Good morning (or afternoon) all. I’m sitting here in my room at the Disneyland Hotel, looking out the windows at a great view of the parks. I’m sort of de-compressing after running a 10K yesterday and a half marathon today as part of the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Those of you who know me, know that I’ve been a pretty avid runner since about 2005 when the running bug hit me. My father got me into it, as he was an avid runner. Now, me, my two sisters, and my Dad are all avid runners. And we’ve shared our love of running with countless people, including our husbands. My husband ran his first half marathon in 2011 and then his first full marathon 2012. Before then, he struggled to run a couple of miles. So I started to work with him and coach him through everything. He had it in his head that he couldn’t take any walk breaks at all. I put a stop to that, and we started to use a run-walk-run method. Typically we run for four minutes and walk a minute. At first, I thought my times would take a nose-dive. Boy was I wrong. I actually shaved almost an hour off my half marathon time, and over an hour off my full-marathon time.
In all this, we also dramatically changed our lifestyles. When I first started running, I was also in law school and working full time. Eating healthy wasn’t a top priority. My top priority was graduating at the top of my law school class (CHECK!). And training didn’t always go as planned either. I graduated law school in May of 2009 and moved out to California. My husband and I got married in July 2009. For a frame of reference, my wedding dress was a size 14. In 2011, we started to change our lifestyle. I began working out about 6 days a week. I no longer purchased processed foods. If it’s not found in the produce or refrigerated section of Sprouts (my fav. grocery store), I don’t buy it. And I still don’t, with the exception of beans and my san marzano tomatoes for the sauce. My fellow italians know what I’m talking about… I would do circuit training Mondays and Wednesdays. We would run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. And a few days of the week, I would add a second workout in of yo-lates (a combination of yoga and pilates). Over the course of approximately 1 year, I dropped from a size 14 to a size 6 – that was a year ago. And since then, I’ve been simply maintaining, but defining muscle and now I’ve dropped another few sizes.
So that’s one of the BIGGEST reasons I run. To stay active and healthy and fit. But another thing about running. It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. During races, complete strangers cheer for you as if you’re their favorite athlete. And those people are the ones that become inspired and start training for their first 5K.
I always hear people in the starting corrals talk about what they hope to finish in. We all set goals, but sometimes you have to re-evaluate your goal for the day. That happened to me today. I was hoping to PR (runner-speak for getting a personal record), but that just wasn’t in the cards for me today. It was humid and hot and this California girl is used to DRY DRY DRY. So I decided to just have fun with it instead. Hell, I ran a 10K yesterday. And at certain points, it got rough. But then I reminded myself that there are people out there who would kill to do what I was doing at that moment. So today, who did I run for? I ran for the four thousand people who were stopped short of the finish line in Boston in April. I ran for the hundreds of people who suffered from injuries that day, some of them runners who had to have their legs amputated. I ran for the four victims of that tragedy that occurred in a city very near and dear to my heart. And part of me thinks that I’ll always be running for those people now.
So tomorrow, whether you’re a runner or not, think about doing something active. Go for a walk. Take your dog with you. Call up a friend and ask if they want to come with you. Make a habit it out of it. And think of all those people who can’t do that. Not just the victims from that tragic day in Boston, but also people who were born without the ability to walk, like my husband’s oldest son from his first marriage. Be thankful you have the ability to be active and don’t squander that opportunity. Embrace it. Enjoy it.
End of rant.
But first, here’s a photo of me at the start line today!!!!