I’m not me. But I will be soon.

I started the post awhile ago and then stopped.  There are so many truths within it that I just didn’t know if I was willing to face them.  By admitting these things, I feel like my life course, my life as I know it, essentially all that I am, will be different.  And I’m literally writing this after I had a mental breakdown on the side of the road at 5:30 in the morning.

I started running when my dad died.  Ok.  That’s not entirely accurate, but that’s the truth that I tend to tell people because it seems more acceptable than the real story.  More acceptable and less ugly. But really, what have I got to lose at this point?  Nothing.  They say the truth will set you free.  Well, maybe that’s just what I need.  Freedom from who I think I am so I can become the real me.

After my dad died I fell apart.  Which was odd to me because we hadn’t spoken in 5 years.  But I had often seen myself in him.  He was angry a lot and tended to push those who were closest to him away.  As I watched him die sick and alone I worried that this is what my life was destined for.  And I tried to run away from everything.  During that time I got caught up in a relationship that I shouldn’t have.  I thought it was healing me when in reality it was slowly dismantling me.  When it ended, leaving me heartbroken and empty, I had no idea how to handle two losses in such a short amount of time.  So I went for a run.  And it truly saved me. I had found something that could put me back together, slowly and piece by piece.

And it worked…for a time.

I loved being able to say I was a runner.  It helped me feel accomplished, like I could do anything.  It made me feel more confident and pretty bad ass. But it also gave me an escape from my life, the escape I thought I had needed before; a way to “run away” so to speak.  In reality, it didn’t save me from myself.  It simply gave me the outlet to gloss over my problems; to bury them deep down and save them for another day.

Cut to me crying on the side of the road because I couldn’t run.  I have so much going on in my life that I had begun to use running as that escape again.  Now I have an injury and can’t run.  What am I supposed to do?  Without the running, I’m actually going to have to face the demons in my life.  I’m actually going to have to figure out what’s wrong and get to the root of my problems.

And I don’t know if I can do that.  I’ve been putting them in the background for so long that I don’t how to face my problems without running away.  I don’t know if I’m entirely ready to make these hard decisions that I know have to be made.  I don’t think I’m disciplined enough to make the changes that I need to make in order to actually survive.

But maybe that’s why this happened.  Maybe this injury is the universe’s way of telling me to grow a pair and handle my shit.  Because life is short.  And time is not guaranteed.

I need to say good-bye to running for awhile.  I need to learn how to cope without it. I need to learn how to love myself completely without the label of being a runner.  Once I’m whole again, we can start our journey all over, when running is something in my life and not the only thing.

Here goes nothing.


It Comes and Goes

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.

I’m completely unmotivated to do anything.  I pack my gym bag and then skip out.  I lay out my running clothes and then say forget it.

Why did I let myself get to the starting over point again?  It’s so hard to be here.  To see all my hard work gone.  To have my 3 miles feel like 30.  The numbers on the scale are climbing with my mile time.  I cry way more than I should.  I’m literally at the “what’s the point?” place and I can’t seem to find my way out.

I have a half marathon coming up in 12 weeks and I just don’t care.  I don’t seem to care about a lot of things lately…especially if they take extra effort and energy.  Once I put the kids to bed I am comatose on the couch.

I’ve become mean.  And spiteful.  And judgey.  AND I HATE IT.

I’ve got to be in here somewhere.  I don’t know this person.  I don’t want to know this person.

Plain and simple, it’s all about the shoes.

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” ~Marilyn Monroe

Today was a day for a long run.  I was supposed to run 5 miles.  I was tired, cranky, and had a head cold so I was worried that I wouldn’t even complete one.  But at the prodding of my super supportive husband I laced up anyway and got out the door.   After the first mile my shins were hurting.  Then came the knees.  Then a weird pain in my foot that I hadn’t felt before.  I couldn’t understand why I had all these weird pains when I was running significantly slower than normal in order to complete all 5 miles.  Then it hit me.  It is time to change the shoes.  Even though I had another pair waiting at home for me, I felt a sadness creep into my run.  I thought maybe it was just the weird pains, but in the end I knew that wasn’t it.  This was going to be my last time running in these shoes.  And suddenly, 5 miles didn’t seem like too much.  It seemed like not enough.

Before this attempt I had tried the running thing a few times before, each time in shoes that I bought from a department store or a random shoe store in the mall.  I bought usually based on looks and what I thought the other “real” runners were wearing at the time…something that would make me look like a “real” runner even when I wasn’t.

During Christmas break my best friend came home for a visit.  She is a “real runner”, multiple miles and Ks, marathons, etc., and yet talked to me like I was one too, even though I was only up to 2 miles at a time, even though I hadn’t run in a month.  She told me how running isn’t ever easy, even for her.  She gets the same pains I do, the same tiredness, the same foreboding feeling of running certain days.  She suggested I try it again, and maybe this time, head to Charm City Run, a local running store, to find the best shoes for me.

I was always nervous to enter these stores because of the feeling of not being a “real runner” but everyone was so wonderful and personable and simply celebratory of everyone who is up and out there and doing something.  After a few trials and a few runs on the treadmill, I finally settled on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14.  I was skeptical because I had tried Brooks before but hated them.

But from that very first run in my Brooks, on the first day of 2014, I felt like I had met my soulmate.  I was back to barely running a mile, but my shoes didn’t care.  They were there for me every step of the way, literally.  Every time I put them on it felt like coming home again.  While I had run before (and stopped quite a few times) these were the shoes that saw me through running in snow storms, completing my first 5K without stopping to walk, completing my first 6K, running in the Color Run as a family (the first race for both my boys and my husband), and 2 pants sizes. These are the shoes I was wearing when I signed up for my first half-marathon before I could chicken out.  These are the first shoes that chose me instead of me choosing them.  These are the first shoes I bought with my ultra running best friend who inspires me each and every day to get up and run.  These are the shoes that got me back where I need to be.

And while I know I have a new pair waiting in the closet, they will never be these shoes.  The ones in the closet are worth $120.  These ones are priceless and are literally filled with my blood sweat and tears.

Today was a day for a long run.  I was supposed to do 5 miles. But instead, to celebrate my shoes, I did 6.2.  My first unofficial 10K.  These shoes literally took me from .75 miles to 6.2 miles in four and a half months.  But really it’s more than that.  They took me farther than I ever thought possible.  They took me to a place where I am a better version of myself…and that can’t be measured in miles.

photo1 (1)

Race Recap and a bunch of other randomness

“If you start soon enough, you won’t have to catch up.”

This week-end was absolutely gorgeous.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing and all that other wonderful spring-timeness that we know and love.  A friend and I completed the Port to Fort 6K this week-end in downtown Baltimore.  This was my first time ever running an event (not racing, because we all know I wasn’t going to win) that was more than a 5K.  The race itself was beautiful, but tough and had a lot of hills.  My friend walked, I ran (THE WHOLE THING!) and she beat me by a minute and a half.

I don’t know what it is about running races, but I am trying my hardest to get over the mental roadblock that I put up.  This race was a little under four miles.  I run that distance about twice a week, but I run it at home, alone, and in the dark.  This definitely felt a lot harder with crowds of people, time limits, and expectations.  I always feel like I am doing a great job and then the hoards of people start passing me.  And then the people who are miles ahead of me pass me on their way back to the finish line and I start to get defeated.

I know I am improving.  I know that running for four miles at any pace is an awesome accomplishment.  I also know that just 6 months ago I could barely run at all and it took me over an hour to finish a 5K.  But sometimes I forget that there is another part to the package.  I keep telling myself that I’m not a “real” runner so I don’t have to take myself seriously.  I keep telling myself that because I’m a real runner, I don’t have to do all that “extra” stuff.  I keep telling myself that because I’m not a real runner, I don’t have to push myself to improve.  And this is simply not true.  I am never going to be one of those runners that runs a 6 minute mile.  Hell, at this point I’m hoping for a 12 minute mile.  But I can get there if I try.  I can get  there if I stop making excuses.

I know that in order to get better I have to run more.  I know that in order to get better I have to make myself know that this is important.

I know that in order to get better I just have to keep going.

The view at mile marker 2 of the Port to Fort 6K

The view at mile marker 2 of the Port to Fort 6K

Color Us Amazing

“Family mean no one gets left behind or forgotten.” ~David Ogden Stiers

I took the Fitbit off for a week.  I wanted to let it run all the way out and start all over.  I was pushing myself too hard with it.  Suddenly, just reaching the 10,000 steps a day wasn’t enough.  Once I hit 100,000 for a seven day total I felt like I needed to stay there and I was putting way too much pressure on myself.  I finally put it back on today for the Color Run.


Yesterday’s color run total. Today I was down to zero.


Today is Max’s 5th birthday.  In order to celebrate a little differently, we ran the Color Run in Baltimore as a family.  The kids had a blast and people seemed pretty impressed that they were running a lot of it, especially Ollie (the 3yo) and finished it without strollers, etc.  Mike had a lot of fun too!  We’re excited to do another one in the future.  The best part was, even after half walking, half running, I wasn’t tired or sore at all.  Not even after coming home and sitting for a while.  I can really feel a difference my running has made and I couldn’t be happier to share my new love and hobby with my family.



Max with his color run gear before leaving


Pre-Color Run Family Photo


Oliver after all the color


Max is tired, but colorful


Post Color Run! We had a blast!

The truth will set you free

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson

I began writing in this blog as a way to get all the random thoughts out of my head, but also as a way to tell my story.  But as I look back, I realize I haven’t necessarily been upfront and honest.  I haven’t necessarily given all the facts and explained the whole situation. Mostly, this is due to fear. And judgement from people.  And to be perfectly frank, I’m tired of hiding behind fear.

I guess you could say it all began with a trip to Oregon.  At first I was excited.  A trip to the West Coast with a bunch of friends from work and a few days off from the kids to go along with it.  What’s not to love?

Then I remembered that I would have to take an airplane.  Then I remembered I would have to fit into an airplane seat and buckle my seat belt.  Then I remembered every single article I have ever come across about airlines who kick people off the plane for being too fat.  Then I remembered that maybe I would miss my kids and I shouldn’t go after all.

I belonged to a gym, joined in some arbitrary moment of “I can do this!” but at that point my workouts consisted of the 5 minutes I could stand on the elliptical or treadmill and then 30 minutes on the sit down bike.  Throw in a couple of easy strength exercises on the machines, and I thought I was actually accomplishing something.  The fear of getting on the plane and being embarrassed in front of people I had to work with motivated me to do something I had never done before…buy a scale.

After searching for what seemed like hours at a K-mart next to the gym, I finally found one.  I raced home, carried it up to the bathroom, and after ripping off every ounce of clothing and all hair accessories that could add weigh, I gingerly stepped on the scale.


No, that is not a typo.  That was the actual number.  And while I didn’t want it to be true, I knew it was.  I sat down on the bathroom floor and cried for about 10 minutes.  How had it gotten this bad?  How had I let myself get this far gone?  Once I got control of myself, I got up, got dressed, and came up with a plan.  That summer I worked my butt off and in two months (right before my flight) I had lost 20 pounds.  I know that’s not a lot, but to me it was everything.  It represented that I could actually do this.

Long story short, they didn’t kick me off the plane, though I did need a seat belt extender.  But the heart wrenching fear I felt as I approached that first plane was probably the worst in my life. I didn’t sleep for nearly a week.  I vowed that I would continue working out when I got home and would get myself to a healthy place.

And I did.  For awhile. Until once again, life got in the way.  That fall I worked out here and there, but nothing significant.  Between two kids under 3, teaching kindergarten, and trying to be a good wife and mother, I never seemed to find time for the gym.  Finally in January, after realizing I had gained back 12 pounds (bringing me back up to 321) a friend and I decided to sign up for the Y-fit challenge (the YMCA’s version of the biggest loser).  And through that I fell in love with working out.  I lost about 35 pounds, completed my first 5-K and began to gain back some of the confidence I so desperately needed.

And then, as most stories go, my world turned upside down.  During the summer (on my last day of school) my dad died.  We had a rather tumultuous relationship (see posts from then) and I didn’t think it would really affect me.  But it did.  In ways that I will never quite understand.  And the gym took a back burner yet again.  Luckily, I only gained about 5 pounds, but by the time school started again, I was a jumbled wreck.  I didn’t know what was up or down or right or wrong.  All I knew was that I needed something to change.  I needed to be saved.

So I went for a run.  And really, that is the true beginning of my story.  Because on that day I was reborn.  I learned that I can decide how my life is going to go.  I am in charge of myself, my decisions, and my happiness.  I can decide to begin to heal, and grow, and change for the better.  And I did. Or, at the very least I’m in the process.

Over the months I ran occasionally, went to the gym, got injured, and then began again and again.  In January, on the eve of my 33 birthday, I hit my 50 pound mark (60 if you count from my pre-plane freak out weight).  And I’m still going.

I was looking back on old pictures today.  Pictures from pre-kids, pictures from post-kids, pictures from last year, last week, last month and I can’t believe the difference.  It’s not even just the weight, but the confidence, the happiness, the fact that there are more pictures now than there were before.  These are all indicators that maybe this time is the right time.  Maybe I’m finally exactly where I need to be.

And at 269 pounds I am currently running 15 miles a week and training for my first half marathon in the fall.  While I still have so far to go, I’ve never felt better.  I’m ready to begin this new chapter in my life.

I had to start and stop, begin and end, give up and keep going, numerous times to get to this point.

But if I can do it, so can anyone.  If I can do it, so can you.




The last 10 months…


Maybe I can

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse.”

I haven’t written in a while because things around here have been crazy busy.  With snow days, Max’s new round of IEP meetings, my last formal observation of the year, and professional development classes I feel like I can barely get my head above water.  With all that said, things haven’t been all bad and stressful.  I’ve still been running, trying (my hardest) to eat healthy, and curb those tendencies I have to completely freak out and run away from the world.

Two weeks ago a couple of amazing things happened, both big and small.  Beginning with the big: I completely ran my first 5k!  My last race was in November, so I guess you could consider this a “come back” race.  My time was amazingly slow, but that didn’t matter.  I didn’t come in last, and I ran the whole thing.  And no matter how much my legs hurt (in the quest for beer and a bathroom I forgot to stretch), I woke up Tuesday morning and finished three miles.  It’s nice knowing that this is becoming a “thing” for me now, a habit that I am not willing to break, something I need to do.  My times are still slow and they may never get better, but I don’t care.  That’s not what this is about anymore.

Last week-end I took the little for a bike ride and jogged behind them.  We went for about a mile before we came to the park.  It was then that I realized I had jogged for a mile behind my kids and was not out of breath at all.  True, we we’re going that fast, but the idea that running a mile was not something that could brake me anymore was truly amazing.  A year ago just walking to the park would have left me tired and winded, and now I feel like I have so much more energy, which is a great thing considering I have two small boys.

For the past two weeks I have stuck with my running plan and am up to 5 miles on my  “long runs”.  I have to stop some times, but who cares?  I’m doing something I never thought I could do.  And, triumph of triumphs? I’ve officially run 100 miles since the beginning of 2014.  100 miles in 3 months.  It took me five months to walk/run this amount previously.

It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we don’t give up on ourselves…even when other’s may have given up on us.