no. He truly made me feel like I could go for it. After all, it is a year away. I immediately text the girls and after giving it some thought, they decided to go for it as well. So, as of this morning... we are all running the marathon together. The goal has been set and it's time to train hard so we can rock it. 
What can I say? We're a bunch of crazy beautiful individuals.  

I'm not sure if the excitement from signing up got to my head, but I started thinking about how much I love long distance running and how it has changed my life. Back in 2008, I was badly injured in a T-Bone car collision. Some woman ran a red light and hit the driver side of my truck. It totaled it. I ended up in a neck brace for a few months. I had a bad back and went into a deep depression. Did I mention she was driving a tiny car? Did I mention she had a baby in the car? It was a nightmare. She was going so fast that sometimes I wonder what would've happened if I wasn't driving a Dodge Ram. There was lots and lots of physical therapy. Luckily I was in my early 20's so it was somewhat easy to bounce back. I found myself running a few blocks here and there, flirted with the treadmill during my visits to the gym, but I wasn't a runner. In fact, I tried to cheat during the mandatory middle school 1-mile run. I got caught and ended up doing an extra one. I've always loved long walks, but hated running with a passion. 

I remember going with my parents to watch the Seafair Torchlight Parade and seeing the runners open it. I didn't know much about races and the training required. I figured these people have been running for a long time. I didn't know you could start at anytime. Really, I'm not making this up. So when my therapist told me to set a goal for myself to motivate me to push through my sessions, that one parade came to mind. In 2010, a year after my car accident and lots of training, I ran the Seafair Torchlight 5k Run. 
My first official run ever! 

2012 Seahawks 12K

Five years have gone by since that awesome milestone. I made my way up to an 8k, a 12k and this year a half marathon. My goal was to run a 1/2 the summer of my 3oth birthday. Mission accomplished. Running is not about being better than someone else. It's about being better than you used to be. Now, the next challenge is being able to run a full marathon by next summer. That is  26.2 miles of adventure ahead of me. 
Let the fun continue! 

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