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The race is in FIVE DAYS!!!

I am so excited and so nervous at the same time.   We have trained well, although the last four weeks have been rough with me being so sick.  We have done several ten mile long runs as our training plan suggested.  I have a big checklist and am starting to pack.

My goal is simply to finish the race, then when we do the Wine and Dine in October, we will look to shave time off of our finish.

This Half Marathon is gong to be the realization of a dream for me, especially considering that two years ago, I wouldn’t have even dreamed of doing a 5k race, much less a 13.1 mile race.

Running has become another bond for my husband and I.  Sometimes life is so busy the the best time for us to really talk is while running. 

Wish my luck and say a prayer!  In 103 hours, it all begins!!!  I hope this will be as amazing an experience as I think it will be!

Will I really be a half-marathon finisher in 107 hours???  YES I WILL BE!!

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Must give some props where they are due……

So I have NEVER done two blogs in one day.  With my crazy life and schedule, I am lucky to get one a week done!  However, as I was soaking in the amazing hot bath complete with muscle soak salts and candles around my garden tub, courtesy of my amazing husband, I thought I needed to mention a few things.

We BOTH ran 9 miles tonight.  Yet after dinner, he went to the bathroom and set up this amazing super hot bath for me and thought nothing of doing something to ease his own pain.  He had already told me his hip was bothering him.  He is the most caring and thoughtful man I have ever known.

So after the awesome hot bath, which really helped my muscles, he comes and sits down next to me on the sofa with a bottle of lotion and a towel in his hands and tells me to prop my feet up because he is going to give me a foot rub.

I felt so guilty and told him I knew he was tired and sore and did not need to do this, but he insisted.  How many men would do this?  Not too many I would guess.

I could never do this half marathon training without Ben and his incredible support.  I was feeling so bad tonight, and yet he found a way to motivate me to fight through the leg cramps and sciatic nerve issues and plug away and before I knew it, we were at mile 8 and I knew I could go one more. 

Before we do a long run, we pray together and ask God for the stamina to finish and to finish injury free.  God always answers those prayers. I love having a partner who knows God gets all the glory for our accomplishments.

I am not a morning person at all.  Ben really is, and he is so patient with me.  When we have a run planned in the mornings, he gets up, gets his running clothes on and makes coffee.  It is so hard for me to get out of bed at five or five-thirty a.m., but he sweetly motivates me to do it anyway and once we get dressed and get out the door, I feel great.

Many husbands would roll over and decide not to fight the morning monster and just go back to sleep.  Mine has the patience to get me motivated.

when we run, Ben always stays with me.  if he ran his own pace, he could run so much faster and post WAY better times.  I always tell him I don’t mind if he wants to run his own race at his own pace, but he always runs by my side. Actually, if we are at the park and it is crowded, we run single file and he makes me take the lead and set the pace and he follows.

Ben is so selfless.  to him, it is more important that we do this together than to finish in the top of his age division.  For the last two 5k’s we did, he insisted we cross the finish line holding hands.  Sure some may say it is cheesy, but he is my soul mate and I waited 35 years for God to send him my way and so I will be cheesy with him all day long. I feel so proud to cross the line holding his hand and I know we will cross the finish line in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon the exact same way.

One day, I really do want Ben to run a race at his own pace and see how awesome he does.  I feel like I hold him back, but he does not see it that way.  He sees running as one more thing we can do together and we really enjoy running that way.

I am so blessed to have someone like Ben to enjoy this sport with and to push me to be my best every time, even when I am tired and do not feel like I can do it or go another step.  I just want the world to know how much I love and appreciate Ben and all he does and sacrifices for me and to make me more successful.

I couldn’t imagine going the distance without him!

I love you baby!

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Did I REALLY just go NINE MILES???

Tonight was such a huge milestone in our half marathon training.  Once we did 7 miles, I felt pretty good.  Then after 8, I felt even better, but told myself the big test would be 9.  I knew if we could conquer nine miles, then making it four more would be a breeze! 

Today at work,  was so nervous, knowing I was attempting this long run tonight.  The main reason I was nervous, was that I have been having really big problems with my sciatic nerve.  There are some days when it is my left leg from hip to heel, and some when it is the right.  This can be so painful, but usually stretching and walking and moving around helps.

For the last two nights though, I have not slept well because the sciatic pain has made my right calf and foot ache and go numb during the night.  It has really been bothering me and I suppose it is time to go see my doctor. 

I was really afraid I would not make the nine miles tonight.  But I had my support man with me and we set off!  I am noticing since we are running longer distances that the first mile or two is always hell.  It feels like every muscle in my body hurts.  When we first started running, I would think after a half mile or so “ok I am spent”, and I would make it maybe a mile.

Now I fight through the first few miles and by mile three I usually feel awesome.  Tonight was no different until we hit mile five.  That was when my left leg decided to go numb.  The pain in my left hip and thigh was so bd, but I was determined to fight through and while I had to take a few walk breaks, once I made it to mile seven, I figured I could do this!

Ben was feeling wonderful and he was keeping me motivated.  The numbness ended up being a good thing because at one point, the hip and thigh that were hurting so bad just got to the point where I couldn’t feel them!

I am not going to pretend that mile eight wasn’t a killer, because it was, but bottom line WE DID IT!  I rode home thanking God for the stamina to go nine miles and feeling even more confident that we WILL FINISH the Walt Disney World Half Marathon!!!

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The thrill of victory!!!!

Today was a huge personal victory for me.  Ben, Reed, and I ran in the BayFest 5k downtown this morning.  In the last two 5k’s we have done, I have always had to walk part of the race.  Today, my goal was to run the entire thing without walking and we did it!

I decided to worry about no one but myself and Ben in this race.  At the beginning, we started pretty close to the back.  Reed immediately took off and was gone.  He finished the race almost 8 minutes faster than his last 5k time and came in 8th place in the 10-14 age group.  We were so proud of him!

We had a great pace going and after the first mile, I felt like we really hit a groove.  We were not flying, but we were not walking either.  It was at mile 1 marker that we started to pass a few people.  A lot of the folks who took off flying were running out of gas and now walking. 

Ben was amazing and when I started to feel a little tired about mile 2, he was there to encourage me and push me along and tell me I COULD run this whole race.

turning that last corner going towards the finish line felt so good and Ben looked over at me and told me we were going to cross that line together holding hands.  He is so amazing.  Ben could clearly have times that were so much better, but every time he runs a 5k with me, he insists on staying with me and on us running together. 

We started this journey together, and love running the races together.  I just feel guilty sometimes and feel like I hold Ben back.  He gets very upset when I talk like that though.

I realize that I did not come in the top ten, or even top 100 in this race, but in my mind i was so victorious.  I ran 3.1 miles without walking and it felt so incredible.  No more am I the fatty sitting ont he sidelines watching other people be active and healthy.  Now, I am one of them and I thank God every day for the blessing of good health and renewed energy that He has given to me.

It may seem silly to some, but I feel like I won a gold medal in the Olympics today!!!!

Now, I am ready for a 6 mile race!  and then, January 8th, the half marathon is MINE!!!!

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Back in the groove!

I feel like I am finally back into my groove after so many weeks away from running.  I had my first great run in weeks on Saturday in my favorite place!  Ben and I discovered a great 1 mile course around our favorite resort in Disney, Boardwalk Villas.

If you leave the Boardwalk and run past Yacht Club and Beach Club and around the Intl. Gateway entrance to EPCOT, it is exactly one mile!  It felt great to run in the very place where we will compete in our first ever Half Marathon in a few months.  The photo above was my view during our sunrise run in Disney.  It was so pretty and peaceful.

That run really got me excited and since then, we have run a 4 -miler and a 5- miler this week.  I feel like I am doing so much better.  I am still having some nutritional issues that I will need to work out as well as hydration issues.

The problem is, my body is just not the same as most runners or athletes.  There is really no training program geared to my body type and my physical needs.  I intend to change that.  I get so upset at the stigma that goes along with being a bariatric patient.  SO MANY of the running websites don’t take someone like me seriously and it bothers me. I think there is a theory that only lazy people have weightloss surgery ad that is just not the case.  For some it is the only smart choice after killing their metabolism with crazy diet after crazy diet.  It was the best thing I ever did for my health and gave me the boost to start seriously working out!

Yes my body is very different and yes my dietary and other physical needs are very different, BUT,  if I work hard and keep at it, I can finish a half marathon just like the sleek, slender, muscular runners. 

To my other WLS peeps, yes we have to wear some different things from the rest of the crowd to keep all of our skin tucked away, (for those of us who have not had skin removal surgery yet), and yes we have to tweak drinking and eating plans to fit our bodies, but YES YOU CAN BECOME AN ATHLETE after bariatric surgery! 

My new theory is to embrace my uniqueness instead of trying to over compensate for my differences.  I really am learning new things every day.  My next goal is to figure out this hydration issue.  I cannot drink too much water or I am running to the restroom literally every mile.  I am going to have to figure out how much to sip so that my body gets what it needs, but it doesn’t just RUN through me. 

Will post more about that as I learn. 

Next up- Ben and Reed and I are running in the BayFest 5k Saturday morning and I am hoping to beat my time from the last race in Pensacola!

Wish me luck!!!!


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Toenail mystery solved! I am now a SERIOUS RUNNER!

A few weeks ago, I was getting a pedicure with one of my best friends, Stacey.  As the technician removed the polish from my toes, I noticed that the second toe on my left foot was PURPLE.  I was so shocked.  Very rarely have I had an injury to one of my toes so bad that it left my toenail purple.  I kept telling Stacey that if I had smashed my toe hard enough to make it go purple, I would have had some major pain and I would remember that.

It really did have me baffled.  A few days later the nail came off.  It was pretty gross actually.  I have never lost a nail before so this was a new experience for me.  It didn’t hurt at all, it just looked icky. 

I had decided that apparently I had a much higher threshold for pain than I previously thought and went on about my normal life.  Then, Sunday, on the way to my dad’s in Mississippi, I was reading my first issue of Runner’s World.  I came across this article about the “Black badge of honor”.  The article talked about how at some point, all serious runners experience one or more of their toenails turning black.  It said in many cases there is no pain and the nail will fall off and eventually grow back, but in some cases, there is a pooling of blood under the nail that can cause pain and sometmes even require medical attention.

Apparently it has something to do with the toe rubbing against the shoe and blood vessels popping.  I wasn’t too concerned about all of the details.  I kept focusing on the fact that it said this happened to “SERIOUS RUNNERS”.

WOW!  So this means I am a serious runner now right?  I couldn’t wait to tell Ben about this!  I explained it all to him as he was driving.  Yeah, I think he was jealous….but I told him not be sad because one day, if he kept training very hard, he might be a serious runner too and when he was, he would get to have a purple toenail like me!

The nail is starting to grow back, and so far the rest are all staying pink, but if another one bites the dust, that will be fine with me, because it will only mean I am truly a real bona-fide runner!

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