The time I wanted to run a marathon

marathon chicIn the beginning of 2013 I jumped on the running band wagon and decided I was going to run a 5K by April. I froze my butt off getting up super early before work, in the dark, to run on icy snow covered side walks. I bought a pair of $120 custom fit running shoes and started the couch to 5k program. I didn’t think I was out of shape by any means. I go to the gym on a regular basis and lifted weights. I’m not the fittest person, but I am in okay shape. When it came to running though I discovered I was a beginner. Nothing AND I MEAN NOTHING for me was harder then running. The Couch to 5k program was amazing as it slowly pushed me to run more and more not too quickly. Investing in a foam roller was the best thing I could have done as I was sore ALL of the time. After a few weeks I built up my stamina and started pushing myself. I averaged a little over 11 miles a limit, but for me that was good enough. My goal was to run a 5k and try to keep it under 30 minutes. My husband and I signed up for the Zombie Run in Philadelphia in April of 2013. Basically, you run through a course trying to avoid zombie that are trying to steal and pop balloons tied to your waist.

So for 4 months I busted my butt and was finally able to run a full 30 minutes, slowly but, I could do it. I won’t like, I HATED running. Yet, once I started I felt unstoppable. It hurt (in a good way) but it felt so good to push myself. If I had a crappy day at work I’d put on my running shoes and run it out. Afterwards I felt absolutely exhausted physically, but so much better emotionally.

We ran the 5k and I came in a little over 30 minutes. I had a hard time pacing myself since it was a bit hard to dodge zombies and run in a group of a few hundred people. I tended to try to keep up with others who ran faster then myself. Regardless, I ran the full race and was incredibly happy with myself.

Next, I wanted to tackle a 10k and then my goal was to run a marathon by the time I was 35. I thought 5 years was a reasonable amount of time to train.

Then this happened…

leg

Minor foot fracture as well as some torn muscle in my ankle. I was in a bit of pain before I gave up and went to the doctor. I decided to “run” through it. Bad idea. I blamed it on my shoes or the fact that I was running too much on pavement and tried to cut back as much as I could. Eventually the pain was so unbearable. After three MRI’s 2 doctors, I was put into a boot air cast and prescribed physical therapy. To this day my ankle does not feel right. I stretch, ice, and massage it but the lump above my ankle does not seem to go away. I think it may be scar tissue. It bothers me from time to time when I go for a brisk walk or use the elliptical for a long period of time, but I just deal. I’ve come to the conclusion it will never be 100% and most likely my “running days” are over. It saddens me as I never felt so physically challenged before. I imagined time and time again crossing the marathon finish line, exhausted, in pain, all while shedding tears of happiness.

In order to keep myself motivated I save several quotes that got me through those tough times, so I thought I’d share them. They can be applied to anything, running, life, or just achieving any goal.

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My Birthday & Thoughts About Getting Older

bday

This past Saturday I turned 32. I know, I know 32 is not really old, but still I feel ancient sometimes. Like I can’t believe I lived this long. Really, though I do not feel 32 or at least how I expected to feel at 32. When you are younger you have an idea of how you’d like your life to play out, but it never does. At least, I’ve never met a person who successfully obtained their ideal childhood dream life to a “T”.

Anyway, I planned on writing this big post about my Birthday and post a bunch of pictures but, the more I thought about it, I felt it was more important to focus on how life transitions unexpectedly. Life is all about experiences, whether they are good or bad, each molds us into who we are today and continues to do this for the rest of our lives.

We all tend to focus on the negative aspects of aging. Our bodies aren’t as strong, we have unexplained aches and pains, and the worst of all, wrinkles.  We try our hardest to avoid the realty that everything is going to change some day and by doing this we start to take people and things for granted. It is important to remind ourselves of the possibility that our lives may change in an instant and the most rewarding part of life is that we get to experience it.

I struggle with accepting change. Specifically, I have had so many people come in and out of my life that have changed me for the better. I get all nostalgic when thinking of them and wish that they were still apart of my life. Some have passed on, others have moved into a new chapter of their lives, and there are a few that I still speak to sporadically because we swore we’d keep in touch.

While I am saddened by the loss of some of them I am still very thankful. I am even thankful of those who were a part of negative chapters of my life.

Someone told me a saying that has stuck with me for years; “it is what it is.” Meaning, you just have to accept things for what they are worth. This is the most important thing I’ve learned in the past 32 years.

As Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

And, ending on a not so serious note, here are a few pictures from my Birthday weekend.

cheese

Husband said the magic word, “kitties!”

cake

The BEST chocolate peanut butter cake.

shoes

$70 shoes from DSW for $15. Yay for Birthday coupons!

purse

And yes, I did get my purse!

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