February 11, 2013

I believe in me

Exactly one year ago, I did the unthinkable.  I contemplated signing up to run the Princess Half Marathon exactly 15 days before the race.  I hadn't run in a long time, but I was in great shape from doing lots of Zumba, cardio and strength training.  You could say I was a gym rat.  The next day (14 days before the race), I went to the gym to see what I could do.  I pounded out 10 miles on the treadmill doing 1 mile run/0.5 mile walk in about 2 hours.  I went home, pulled out my credit card and hit 'register'.
Told ya!
A year earlier, I envisioned a happy, triumphant first half marathon at the 2011 Princess.  It was quite the opposite.  A simple mistake of taking an Aleve the day before the race and warm temperatures left me delusional at the finish line (no joke) and being wheeled into the medical tent as I was slurring my words.  I was admitted with a temperature of 103.9, a blood pressure of 79/56 and a pulse of 139.  (I still have my Florida Celebration Hospital paperwork.)  I vividly remember being very scared and wondering why this was happening to me.  I hydrated, I was well-trained and I didn't deserve this...apparently that simple pill had a lot to do with the fact that my body wasn't managing its sodium level appropriately.  An hour later, I was released with normal vitals, extraordinarily stiff legs and a very bruised ego. 

The road to the 2011 Princess Half Marathon was very tough for me.  I was going through some major personal challenges that were affecting my psyche and self-confidence.  I was also vying for a big promotion at work.  I was fraying at every seam.  Some days I struggled to get up in the morning and get on with life.  It's a good thing I have a dog that needs feeding, walking, and a place to use the bathroom outside...I'm not sure I would have gotten out of bed otherwise.  The events in my personal life that led up to the 2011 race shook me to my core.  I wasn't sure who I was or what I stood for.  But despite it all, the race training was a bit of stability as I was otherwise free falling through my life.

After my miserable race experience, I emphatically declared that I was "one and done", as if to erase the physical trauma of the race itself and my personal challenges that enveloped my training leading up to that morning.  I had checked the box.  I was done.  Running was dead to me and was just another manefestation of that crummy time in my life.

A year later, I was running the race for fun and for redemption.  I didn't tell many people (other than my 300+ random FB friends...ha!) and anyone that I did tell thought I was a little nuts.  Some of my friends were vocally concerned after my health issues the year before.  My best friend asked me at least 3 times if I was sure it was a good idea.  And I know that a few of my friends suspected this was all about revenge and they weren't far from the truth.  The night before the race, I told my Mom that my number one goal was health and number two was fun, while I secretly envisioned a PR...who was I, crazy?!

As I crossed the finish line, I got my revenge.  Revenge on that stupid Aleve.  Revenge on my crappy 2010-2012.  Revenge on my disappointment.  Revenge on my negative self-talk.  Revenge on all of the doubts I had about myself as a runner...and as a person.

The 2012 Princess Half Marathon brought me back to life.  It saved my soul.  It gave me confidence.  It helped me be "me" again.  I believe with all my heart that the fact that runDisney races are so awesome brought me back for my redemption race.  I believe in me.  And I haven't looked back since.

{Christine}

12 comments:

  1. Way to go Christine! Pushing through all the physical and personal issues has certainly made you a stronger person. That is a great picture of you-looking healthy and happy!

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    1. Thanks Monica! I do love that race photo - it's a good reminder that a half marathon doesn't have to be awful!

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  2. Isn't it amazing what running can do for us? I actually credit running with pushing me to make the decision to leave a job I didn't love to go back to school for a completely new career...who'd of thought!

    Congratulations on you're redemption race! I'm sure running Princess this year will be amazing...a sort of anniversary!

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    1. Thanks Danielle! I love that. The clarity of thought can be astounding I find.

      Yes, Princess will always hold a special place in my heart. :)

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  3. Just LOVED reading this post today....
    I have this little sign that hangs in our home.....Never...Never...give up~ You totally reminded me of that little sign.
    I had read through the blog and saw that scary race your talking about. Pam was so worried about you....then to look on further blog post and see your both crossing the finish....Hand n Hand....and seeing the look on Pam's face not for herself...but THRILLED for you Christine!
    I just love ya both and thank you for this Blog and inspiration~
    ((Hugs))

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  4. Loved that you pushed through and discovered your love for running!

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    1. Thanks Lisa, me too! It's been a fabulous addition to my life, especially meeting awesome people like you! :)

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  5. Get it girl. I was among those worried for ya after your first experience. I'm so proud of you for trying again and conquering it!

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    1. Thanks, friend. You are the sweetest and such a fabulous supporter. Miss you!

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  6. I really love this post.. very inspiring! :)

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  7. LOVE this post! I am so happy that running helped you become "you" again because you are wonderful!
    I feel the same way about last years 2013 PHM. I am thankful everyday for running because it pulled me out of a dark place and into the sunshine.
    A very inspiring post, thanks for sharing! xo
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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