2.28.2013

A Runner

A while ago I posted a picture of my new running kicks and spoke of a half marathon I'm currently training for. A fellow bloggy friend of mine (Kate, go check her out) wanted to know what got me into running halves... Here's my story:

It was the beginning of 2008 and I had made a resolution set a goal for myself. I wanted to be healthier, I wanted to get in better shape, I wanted to feel good about myself. To the gym I went (like 8 million other people at the start of the New Year) and snagged a membership. I even went all out and had session after session with a personal trainer. My trainer and I sat down one evening before our workout and talked about what I really wanted to get from training. In my mind I'd been toying with the idea of running a half marathon. If I was going to do all this work I wanted to compete against myself, push myself. If I was going to run all these miles I wanted a finish line to cross. Just like that, running a half became my goal.

Eager as ever I found a half and signed up like it was no big deal. Then it hit me. I paid (a good chunk of change) to run 13.1 miles. I couldn't back down. I was going to had to tackle those miles head on.

It wasn't easy. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever prepared myself for. Physically it was difficult to run so many miles (I'd never been "a runner" prior to this new goal), but mentally it was just as taxing.

April 20, 2008 I ran my first half. Then I ran a second a few months later, and a third a few months after that.
The first two photos (left to right) are from my very first half. The last two are from the second half I ran in 2008.
Suddenly, I was hooked. I was a runner.

Fast forward to 2010 and I was in a severe car accident.
1) My car, or what was left of it. 2) Another shot of my destroyed car. 3) My right arm: both bones had snapped. 4) Home from the ER - bringing sexy back. 5) My arm, all fixed. Those plates are still in my arm today. 6) Cast removal day.

After my accident I had a really rough time. With the exception of close friends and family, no one knew I suffered from depression. I went from an active 20-something who ran halves, swam all the time, and played volleyball and softball on the weekends, to someone who couldn't bring her forefinger and thumb together. Needless to say, I'd given up on so much, especially running.

With a ton of love and support from Scott I was pulled from that darkness. After countless hours of therapy I rediscovered my running shoes. My love for pounding the pavement was being rekindled. Then I found out I was pregnant and had slight complications in the first trimester. Again, running went by the wayside.

Six weeks after Marcus was born I was finally cleared to run again. The beginning was hard. Each and every mile was a struggle, more work than I had expected. Slowly, very slowly I began tacking on miles and picking up my pace.
I am finally training again, and it's safe to say I'm a runner again. I love it. That's not to say every day I'm itching to get my miles in. Some days I don't want to run, some days the first few miles are torture. But, after every run I feel so much better, so refreshed and rejuvenated.

Life has thrown a few unexpected twists and a few times I've slipped from the running path. But something keeps drawing me back to all those miles...

April 28 I will run the Huntington Beach 1/2, almost exactly five years from the first half I ever ran. To say I'm excited is an extreme understatement.

These days I don't only run for me. I run for my little man as well. I want Marcus to grow up enjoying a good workout, staying healthy, being outside, setting a goal and sticking to it. I want Marcus to see that hard work and determination do pay off.
We won't always come in first (honestly, I'll never finish a race in first place), and sometimes we may come in dead last, but every day we try we finish ahead of those who didn't try at all.

21 comments:

  1. WOW...that is so sad about the accident. I am so happy that at least it was just an arm and you were okay.

    I am like you..once you start running it gets in your blood and I love it! :)

    Laura@MiceInTheKitchen

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  2. This post made me cry and I am not usually a crier! This was very inspiring :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story! So insperstional! And, I love those shoes!!

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  4. what a touching story. i just love you!
    i hope that some day when i get my ass in gear, that i can run a half! and then a full! get it girl :)

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  5. i got goosebumps reading this. you are so inspiring!

    i am so glad that you got away from the accident. it looks horrible :( you, my friend, are a true survivor.

    i've never been a runner. in fact, i think it is because i'm afraid to try. but this really makes me want to give it a shot. who knows? maybe one day i can say i'm a runner too :)

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  6. That accident looks so horrible. I'm going to try to be a runner, I really am. You make it sound so great, you are a wonderful inspiration!

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  7. Love this, Des! SOMEday, we will run a half together! Get back to the Midwest and we can make that happen. :)

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    1. Absolutely!! There are so many I want to run: the Lincoln, the Des Moines, the Minneapolis, the St. Louis, the Omaha, the list is endless.

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  8. oh wow what a scary scary accident! i suffered from depression too at one point in my life and the one of the primary things that got me through it was exercise, daily exercise. thanks for sharing your story with us! good luck with the huntington beach half!

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  9. You are a champ! That car accident looks so scary! I think I want to start something like this but running gets soooo boring. I'm looking into doing a triathalon at some point

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    1. That's an awesome goal! I thought about tris, but then I remembered there's biking involved. I just can't get myself to enjoy biking. I could run and swim for miles, but the thought of a bike is enough for me to say no thanks.

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  10. Oh what an amazing post and feat that you have come through. The accomplishments you have made. Just amazing!

    Good luck on your training!! You are going to ROCK!

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  11. This is such an incredible story. I'm so glad you shared. I feel like I understand your story a little better now. Hugs friend!

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  12. Wow this story is absolutly amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! How inspiring!

    LOVE the shoes! And love the Iowa State representing in the last pic :) Love ya girl!

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  13. Wow! What a great story! So glad that you are okay and can run again!

    I am trying to be a runner. I am doing couch to 5k right now. My goal is a 1/2 next April!

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  14. Awesome post! If only I had 5% of your dedication to running. :)

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  15. Love those shoes!!! The brighter the better!!!

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  16. The accident pics are so scary. And the last pic of you and Marcus is so perfect because life is good now!! I LOVE that picture, you both look too cute! And yeah yeah, the ocean and sunshine doesn't hurt either ;))

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  17. Thank you for this post, sorry i'm a little behind on blog reading. Love the shoes and your motivation!

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  18. Wow, what a great story! I love what you said about your new motivation for running. Although I certainly don't share the same love of running as you (I begrudgingly do it occasionally even though I do feel great after), I too want my kids to see that exercise is normal and good, and should be a regular part of their lives. So glad you're okay after that accident!!

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  19. Good for you! I went through similiar things when I got arthritis at age 16 so I understand where you were coming from! Lucky for me though I never liked running, so it doesn't bother me at all that I can't do that haha ;-) Love the shoes!

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