Posts Tagged With: inspire

2014: Looking Back Before Looking To 2015

2014 was pretty epic. I accomplished and experienced things that I never thought I would or could. I also failed. More than once. I surprised myself with both the successes and the failures. I had a LOT of fun. I met a LOT of people.  Since this is the time of year that we make our goals for the upcoming year, I felt it was important to FIRST look at what the past year held and remember what I learned from those experiences.


Um, heller….did anyone say, “BOSTON MARATHON”??? The mostest epic-est, awesomer-than-anything and favorite part of my year and running life altogether was being a part of the athlete field in the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me many years to get there, and to realize that dream was the ultimate epic experience. This got the diamond crown.

I got the medal.

I got the medal.


I was able to PR in both the 5k in January (21:13) and the half marathon in February (1:40:15) as a part of marathon training. I was pretty damn happy about those times, too.

I learned how to train my ass off.  During Boston training, I never missed a workout. Ok, I never missed a running workout. Zero. I missed one swimming workout the entire training cycle. ONE. I learned how to be devoted. I learned to not make excuses. I learned that in order to become the runner you want and know you can be, you have to work and work hard. I learned how to go the extra mile. I did that, and I’m really proud of the work I did. I know I was capable of running an amazing race in April, which is almost as good as actually running that amazing race.

Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 – 6:03      I learned about being a triathlete. I looked fear in the face, cuddled with it for a while, let it whisper sweet nothings into my ear, then kicked it’s ass out. I learned how to swim better than I did before, I learned how to open water swim, I learned how to ride my bike in between swimming and running, and I learned how to run after swimming and biking. It was epic. And I’m going to do it again.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3. It looks like my knees are stuck together.

I had fun.  Running is really awesome. But it can become competitive for me, and the ability to “just run” a race diminished. So that’s why I decided to do an endurance triathlon. Well, I had one on my radar for a number of years, but I needed to do something different and NOT be competitive. It worked, and I had a total blast training for and competing in the 70.3.

Mott’s Channel Swim – I entered and completed an open water swim race. Pretty proud of that, mostly because I would have laughed until I peed myself had you told me two years ago I would do something like that.

After the Mott's Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

The 10×10 Challenge. Ten continuous miles for ten days in a row.  I learned that it’s definitely doable to complete this challenge in July, but not advisable. I can’t wait to do this challenge again. It was an epic feeling and quite the journey in itself. Try it, you just might learn something about yourself.



Coaching. I found that I really love coaching. I’m learning a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep doing it. Being at the 5k with those boys made me feel like a momma hen watching her chicks fly for the first time. It’s a really cool mix of pride, excitement, and nerves.

Here’s the video I made for my Stride boys.


I hate to admit this, but there’s usually something good that comes from failure. I think we all know this, especially as athletes. I’ve had a lot of good things come from the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my running and triathlon training and races. I’ve also had some pretty big fails. But with a little distance, I can see how the failures have done me good. Dammit.

I’ll start with the little one. I got a pretty big PR (4 minutes) in my half marathon in February. So you’d think it’s all good, right? No, I was pissed. I got a 1:40:15, but I could never see the success in THAT because I was too busy being pissed that I was only 15 seconds from getting a sub-1:40.  I wished I had pushed just a second or two faster, that I had put my head down and gunned it into the harsh wind that met us a mile or two from the finish that totally wiped me out. I wish this and I wish that. What I REALLY wish is that I could’ve forgotten about all that garbage and celebrated the huge success that I DID have. I ran a really good race, and I’m now really happy about it. But my finishing moment was ruined by me wishing I had something better. When you start getting that attitude, that nothing is good enough, it’s time to think about things. And that is what led me to decide for sure to do the triathlon. I KNEW that I wouldn’t be competitive with it. I KNEW I would have fun, that I COULD NOT get all ants-in-my-pants about times and stuff. I knew I needed to step out of the bubble, the one that says you’re never good or fast enough. That was stupid, and that race taught me to not be stupid.

So the next one… it was the epitome of good and bad. The Boston Marathon. Yes, I’ve talked a lot about this, but I think, after this, I’m done talking about part of it. I’ll wipe the bad part out of my memory like wiping the marker board clean.

Running Boston was so awesome, so overwhelming, but I had a big fail. I trained and trained and spent hundreds of dollars on a coach and getting there and all the hubbub that comes with seeing your dream marathon come to fruition. My parents came to see me, my sister and her husband came to see me, my husband and my two kids came to see me. I was ready for the race of my life. Oh, I got the race of my life all right. The race recap I wrote that day describes the race perfectly – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worse of Times. You can read it HERE. It really was the strangest combination of good and bad. The bad was something I didn’t see coming. I thought that it was possible for me to run out of strength because I pushed the race. I was worried about how warm it was too, but when racing, I never felt hot. I wasn’t sweaty. I went for my goal, and I was doing it. I was heading for a sub 3:40 and I only had a 10k to go. Part of my race mantra was “I can do anything for X amount of time”. I was counting down. I was doing it. In freakin’ Boston. That was the best of times.

I can’t remember the exact feelings, but around mile 20-21, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to stop, regroup, and slow down. I knew my PR was shot, but I was having fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Then the bobble head feeling started. And the nausea. It all went downhill from there. I barely remember the last part of the race. I knew I had to stop several times so I wouldn’t throw up. And I didn’t truly understand what happened until I became the internet doctor later that night.


Can you see the sarcasm on my face?

Where’s the lesson in this? How can my slowest marathon of seven teach me something? First of all, I’ve never tried harder to finish a race. I could NOT DNF. No. Hell no. So I put on my big girl tights and pulled out every bit of anything I had to finish that race. And it took me almost 5 hours to do it, 75 minutes extra minutes in just the last 5 miles. I had to put one foot in front of the other carefully and consciously. To sum it all up, I had salt depletion dehydration. How did I turn that frown upside down? I acquainted myself with Endurolytes. I thought that taking in salt was just an endurance triathlon thing. Honestly. But I talked to a lot of people, tried them myself, and learned that Endurolytes are pretty damn awesome. I used them throughout the summer, especially during the 10×10 Challenge. I used them during my triathlon. I used them with long runs. And if I learned one thing from the Boston Marathon, it was what salt depletion was and how serious it can be. Oh, and how to help prevent it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn so many lessons, especially the hard way.


You can always learn something when you look back at your experiences. Whether you learn them right then or have some “delayed learning” like I did, chances are, some piece of information can be available to you at almost any given moment. It’s just up to you to grab it.  Where does this leave me as I look back over 2014?

I’m very proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the chances I took. I’m proud of the fact that I let myself learn things along the way. Sure, I have a tiny baby scar from feeling so horrible during one of the best races of my life, but I’ll go back. I’ll do it again, and I’ll get my moment of glory. Some day. I’ll be patient. I know I have things to work on too. Facing fears and not letting them take over. NOT taking the easy road (swimming only on calm days). Balancing life and athletics.

As I took towards 2015, I know that I’ve got a beast mode full of grit and determination that I have not fully used before. I also have a lot more patience than I used to. What EXACTLY does that mean for me in 2015? You’ll just have to wait and see! Plans post to be coming soon. 😉

Do you look back before you look forward?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, coaching, half iron distance, learning from failure, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Running Boston

I’ve thought a lot recently about what I wanted this blog to be and the purpose of it in general.  Someone recently asked me the reason why I spend time thinking of things to write about and then take the time to make sure what I’m writing is how I feel and it comes across the right way.  I replied to him that if my writings make one person feel they can accomplish something and I have inspired another to try for a goal, then I have succeeded.  Recently I’ve felt that I needed to have a “big idea” each time I write, but when I started this blog, the morning before the 2013 Boston Marathon had even begun, I wanted to share my training, share my journey, and just write about what a normal 40-ish person does while doing new things. I’m not some crazy good athlete.  I’m not some nutrition guru.  I’m just a person who loves to run, who loves to compete, and wants to try new and exciting events.  I felt that other people could relate to me and could take one spark of the fire that burns within me to live this life to the fullest.  So far in my blogging journey, I’ve found such great support, so many other wonderful bloggers who feel like a sort of family, and I’ve really enjoyed it.  But I also feel that I’ve strayed from the original purpose of the blog, which was to share the ACTUAL feelings as I train for the Boston Marathon and all the adventures beyond.  The name does start with Running Boston, doesn’t it?

So this, dear friends and followers, is just the beginning of the original purpose of the blog.  It’s the good, the bad, the ugly of training for and competing in marathons, 5k’s, triathlons, trail races, endurance races, and all that inspires me.  I’m hoping it inspires you to go for your goals, to try something new, to follow your dreams.

This is pretty much all me.

This is pretty much all me.

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving On From Living On Edge

After nearly 2 1/2 years of living on edge, which is not to be mistaken with living on THE edge, I can finally breathe.  I’ve felt like the rug was going to be pulled out from under me for so long, and I’ve been preparing, planning, moving, buying, selling, bartering, and doing things accordingly so we would be ok if that did happen.  Basically, I’ve been living on adrenaline for a very long time, and I’m tired.  The rug did get pulled in a matter of sorts, more than once, and lookee lookee, I’m still here, and we are all ok.  After living in my house for three months, I feel like I can finally relax, I can breathe, and I can start truly living like I’ve wanted to for so long.

I don’t want to bore anyone with all the little details of what has taken place over the last few years, but it includes my husband facing a layoff but being lucky enough to find a job prior to that, then him having a job he grew to hate and then had to drive 3 hours a day to go and do, moving over 1,000 miles, twice, with two kids and four cats, the changing schools, us all leaving friends we dearly loved TWICE….. you get the picture.  It was just very stressful.  Would I change it?  Absolutely not.  We learned a lot about ourselves, more than what we could have had we not gone through these difficulties, trials and tribulations, and just life in general.

So here’s a list of 10 things we learned in just the last few years.

1)  I like lists.  Lists are good.

2)  Running is my damn castle.  It holds me up, it protects me, it gives me strength.  Running is the one thing that is purely MINE.  It’s me NOT being a “homemaker”, a term I literally hate, it’s me NOT being a mother, NOT being a wife, NOT being anything but just me and what I want and what I need.  It brings me peace, it makes me happy.  I don’t have to listen to the stupid fucking statements, “What do you do all day?”  “You don’t even work part-time?” “I couldn’t do what you do all day” “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work”.  I would love to spout off in response to these statements, but I know that it’s pointless.  I just run, and think, and think while I run.  Sometimes I come up with my best ideas when I run, sometimes I think about the leaves and ocean.  I realized how much running was a part of me just a few months ago when I had shin splints so bad I had to stop running and defer the marathon I was COUNTING ON running, which is something I’ve never had to do.  I turned into a freaking nut case, grasping at straws, trying to make the injury go away by ignoring it.  This was the time I needed running more than ever, and I couldn’t have it.  I’m finally at peace with everything, the deferment, the chance to just run for another month or so before gearing up for training for Boston, the cross-training I’ve done because of it.  I can look at it with a healthy sense of, “Sigh” and “It is what it is” instead of “WHATAMIGOINGTODOWHATHEHELLSHIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT”.  Which leads me to:

3)  I like to swear.  Go through this bullshit and see how much swearing you do.  I swore before, but now I’m a little less filtered.  Some people say that if you swear, you are suffering from a sort of ignorance because you can’t come up with anything besides a swear word.  Well, they can suck it.  I swear.  Big freaking deal.  Swearing isn’t important in the grand scheme of things.  I honestly don’t give a shit what they think either.



4)  I give less of a shit  about stupid stuff than I did before.  Neighborhood drama ran fast and frequent where we lived in Texas.  So did materialism, big time.  What really truly matters to me is my family.  It doesn’t matter if we live in a tent as long as we are happy and together.  The rest of it is just bonus.  I’m also putting us first.  I don’t feel the need to do things out of obligation the way I used to.  My kids and husband and our needs/wants are first.

5)  I live with a daily sense of gratefulness.  All along this journey, I whined and complained, but I also knew it could have been or could be so much worse.  There is not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for everything in my life, because no matter how difficult it may seem at the time, at least I am alive.

6)  My family freaking rocks.  My two kids, husband, and I, plus our four cats, lived with my parents two years ago, just before we moved to Texas, and then my sister and her husband when we got to North Carolina in late June, while we looked for and waited to close on our house. AND WE ALL STILL GET ALONG.  There’s nothing I can do aside from buying them a freaking month-long European vacation to repay them, so the only thing I’ve been able to do is just say thank you.  So thank you Mom and Dad, Randee and Chip, including cats Sammie, Jack, and old Tom.  YOU ALL are our rock just as much as running has been for just me.  You made a really difficult situation into something fun and enjoyable.  And that’s a huge understatement.  Thank you.

7)  My husband and kids are rock stars.  My husband and I have grown closer over all the shit that we’ve had to do the past few years.  We’ve listed (that’s an entire list of ten things right there because listing and showing a house is NOT for pansies), sold, searched for, negotiated on, and purchased houses, bought cars, sold cars, researched schools, sports clubs, and everything in between all while dealing with the detailed logistics of getting our entire family and moving truck full of shit to our destination on a specific day with the least amount of damage done.  Twice.  Apart, we are pretty good at it, but together, we fucking rock.

I packed the entire house, Hubs loaded the entire house.

I packed the entire house, Hubs loaded the entire house on a day that felt like the surface of the sun.  We honestly did not know when or where we would get to unload the truck.

8)  I’ve learned the painful truth that you lose friends when you move.  You find out who your friends are and who your friends are not.  I’m the kind of person who has a few REALLY close friends, and that’s just the way my personality works.  But my true friends are ones I can count on.  We can go a few months without talking, but when we do talk, it’s like no time has elapsed.  I’m very lucky for them, especially since I haven’t always been a good friend back, but they’re still there for me.  If you’ve ever moved as an adult, you realize who is there for you after the dust settles.  And who isn’t.

9)  I worry.  A lot.  About everything.    I’m guessing this is very common, but the one thing I do know now is that I don’t have to worry as much as what I used to think was necessary.  (See, I’m already worried that I’m offending some non-swearing person and then he/she will not read my blog anymore because I have a lot of swear words in it.  But I’m not worried enough to actually change it – progress.)  Things really do have a way of turning out the way they’re supposed to, and worrying doesn’t make a difference.  Don’t borrow worry from tomorrow…….

10)  I’m a damn athlete and a good one at that.  It’s taken me 40 years to actually call myself an athlete.  I always had a perception that athletes could only be the ones with less than 10% body fat, were the winners of races, and were the gazelles among the field ponies like me.  I don’t know what shifted in me… maybe my 40th birthday, maybe it was because I don’t give a shit about labels, maybe because I’m tired of reducing my accomplishments to less then what they are.  We runners are athletes, no matter what.  And I can also give myself credit for the damn good times I bring in when I run.  No, I am not the fastest, but again, that doesn’t diminish who I am as an athlete.  I qualified for Boston, and yet I find myself thinking I’m not good enough or fast enough to be considered a true athlete. I crossed the finish line in front of 83% of all of the other finishers in the Houston Marathon, and even beat 78% of all the men finishers.  I AM an athlete, and I am a GOOD one too.

After my BQ run at the Houston Marathon

After my BQ run at the Houston Marathon

SO what exactly does this all mean?  I’ve learned that I can go with the flow, that my extended family is awesome, I have amazing friends, and that I have to put my husband and kids first.  I’ve also learned that I need to give myself a little more credit for my accomplishments.  In doing that, I feel a little more inspired to keep going, to try harder, to inspire others to follow their dreams, to give these next goals my absolute all.  I want to PR in the Boston Marathon.  I want to finish a 1/2 iron distance next October.  But if I don’t, I’m sure not going to worry about it.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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