Who is this lady?

Monday, January 21, 2013

The One Where I Ran 13.1 Miles... For the Second Time

I hope you're ready for an inspiring story. Not like "homeless to Harvard" inspiring or "beat Stage-4 breast cancer" inspiring. Just your average, everyday, garden-variety inspiring, but you might still cry if you're PMS-ing. (You were warned.)

Not so long ago, I was one of these people:

Like, seriously, I did not run AT ALL EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If I was in the same situation as the McAllister family in Home Alone, I would have missed that plane to Paris and probably realized my son was not with the brood as he should be due to the fact that I would have refused to run to the gate and then the movie would be very boring and short. 

There were multiple reasons behind this. First, I thought running was for skinny people. Or at least, in-shape people. (Spoiler: it's not. Everybody starts somewhere.) Also, I was self-conscious. Example thought: "Oh my god, everyone can SEE me while running. Embarrassing. Better stick to the elliptical." (Spoiler: Nobody is looking at you while you're working out. Also, you look pretty much the same on the treadmill vs. the elliptical.) Finally, I was just plain scared to try running because it was going to be hard, and hurt, and I'd be out of breath and I wouldn't be very good at it. I didn't like doing things I wasn't positive I was going to be good at. Then... I met this lady:

Me and my previous trainer, Ange, just being us.
Her name's Ange and she's a very super talented personal trainer. With her help and encouragement, I went from literally not being able to run a quarter mile without stopping to the point where I was yesterday when I ran for seven and a half miles without stopping. Now, I wasn't running very fast, but still. Seven and a freaking half miles is a long time to go without stopping. Spoiler: it's almost all mental. Ange helped me learn that I CAN do things, even when they're scary and even if I may not be good at them the first or second or even fifth time around. You just have to keep trying. We don't train together anymore, but until the day I die, I will credit her with helping me realize at least part of my potential as a human being. (Sappitty sap sap.)

So, now, these days, I kind of like to run. I am now kind of like this:

And as a result, my friend/running partner/sole sister Shelly and I completed our second half marathon in less than a year together yesterday. We also ran our first 5K together less than two years ago. Which was the first time I ever ran that far because in training for that 5K, the longest I ran was about 2.5 miles. 

Shelly and me after the OC Fair 5K!
Anyway, Shelly's awesome. She is the funniest person I know, which makes running with her always a good time. So we completed the OC Half Marathon last May, and about ten seconds after crossing the finish line (before I felt like puking) we agreed we'd sign up for another one. And we picked the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland. (Which, BY THE WAY, definitely earns the award for most organized race we've ever attended. Over 11,000 people ran and I only had to wait 5 minutes for a porta-potty before the race. THAT is an achievement.) 

This half was a totally different mental experience from the OC half last May. We both agreed that the miles seemed to go much faster and we both just felt amazing (mentally) throughout the race. Physically, I was definitely stronger thanks to my current trainer Ashley, hence the nonstop 7.5 miles, and mentally I just kept telling myself "I can DO this." And I did it. No questions asked. The night before the race, I really had doubts I'd finish since I didn't run as often as I did before my first half, but maybe that was better? I honestly don't know. 

Anyway, one of my favorite things about races are the signs spectators hold up during the race. Some of my favorites include: I Bet This Felt Like a Better Idea Three Months Ago; Running: Not Just From the Cops Anymore; and DLF>DNF>>>DNS (Dead Last Finish Is Better Than Did Not Finish Which Is Immensely Better Than Did Not Start.) I didn't take pictures of people's signs along the course, but I found pictures that other runners took and posted on the Facebook page for the Tinkerbell half. Here are a selection of some other good ones:

Full disclosure: this pic was taken at a race in NYC, but I saw people holding signs that said both of these things yesterday.
Left: You've trained longer than Kim Kardashian was married!
Right: Your feet are hurting because you're kicking so much ASS

I did not see this sign, but I wish I had!

So, I crossed the finish line for this race, found Shelly... and promptly burst into tears and clutched at her like a small child. I was just so PROUD of us for doing this race when we both had our doubts and proud of us for coming so far in general. We are proof that if you want to, you can do it. 

After, with our SWEET medals!
My friend from college, Jill, was also in town to run, but we somehow did not get a picture together. However, I did take this hilario pic in Buca where we all went for pre-race carbo loading:

Why is this cat sitting in a spoonful of pasta? And why is it so happy?
Jill had a PR yesterday and I am proud of her, too! Especially since I KNOW she stopped to take pics with the Disney characters that were posted along the course. :-)

Anyway, don't worry - I'm not going to talk about how awesome I am in all my posts. But the moral of this story is if it scares you, do it anyway. And you are capable of more than you imagined. 

And finally, always eat a cupcake the night before you run. It'll make you happy.


  1. woop woop!! congratulations on your race!!

  2. I knew you could do it, because you are the biggest ass kicker I know! CONGRATS!! :-D