Appeasing the Universe

The other day when it was snowing I made a deal with the universe. If we had a snow day I would run a 5K and clean the house.

I got my snow day. And I cleaned my house.

And then I went to the gym, fully invested in running this 5K today. And I made it about half way. And even that half way was tough.

As someone who ran a half marathon and trained for a marathon (yes, before quitting), not being able to really finish a 5K was beyond humbling. It may have even been a little humiliating.

But at the same time, I’m glad I stopped. I’m just getting back into running and I know if I would have kept going I would have been in pain tomorrow and then yet another workout would not get completed.

So I thought of a better way to appease the universe. Maybe I didn’t have to actually run the 5K today. Maybe I just had to commit to one…really commit.

So I did.

I registered for the Kelly Shamrock 5K in Baltimore. This will be the first race I’ve completed since the Turkey Trot when I was pregnant with Charlotte. Oh, I’ve signed up for a bunch since then, but I haven’t completed a single one.

This is also the first 5K I ever ran the entire race. Granted it was in 2014, but I’m seeing that as a sign.

I’m ready to do this all again.


Shit’s about to get real.

*I’m writing this post for both of my blogs because it is equally pertinent to both.*

It’s gotten to that point again…the point I never thought I would be at again.  The weight is slowly creeping up and has been for the last few years, ever since Charlie was born.

It comes so slowly that you don’t even notice it.  A pound here, a pound there.  Then you realize that you are tired all the time and you just don’t have the energy to do much.  Just thinking about doing something *anything* makes you feel more tired.  You’ll do anything to NOT step on the scale (I just ate, I just showered, I’m wearing too many clothes it won’t be accurate), but when you finally do the number staring back at you takes your breath away.  And not in a good way.  Not in a John Cusack holding a boombox outside of your window way.  A sickening way.

Your clothes start to get tighter.  It must have shrunk in the dryer. Then there is no denying it.  They just don’t fit.  You need new ones.  You promise yourself you’ll just get one or two things until the weight comes off again and then you’ll reward yourself with brand new clothes to celebrate your hard work and perseverance.  Waking up is a drag because you have no idea what to wear.  Nothing really fits and nothing really looks good.  Every outfit becomes a best effort, one that your throw an over-sized cardigan over and hope for the best.

Things hurt.  Your body that you worked do hard to get healthy is now betraying you and groaning under the extra snacks and libations.  Your knees hurt.  Your hips hurt.  It is hard to get comfortable and sleep well at night.  You used to run miles after mile each week, now you loathe walking down the block when you don’t get a close parking spot.

You make promise after promise to yourself.  You will get healthier.  You will have energy again.  You will stop hurting.  You are two young to feel this way.  37 is too young to be falling apart.

But you’ll do it tomorrow.  It’s always tomorrow.  Because we always feel like we will have tomorrow.

I’m supposed to run the NYC marathon in 177 days.  Fate, destiny, a higher power, luck, whatever you want to call it, has landed me this opportunity and I told myself this is what I needed to get back again.  This would be my comeback.  I would DO THIS.

But I have 177 days until this marathon and I haven’t run in weeks.  And even though I used to run 10 miles at a time (albeit slow, but I did it), I know I can’t even run one anymore.

It breaks my heart.  More than leaving my husband.  More than my impending divorce.  More than anything, this is what breaks my heart.  That idea that I’m not who I used to be anymore.  The idea that I am not who I am SUPPOSED to be anymore.  The idea that I’m not who I was MEANT to be anymore.

It’s sobering and humiliating that I let it get this bad.  That I crashed to the bottom once again only to feel that there is no way up at all this time.  That I’ll tell myself I WILL get up and run tomorrow.  And I WILL be healthier and happier for it.

And I don’t.

I want to but I don’t do it.

Even though I know I need to.  I truly need to.  To save myself before I’m swallowed up whole again.

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.

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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!