Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

I go against the grain in all aspects of my life, so why would that change with a blog?

Most bloggers do Wordless Wednesday, but I'd like to do a mixture of both. I have way too many words going through my head to skip a day of talking ;)

A lot of stuff has been on my mind. But the most important thing is my ever present thoughts on running a marathon.

I want 2012 to be the year of the marathon for me.

I've been thinking a lot about running a marathon. I am not sure why I feel so strongly about running a marathon RIGHT NOW, but I do. I have so many thoughts on the actual physical aspects of running of marathon. That would take all day. I don't have that type of time, so I'll just give my emotional thoughts on running a marathon. In order to give my emotional thoughts, I'll have to share a little bit of my journey to this point. The next few paragraphs may be boring…

To go back in time a little, I'll say, I was the least athletic person in school. I actually started my senior yr of high school weighing 268. I didn't participate in gym--I was the towel girl. Prior to high school, I ran from sports/gym as much as possible. I remember in middle school, I weighed around 200 pds. I remember two events in middle school that mortified me--the first was the mandatory mile test. I WAS always the last one. I still get a little anxiety when I pass my middle school. I also remember being weighed in front of my whole 8th grade gym class. Hello, mortification!! Who ever thought of that idea, needs to be shot in the head, on sight (not literally--just in case that person comes up dead)

I went to two high schools. The first high school was very small--everyone knew me. I was not THE heaviest girl in the school, but I was third heaviest. I remember one girl used to taunt me about becoming as heavy as the heaviest girl in the school. Needless to say, I was not athletic at. all.

Fast forward to a few years past high school, undergraduate school, and mid-way through grad school, I had lost a significant amount of weight...but I had never taken exercise seriously. I'd join a gym, get fanatical about it, and then stop a few weeks/months later. I always wanted to exercise regularly, but could never make it a regular occurrence.

That all changed one day, I remember this day like it was yesterday, I had gone to a girl's night out and pigged out. I woke up the next morning and felt heavy and gross. I told myself, 'something has to change.' I had been maintaining my loss, but I knew that in order to continue maintaining and FEELING good, I'd have to do something.

Sorry to disappoint, but I didn't lace up and start running...but I did start walking. I walked and walked and walked more for several months. I was living in NYC at the time, so I started walking to and from work. I'd do my errands on foot. I would also just have walks around my neighborhood. At the time, I was living in Jamaica Estates, which is a picturesque community. (I lived in the apartment building bordering the HUGE homes--not IN a huge home ;)) The walks were really cathartic for me.

At one point, I realized that was not enough. Another friend had recently ran her 3rd or 4th marathon. She has four children, 3 of which have special needs. If SHE could, I could--not run a marathon, of course, but I could definitely try my hand at running.

So I was all gung ho. I got plenty of pep talks and just knew I could DO it…

So I went out and could not even run a block. I probably made it past two yards.
It was frustrating, it hurt, and I sucked at it.

However, thank God for good friends, I kept getting encouraged. So I decided to just add running jags to my walks. I did this for another few weeks; I'd just increase the jogging. I did this until I was jogging a full mile. After a mile, it was up from there. I was scared to death the hobby would end, but it never did.

My passion for it did change, though. Which I think scares runners. We all expect to be IN LOVE with running all of the time, but that's just not realistic--in my case, at least. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I've never been one of those, "I LOVE RACING, IT'S SO GREAT, I FLY" type of person.

I ran for mental sanity. When I started running, I worked in a high stress job, and running provided me time to service plan. I'd think about the families I was investigating and come up with the clearest plans to help them.

I never cared about how far or fast I ran, I just knew it provided me a calming effect.


Years later, I am still not obsessed with running...but I've become obsessed with competing milestone running accomplishments.

I ran a half marathon in 2010. What a humbling experience. I trained and completed it, but it taught me that I had a lot to learn about running.

Since 2010, I've been focusing on several things with regards to running. After the half in 2010, I was really humbled and it made me evaluate my running and my running goals. I spent a lot of time trying to get faster--I still desperately want to get faster--but every run, I was pushing myself to get faster. I was getting bit faster, but I hated running in the process. I am a slow learner, so it took me a while to realize that I need balance.

Since then, I've tried to find a workable plan that involved more than just running;
I spin, I go to body pump, I go to boot camp classes, plus I run.
I have also joined a running group. This has by far been the best thing for my running.

I have also FORCED myself to not compare myself to others. I still do, but I have made a deal with myself that I CAN get momentarily jealous of some fast bitch, but I CAN'T punish myself. I just need to push myself to my ability level.

So, long story, emotional thoughts on completing a marathon are simply,
It will be a completion of this very long weight loss and running journey. I mean, I will continue to run...but the marathon will really test my mental fortitude. Physically, I know I can.

However, my issues are mental. I psych myself out on each run. I think running 26.2 miles will both humble me and inspire me.

I also can't wait to get my 26.2 tattoo and car magnet. ;)

I saw this picture of Facebook this morning

I love it.

It encompasses my two goals:
~Always smile, even though sometimes I want to cry
~Keep running, even though there are times I never want to run again.

I love embedding videos--LOL. So I'll end with the Kirk Franklin song. I don't normally listen to gospel, but I love this song:

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