5 people who motivate me! #FridayFive

It’s FRIDAY!!!! A super special Friday at that! 5 years ago today, I was sitting in a tiny little hospital in Weinheim, Germany and my water broke! Tomorrow I’ll have a 5 year old… *sigh* I feel old. what makes me feel young though, is knowing I can keep up with my little boy! ūüôā

Today on the “Friday Five” were talking about who motivates us. ¬†As per the usual, I‚Äôm linking-up with¬†Courtney¬†at¬†Eat Pray Run DC,¬†Cynthia¬†at¬†You Signed Up for What?!, and¬†Mar¬†at¬†Mar on the Run.¬† (The DC Trifecta) ¬†So, lets get motivated!!

1. ¬†My son.¬†He’s my constant motivator, always pushing me forward. ¬†He’ll watch me work out and when I start to slack off he says “You’re getting stronger!” or “You’re almost done!” ¬†I don’t know if he realizes what he’s doing, but it’s very effective. ¬†I know he’s watching, and at this point in his life, he’s like a sponge. He emulates. So, even when he watches quietly, or when he’s waiting at the finish line of one of my races, I know it’s important to finish strong.

2. My Father.¬†In the past year, my father has become my race partner. ¬†He motivates me to be stronger, and to run faster. ¬† Running beside my Dad is one of the things I enjoy most about racing. ¬†Again, he probably doesn’t know he’s doing anything, just having him run with me is a HUGE motivator! ¬†Also, he consistently emails me about upcoming races and events, always keeping me on my toes ready to jump into any distance at any time.

3. Oiselle Vol√©e.¬†Running with this team of REMARKABLE women is amazing. ¬†I’m not fast, so when I see my teammates pulling in Sub 18 5ks, I can’t help but feel a need to push myself. ¬†Head up, wings out!

4. Emily. My¬†I Run 4¬†buddy is always in the back of my mind when I’m running. ¬†Emily and I are coming up on our one year Match-aversary and since we got matched, shes¬†been with me through every run! When things get difficult I think to myself, “I need to do this, this is for Emily.” ¬†I get the privilege of meeting Emily in a few weeks and I cannot wait!!

5. My BRF.¬†I’ve made countless friends through running. ¬†I’ve even had the chance to meet some of them at races! Seeing my “best running friends” is another kick in the ass to keep going!

Who motivates you? What/When is your next race? 

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10 things I learned running my first #marathon! @baltrunfest #np_bal #runbaltimore #runchat #oiselleflock #poweredbybits #sweatpink

marathon change your life

On October 18th 2014, I did what only 1% of the population can say they’ve done. ¬†I ran a frickin marathon. ¬†26.2 miles, 42.16 kilometers,¬†138336 feet… a LONG ass distance. ¬†It was by far the most rewarding and most difficult thing I’ve ever done. ¬†It also taught me A LOT… so, lets dive right in…

1.¬† The right shoes are CRUCIAL. ¬†It’s two weeks after, and I’m still suffering from the dreaded black toe (times 4) because I didn’t wear the right shoes… ¬†Go to your local running store, mine is Charm City Run, trust them… they’re called experts for a reason, and don’t be afraid to fork out a little bit of extra dough. ¬†(if money is tight, which I get, trust me… find the shoes you want and get last years off the internet.) ¬†But don’t, I repeat, DO NOT run in shoes that aren’t the correct size, or the correct fit for your foot… ESPECIALLY FOR 26.2 MILES!!! (smacks forehead – *sigh*)

2. ¬†Hydrate or die!¬† Well… not die (maybe), but be VERY unhappy. ¬†There were 10+ water stops on the Baltimore Marathon course. ¬†I stopped at EVERY SINGLE ONE… even if I didn’t need it. ¬†I filled up my water belt…. ya know why? ¬†I’m not going to be that ass hole who passes out of dehydration and causes a massive pile up on the course, no sir I’m not! ¬†I also work in medicine, I know how the body works. ¬†Dehydration is NO JOKE people. ¬†Yes, I had to stop to pee… whatever! Better then the alternative!!

3. ¬†Goals are great, but don’t kill yourself if you don’t meet them.¬† I had three goals going in to this thing. ¬†I was VERY under prepared. ¬†I have soft tissue damage in my left knee and shin splints like a mother… So, my training has been lacking. ¬†I get that. ¬†I owned it to anyone who asked. ¬†My longest run was a 20-23 mile (my phone died, so I don’t know the exact milage) training run a month before the marathon, on the HOTTEST day of the year. I know I could complete the course, however, I had NO CLUE how long it would take me due to injury. ¬†So… I set three goals. 1) under 6 hours 2) Pain free 3) JUST CROSS THE LINE.¬† I met ONE… only one of my goals. ¬†I crossed that line. ¬†I crossed the Baltimore Marathon finish line at 6:07:41. ¬†And I knew at mile 22 my toes were shot… So, the pain thing was out the window way before I finished. ¬†However, thanks to my trusty KT Tape, my knees and shins held up BEAUTIFULLY!!

4. ¬†WORK THE CROWD!!¬† Especially if you’re not a speed demon… much like me. ¬†When you’re near the end, you KNOW the spectators are getting bored or dancing, singing, whatever they’re doing… so dance with them!! ¬†It made me smile, and sure a shit made the older gentleman I danced with laugh! ūüôā

5. ¬†Keep smiling, even when you want to cry.¬† I (stupidly) signed up to get text alerts for my OWN time so see how I was doing… sounds like a good idea right?? Yea, no. ¬†The first few alerts cam through and I felt like I was flying!! (est finish time 5:30:41 – oh fuck yea!!!) next one… (est finish time 5:42:27… ok, ok.. I can still do this…) last one… (est finish time 6:02:59… fuck, I’ve blown it). ¬†I had a little over 2 miles¬†to go and I was broken… I wasn’t going to¬†make the 6:00:00 mark… I was in AGONY… and I was almost alone… (almost). ¬†The tears started streaming down my face and I looked at my hand… I had written two names (for this reason exactly) “Alex” and “Emily”. Alex (as you probably already know) is my beyond perfect son. ¬†Just seeing his name made my entire face light up. ¬†Emily, is an amazing young lady who I (the week) before was given the privilege of running for!! These two names were what I needed to smile. ¬†So even though you don’t know it Als and Emily, you guys made me smile, when all I wanted to do was cry! ‚̧

6. ¬†Having friends on the course is REMARKABLE!!!¬† One of my best friends “followed” me (its way less creepy then it sounds) and met up with my at 3 stops on the course. To see a familiar face in a vast see of unknowns was WONDERFUL! ¬†Also, my November Project Tribe was in charge of one of the water stations (mile 16). Seeing them was like a breath of fresh air!!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!! “Can i get a fuck yea?!” ūüôā

7. ¬†Bribe yourself.¬† When I didn’t think I could take it anymore.. which was around mile 22… “Stace, 4 more miles until food… 4 more miles until family, 4 MORE MILES UNTIL YOU CAN GET THESE STUPID *profanity* SHOES OFF!!!!!!” ¬†Sounds silly, but it worked… at least for a little while. lol.

8. ¬†Remember, you’re not the only runner on the course. ¬†There was a woman at mile 19 who was struggling… I stopped and walked beside her. ¬†I asked her if I could help her. ¬†She was having the beginning of an asthma attack and NO ONE ELSE HAD STOPPED… I immediately (after her direction) grabbed her inhaler out of her Camelbak and waited for her to use it… We walked for 5 minutes until her breathing was under control. ¬†Both of us saw the BITCH of a hill that was in front of us and I wasn’t about to leave her until she assured me (twice) that she was ok. ¬†She was more than thankful before I left, and thanked me again when she caught up to me around mile 23. ¬†I… can’t believe no one else stopped to help her. ¬†I’m going to blame it on ignorance… them not knowing what she was going through, because I can’t let myself believe that other runners, people like her, like me… would WATCH someone suffer like that and run on.
9. ¬†People will doubt you, prove them wrong. ¬†There are haters everywhere, some will let you know, some will just put small doubts in your mind and make you second guess yourself… DON’T. My mother… told me I couldn’t do it. ¬†Told me I’d end up in the hospital. ¬†That I wasn’t ready… that my body would fail. ¬†It didn’t, I did it. ¬†All 26.2 miles… I’m here, writing this post, (not from a hospital bed mind you), stronger physically and mentally then I EVER have been. ¬†Make the doubt work for you, not against you… when I felt myself getting weak, I said “you can do this… you have to do this. ¬†Don’t let those people be right… you’re a marathoner.” ¬†And ya know what… I AM!!!
10. ¬†You’re going to cry when you cross the finish line, it’s ok!! ¬†Luckily for me, BRF had it so that family and friends were SO FAR away no one saw my crying like an ass hole when I crossed. lol. ¬†I think some of the race pictures depict it, but not terribly. ¬†The sense of accomplishment is something no one can ever take away from you… EVER. No, I didn’t meet my goal, but DAMMIT I FINISHED!!! ¬†I DID IT!!!
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Will I run another Marathon?? ¬†Oh hell yes… ūüėČ ¬†Have you ever run one? ¬†Tell me about it.