Alrighty, well here it is. I can’t avoid it any longer. I’m NOT running CIM. “Oh no, what happened?!” is what you’re probably wondering. Nothing, nothing happened. For over a year now, I have been pushing my body to its limits and bottom line, I’m exhausted. After working for years to finally meet my goal of qualifying and getting into the Boston marathon, it left me in this weird space of, “what’s next?” For us runners, it’s always more, more, more! Faster times, new PRs and another race to conquer. For weeks during training I could tell that my runs felt “different.” I didn’t want to give up and feel like a failure because I’ve had hard training cycles before, but this was different. I didn’t want to listen to the voice deep down inside that told me my heart wasn’t in it. Quitting wasn’t an option! Until one day I set out to run 10 miles with my husband biking next to me and he could tell I was struggling. I ran 8 and he said it was time to go home. I was pissed. The schedule said 10, and if it says 10 you HAVE to run 10. He looked at me and said, “if you could tell yourself three years ago you were going to qualify for the Boston Marathon twice, would that be enough?” “Of course,” I responded. “Let it be enough.” I realized after this conversation I was avoiding the truth within myself. My heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t want it that bad and it showed in my runs. Running wasn’t fun for me anymore, and every time I headed out to run mile after mile, a little of my happiness seeped away. I finally decided to stop marathon training and stop running altogether. YES, I stopped running for over a week! And guess what? I survived! I actually didn’t miss it. I would feel like a complete hypocrite if I always preach about, “listening to your body & always RUN HAPPY” yet I wasn’t doing either. My body needed a break and it became very obvious when I didn’t miss going out for runs. Taking a well deserved off season from now until January is just what I need to get ready for the Boston freakin’ Marathon! Don’t get me wrong, eventually I’ll start running again, but when my body feels it’s ready. I will still be joining in on all the CIM festivities and spectating so HARD! So from one runner to another, always take care of yourself first and listen to your gut! Your instincts are there for reason. Races will always be there, but your health and happiness can never be taken for granted.
I wasn’t into sports in high school and even talked my way out of PE because I couldn’t be bothered to exercise. I hated running and avoided it any chance I could get. When I went into to college, I partied my a** off and lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. I drank a lot, ate terrible, and didn’t care about my overall health. It was later in life that I found running, or how I see it running found me.
In 2014 I decided to sign up for my first marathon. With very little training and not a clue of what I was getting myself into, my only goal was to finish. It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever ran. I remember saying to myself, “I will NEVER run a marathon again, why the F did I sign up for this?!” After completing the race, I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride in myself I had never experienced before. In those moments when I was walking and thought there was no way I could finish, something deep down inside me continued to persevere.
The following year I signed up for my second marathon and made it a personal goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I was more determined than ever and wouldn’t give up trying. I ended up getting injured weeks before the race due to poor self-care and changing jobs took away from training. But still, I felt I was going to BQ. On race day, I decided to try a new GU flavor, new long sleeve thermal (because it rained and I freaked out) and last but not least a new ankle wrap. Yup, I was THAT person. During the race I was a sh*t show. Not because of my time, but because I made a lot of mistakes along the way that I could have prevented. Even though I didn’t get my BQ, I never felt defeated. I took it as a lesson learned and decided I wanted to keep trying.
I went on to sign up for two marathons in 2016, still determined to work as hard as possible to earn my spot at Boston. On my third attempt at BQ’ing (Big Sur I ran for fun) I FINALLY qualified!!! I was literally throwing up as I crossed the finish line, and tears of joy fell down my face. Everything I had worked toward at this very moment had come together. After celebrating and enjoying a huge personal improvement, I then realized I most likely needed a bigger time cushion to assure my entry. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I felt crushed. I was burnt out. I didn’t want to run another marathon. After not running for a month, I decided once again to attempt another marathon with an even faster time. This training cycle came with many obstacles along the way. Throughout the years, I faced so much self-doubt, fear and other people trying to bring me down, telling me I wasn’t going to do it. And at times, I thought I wasn’t going to either.
At Mountains 2 Beach marathon, I ran the best race of my life. I felt strong, collected, and knew that nothing would stop me from achieving my dream. As I crossed the finish line, all I could say was, “I did it, I did it, I did!” Every single mile, every bad run, every workout helped me achieve a huge accomplishment. It finally happened. You can never understand the power of self motivation, inner strength and persistent heart until you give something your all. Good things take time, and when it’s meant to be, it will happen. Stay patient and enjoy the ride. It WILL happen, because it happened to me. Above all, NEVER EVER give up. Tomorrow morning at 7 am, I get to register for the 2018 freakin’ Boston Marathon!!!!! Nothing is guaranteed but I know I have given it my all and feel content with where I am. ❤️
Running for Carbs blog just turned one! A year has flown by so quickly and it slipped my mind that I’ve had this blog for an entire year. At the start of 2015 I made it a personal goal to start a running blog and try and post at least once a month. Some months it’s easier and some months it’s harder but with the ongoing love and support it’s kept me motivated to keep writing. With that said, I will be celebrating by fundraising $2,500 for the charity Water For People and running the New York Marathon in November!!! To celebrate Running for Carbs one year anniversary it was only obvious that I would try to achieve a goal I thought would be impossible. That’s the beauty about running, it allows us to reach the impossible and motivate ourselves to reach for new goals.
Team Water For People will be running all of NYC’s 5 boroughs to support Water For People and mirror what millions of people around the world do everyday–walk long distances to collect clean water for their families. Not Everyone runs a marathon, but Water For People believes that everyone should have access to clean water and proper sanitation Forever.
Your donations go directly to Water For People to finance their water and sanitation programs in Africa, India, Central America and South America–programs that grow out of their belief that Everyone should have access to clean water and proper sanitation Forever.
Water For People is an international nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to creating reliable, safe drinking water resources, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in the developing world; it currently operates in 10 countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, India, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia & Peru. The organization’s unique business-oriented approach works to establish partnerships between local and national government institutions, nongovernment organizations, private enterprise, and entrepreneurs to enable local communities, districts, and municipalities to plan, build, finance, maintain, and operate their own safe water and sanitation services. Water For People puts long-lasting solutions and 100% coverage of a region with safe water access for everyone at the forefront of its strategy. It fosters innovative solutions to water and sanitation problems that are adaptable worldwide, and through monitoring and evaluation of its program impact for at least 10 years post-implementation, Water For People ensures that its work is sustained by local partners.
I am asking all of you to please donate $26.2 dollars to help me achieve my $2,500 goal. If you are unable to donate 26.2 please donate whatever amount you are able to afford. Any donation will be helpful I achieving my goal. On top of working full time (40 hours a week), being a student, and training for marathons, I have taken on a second job to help me pay for the expenses of my trip to New York. I truly believe in this cause and will do everything in my power to meet my goal. Thank you for your support!
A few days ago on my lunch break while leaving the post office, I met a man who was sitting on the floor with his belongings. He asked if I had any spare change and I, of course, never carry cash. I was hesitant-unsure if I should offer him food or “politely” ignore his request. I decided I would offer him lunch and walked over to the pizza place a few doors down. As we were walking and talking I learned that his name is Randy and he has been homeless for five months. He’s maybe in his fifties, wearing a worn hooded sweater and jeans. He explained to me that he has a job interview in a month and was hoping it would change his situation. When I asked him why he wasn’t staying at a homeless shelter he said there weren’t very many in the area and sleeps wherever he can. I felt a bit naive to think there were numerous local shelters and that he could just go to one and sleep in a warm bed. In a perfect world that would exist. We ordered him a personal pizza with all the toppings. He was so grateful and appreciative of the meal. He told me he was hungry and God has been looking out for him the past few months because kind people like me were buying him food. He told me he understands why people don’t want to give him money and he’s very happy to accept food.
I got back into my car and as I drove off I had this feeling that there was more that I could do to make a difference in this man’s day. I pulled up next to him and he came to my passenger window. I addressed him by his name and asked him what items I could pick up for him at Target to help him get through the next few days. Words cannot describe the happiness that showed on his face. The first thing he asked for was laundry detergent so he could wash his clothes for his interview. I told him that of course I would get him that and asked him if there was any food in particular that he wanted. He was so excited and said, “Fish sticks or nuggets would be great. There is a man who lets me cook food at his house sometimes but I can’t stay or sleep there because of his family.”
I went into Target and decided to grab a few items every man needs on a daily basis. I picked up a pack of long men’s socks, laundry detergent, a travel size pack filled with a tooth brush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor/shaving cream, q-tips, and body wash. I also bought a first aid kit, a towel, and baby wipes. I headed to the food section and picked up fish sticks, nuggets, bread, ham, cheese, and hot dogs. I spent money on the basic every day essentials.
When I returned his face lit up and he said, “You really hooked me up!” I told him that I didn’t have a lot I could give him but I hope that it would help him out for the next few days. A woman who came out of the post office and witnessed our exchange said, “You are a blessing, a true blessing to this man” to me. With tears in my eyes I told Randy that sometimes people don’t realize how good they have it and situations like this put things into perspective. He said he could tell that I wasn’t doing this for any other reason than me having a kind heart. I told him I would try and find some sweaters my husband was willing to donate and visit him tomorrow. He thanked me over and over.
When I got back into my car I began to cry. I wanted to do more. I knew God had put him in my path today because this morning I prayed for guidance with a personal situation that had been upsetting me and was looking for some relief. It was in this moment I knew God wanted me to meet Randy to show me that everything was going to be okay and it could always be worse. I immediately contacted Joanne, a woman’s group leader at my church (Capital Christian), and asked her to help me find a shelter for Randy. She sent me the information to a shelter in the Elk Grove area that would provide him with dinner, a bed, and breakfast for a few days.
I decided to share this story with all of you not to brag about me helping others because this is something I always try to do. I would like to bring perspective to everyone that helping others is the most simple thing we can do. I don’t expect anyone to have the same religious views as me but to try and be more compassionate and kind towards those in need. We don’t all have to go out and buy $50 worth of things for a homeless person but one small gesture can change someone’s life. Daily stressors with careers and family can sometimes cause us to get angry about the things we don’t have. We should focus on the things we do have and count our blessings because things could always be worse. Don’t get me wrong, life can be really hard but I’ve never stressed about when my next meal would be or whether or not I would have a bed to sleep in. I’ve been blessed with a loving family and it’s our job to not judge others about how they got into that position but try and make a difference in someone else’s life no matter how small or big the gesture is. I challenge anyone that reads this post to do one nice thing for a homeless person. We may not be able to change the world but we can try and make a dent in it.
Thanks for reading everyone! xo