I am a marathoner! (guest post)

Hiya friends! I will be back tomorrow with a doctors update but really wanted to share the below story of my friend, Alexa. I’ve known Alexa for a couple of years – she has been an amazing support system during my healthiness journey. Alexa is always right there to check in on how my workouts are going, see if I can join her at a spin class or just do some mental relaxation (movies or healthy dinners!). Here accomplished what she thought was just a far fetched dream and she has a story to prove it…

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“Why would you want to do that?” That’s the first thing my mom said when I told her I had been picked through the lottery for the 2010 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.  Signing up for a marathon seemed so daunting, so I thought I would leave it to fate, and enter one with a lottery, that way if I was picked, I knew it was meant to be that I run one. (I later found out, that the half-marathon is the one that’s really hard to get into, and that pretty much everyone who enters the marathon gets in–sheesh!)

So, why would anyone want to run marathon?  My mom had a point, it doesn’t really seem enjoyable, but people who run them, say they love them, and keep going back for more.  At the time I signed up, in April 2010, I had started running about two years earlier, and found that it had become an addiction. I was always looking for the next race.  It started with a Learn to Run Clinic in the Spring of 2008 at an area Running Room store, and lead to a 5K Race that scared the crap out of me with the idea of doing it, that turned out to be a lot of fun, and left me feeling even more jazzed about running.

After attempting to train for a winter half-marathon later that year (I will NEVER run one of those I’ve now decided) I suffered a stress fracture, and was sidelined with no running for eight weeks.  It was then that I knew, I was hooked. I missed running so bad, I felt like a piece of me was missing. I ached to be the one running around the lakes on a crisp morning, and looked like a little kid pulling away from their friend’s house, as I would press my face against the cold glass of my car window staring longingly at runners as we drove past them on weekend mornings.

Once my foot was healed that winter, I was off and running (literally) again.

The next fall I did my first “big” race, the Twin Cities 10 Mile Race. I was one of the lucky few picked through the lottery system (on my first try too!) to run it, and trained that summer with friends, and was beyond excited!  The race was amazing, it felt great, I loved the energy of the crowd, and it left me wanting more.

Me, running the 10 mile!

So, like the crazy person I was becoming, I signed up for a half-marathon that was happening three weeks later after my friend Amy convinced me, “what’s 3.1 more miles when you’ve just done ten??” she told me.

That race was hard, I was recovering from a cold, and I ran it alone, unlike the 10 Mile race, and it felt like a beating on my body. I was happy to have finished, and told my then fiancee that was my first and last half marathon.

My "first" and "last" half marathon!

But then, that running bug crept up again, and I found myself running long miles that winter, running 10+ miles for fun, and I declared to him one day, “I want to run a marathon before we have a baby, I want to be able to tell my kids, I ran a marathon”

So, last summer I spent many Friday nights going to bed at 9:00 p.m. while the sun was still out, getting up at 5 a.m. Sunday mornings to try and beat the summer heat, and heading out for long runs to prep for my marathon. I spent countless hours at physical therapy trying to to tame my body’s reactions to the way I was pushing it. I cried, I laughed, I sweated, I smiled, and I worked harder than I ever have before.

The fateful day came on October 17, 2010 in the heart of San Francisco. I ran the race I had been waiting for, starting line nerves, turned into 10K confidence, to hitting a 16 mile wall. The heavens showered me in rain, and physical my body was telling me enough, but mentally I made us keep going. I  cried, I laughed, I sweated, I smiled, and I worked harder than I ever have before.  And, the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life, was rounding the 26 mile marker, with the finish line in site, and my husband by my side, and I choking on tears as I said to him, “I’m doing this, I’m going to get to tell our kids, I ran a marathon.”

I can do this!

I am a marathon runner!

You Can Run Too

So, I come to you today to tell you, any able bodied person can run marathon.  It’s a physical and mental game, but anyone can.  However, I’m not telling you to run a marathon, I’m asking you to join me this winter, as I coach a train for a 5K or 10K clinic here in the Twin Cities starting January 3. Even if you think the only thing that would get you running is a person wielding a knife, or you think a mile is the most exhausting thing ever, this clinic is for you.  It starts with the basics: how to pick the right shoe, what to eat before and after running, how to avoid injury, etc.

But, most importantly, it’s a group of people ready to support you, no matter what pace you’re at.  I myself run an 11:00-13:00+ minute mile depending on the day and the distance; I’m not claiming to be an expert on running here, but I do claim to have passion to stay healthy and meet my goals, and I’m looking for others with the same gusto.

My headband: I'm not afraid to take a walk break!

If you would like more information on the clinic, please contact Jen at jen@priorfatgirl.com, and she will forward me your information.

Remember, the time to get moving is now!  Don’t wait another day!

Comments

  1. I wish I could train during that time it would be so cool… I hope everyone who trains has so much fun!! 🙂 Great post!

  2. Congratulations on becoming a marathoner! It is addicting, isn’t it!! Congratulations!

  3. I’m a year into running and loved this post! Many congratulations to you and all the best as you help others.

  4. Wonderful post!Great work!

    If I lived in the Twin Cities I would so be meeting up for this clinic. I have been wanting to join a runner’s group for a long time and I like the structure that you are putting together. Have fun!

  5. I would love information on this clinic! I just started to run in October and have hit the 5K mark. Never, ever have I thought I could run, but I’m loving it, and just as you said, it is ADDICTING!

  6. Is there going to be any kind of on-line follow up to this? I’m a very casual runner, usually about a mile or two to get the dogs tired out, but I’d love to learn more about increasing my distance. Unfortunately, I live in Chicago :-/ and don’t have the funds at the moment to get out there.

  7. I would love to be part of this clinic! I got into running for awhile, but hurt my knee, so now I’m slowly starting to run again. 🙂

  8. Hi Alexa,
    great guest post! congrats on your marathon – what an awesome accomplishment! 🙂

    Will your clinic be something that I could follow along with even though I can’t physically attend since I am don’t live around there? Would love some information if thats possible.

  9. What an awesome post!! I am so glad Jen roped you into sharing with us! I completed my first half in October and I took many many walk breaks – in fact, I dont think I will ever run without my walking breaks. I have been struggling to get back in my running groove. I will get there – and I haven’t really admitted this to anyone but I think I want to do a marathon – yikes – did I just type that out loud?!?

    Thank you for an awesome post! Do you blog?

    jeninreallife@yahoo.com

  10. I have never run before, but one of my goals is to run a 5K. I’d love more info on your clinic. My email address is klienke@comcast.net.

    Thank you!

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  1. […] had Celiac Disease. You may remember, Alexa from her previous post back in December called “I am a marathoner!” Alexa will go into details about it but what I found most amazing about Alexa’s […]

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