I wear my heart on my sleeve so this is right up my alley. Running…still not sure how I feel about it but I’m still here so there must be something to it. I was never athletic growing up, always the chubby Columbian girl with the pretty friends that all the guys asked about. I had a lot of friends but always wished I was thinner, sportier, prettier and basically insecure all around.
My first 2 years of college, I drank a lot, ate a lot, and gained a lot. I went to weight watchers at some point and lost about 25lbs, barely exercising at all. I managed to keep it off due to waitressing/bartending and living off a liquid diet of bud lights, stoli vanilla and 1 meal a day.
In 1997 my father was diagnosed with state 3 Lung Cancer. At the time my lifestyle was out of control and I had a hard time dealing with his illness. By 1999, I had gotten my act together, started grad school and student teaching…but soon after he died in July 2000 after a 3 month stay in ICU. I was devastated, he was the one person in my life that loved me the most and I felt like I had let him down. I didn’t get the chance to show him I was turning my life around.
I met my husband around this time, ate a lot, drank a lot, and all of this helped suppress the sadness. The weight crept on, and now even when I look at wedding pictures I can’t believe I didn’t slim down even for that!
Fast forward, 2005, I found out I had pre mature ovarian failure and that I would never conceive my own children. After choosing IVF through an egg donor…more weight but it didn’t matter because I became pregnant with twins. However…at 30 weeks one of their cords prolapsed and I was forced to deliver by emergency c section. Jayden spent 42 days and Casey 105 days in the NICU, and 3 weeks after Casey came home, he died in my arms May 5th, 2007. Desparate to become pregnant again, round 2 of IVF, more weight but it didn’t matter. I became pregnant again with twins. At 29 weeks I broke my ankle, which meant forced bed rest until they were born. Some say this was a blessing in disguise. Cameron and Riley stayed in until 35 weeks and were born over 6 lbs each!!!!
Faced with going back to work I realized I was 199lbs, felt horrible and had nothing to wear! I was knowledgable enough to know the problems that come along with being overweight so I started going to the gym and changed my eating habits (yes even cut back drinking a bit). I never even thought about running…EVER! I also had a bad ankle (that was my excuse). I fell into a rut though and knew I had to change something. I saw on FB that April Matarasso Rosequist (whom I had known for years) had started running races. I didn’t even know what a 5 k was but she told me to sign up for one. I sucked it up and signed up for the 5K that was part of the LI series. Started in Feb. 2010 with the run walk thing and crossed the finish line in May. Best feeling ever!!! Although I didn’t like the actual running thing, I figured I could do a 10 K, so I did. Why not a half marathon? so I did. Why not a full? So I did in 4:44( and LI to boot UGH!!!!) I really didn’t know any runners at the time but I recognized Sue Porter and Jean Santacroce Nesbitt from the gym and races and they got me to the Hills…and the rest is history.
I completed the NYC full in 2011 in 5 hours and I still get chills thinking about it. I have continued to run since…although I hate some of the aches and pains, but I’ve become addicted to being healthy, lifting weights, cross training and yes even running ( I think). Don’t get me wrong, I do still have a weakness for martinis, bud lights and Shock Tops ( okay several weaknesses). I also have my insecurities about being a slow runner, but I have to remember to be proud of my accomplishments no matter how fast or slow and that I’m lapping everyone “on the couch.” I’m still determined to get out there and to keep getting better.
The best part of this whole running thing though….is all of you. I’ve met some of the most amazing, inspirational people that have not only become running partners but friends…really good friends. I’ve gotten so much support, words of wisdom on not only running but life in general, and so many laughs and memories. I feel so very blessed to have become part of this community, you have no idea the positive it brings to my life. I will be attempting my 5th Half marathon March 16th in NYC and well would I love to break 2 hours? Absolutely. But if I don’t there’s always the next one.