Tuesday, November 8, 2011

thirteen (POINT ONE)

This weekend I did something I never, ever thought I would do. Had you asked me 6 months ago, I would have laughed at you and then resumed eating my little debbie cake. I had not run more than 3 miles since I was in high school and that was a one time 10 k on prom morning with Jamie Jue. But my best friend dangled lovely accomodations in my face and that last little bit of baby belly begged me to remove it from my body. So, I began training.

Y'all, for me, this process was hard. My first re-introduction to the treadmill yielded barely 2 miles and a child who screamed in the daycare room the whole time. I was not encouraged. But pretty soon I was cussing my way through four miles, and then sending Fr. Tim and my dad pictures of the treadmill showing 7.0 miles. And then my husband worked out of town for basically a month. Training came to a screeching halt.
Discouraged and back to square one, I finally accepted an invitation to run with some moms from mops. They met 100 yards from my house and I was hooked from my first run with them. The next time I find myself out of shape (because, let's be real, this girl loves some swiss cake rolls), I want to look back and see the lessons learned and see what worked. So, in no particular order- what motivated me from couch to half marathon.
  • getting outside (yes Ross, I am forever sold on running outside. YOU. WERE.RIGHT.) Finding a beautiful place to run (along the Chattahoochee river) in the gorgeous Atlanta fall made it less tortuous in those beginning weeks.
  • as I said, finding a group. Listening to these ladies (and eventually talking with them when I got in enough shape) talk about faith, family, races, dreams made those runs fly by.
  • accountability. An email goes out the night before, you commit. Knowing myself, I purposely never got anyone's cell numbers so I wasn't even tempted to text a lame excuse when I wanted to sleep in. I knew they were there and I knew to be on time (those girls start running at 6 sharp and Lord knows I didn't have the ability to catch up with them!)
  • prayer. I could write a whole post on this but this really was a spiritual experience for me. At night I prayed for endurance, perserverance, physical strength. And during the runs, I prayed not to throw up. He answered, every time. On race day, the prayers of friends truly propelled me forward. My friend Molly (a running coach in Athens) sent me this scripture "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to stand on the heights."
  • Encouragement from others. From my husband's compliments on my physique and willingness to do morning baby duty, to support emails from my favorite Padre, to advice from friends who are "runners" to friends just asking how training is going to facebook messages on race day, I truly felt supported by so many people. I have been tempted to downplay this accomplishment (my best friend ran her 4th full that same day!!) but the reality is, it's a big danged deal. 13 is nothing to scoff at.
  • thinking about the big picture. When Ross and I were first dating, he would take me to the river and I could not run the entire 5k loop. I couldn't run half of it. And now, to run alongside my husband and baby and dog, it makes me so happy. That is what I want for my family. I want Saturday morning runs. I want to run alongside a blonde haired fire-cracker on her bicycle one day. I want that blonde haired fire-cracker to see her mama get up early to take care of herself, to value her health (and sanity). Maybe one day we'll run alongside each other, enjoying nature and fitness (and a celebratory donut) together.
  • setting a goal. I am not so much a goal setter. Don't get me wrong, I've set a few in my life. But I am not self-motivated. I don't compete with myself. If you tell me I need to give 70% of myself to something, I'll happily give 70% and use the last 30% of my effort on catching up on the dvr. That may be changing. It felt great to set a big, seemingly unattainable goal, and cross that finish line with as much happiness as I can remember (even if the firecracker was asleep on her daddy's shoulder instead of waving at mama!)
  • faith. During each run, I was acutely aware that I was not running alone. I truly, truly felt God with me. I spent time during solo runs saying a rosary- admittedly as much to make the time go by as to make good use of my time sans baby. Praying through cramps and hurting knees seemed to really alleviate pain, or at least distract me from it.
I know I am bordering on melodramatic here but the more I wanted to down play this success, the more I thought back to the beginning. I looked at blogs written during those first runs and I realize that I did something I never thought I would. It's not a full marathon and it's certainly not world peace, but it's a girl trusting that God gave her a healthy body fully capable of meeting a big goal. It  was 13 (and as a I realized rounding that last corner, an excruciating last POINT ONE) miles. I am proud of this achy body and the girl who all too often tells herself " I can't."

I can't believe I'm posting this photo of my bff and I at 6:30 am on a FREEZING Savannah morning, but it is actually more flattering than the after pictures ! Thanks Katrina for motivating me to sign up and giving us a great weekend!



  1. I am SO happy for you girl. I am so PROUD of you, girl. ANd i am very very jealous as a former runner who can no longer run with bad knees I loved reading your progress these last months and reliving how it felt to "get it out on the pavement!" Congrats! Enjoy feeling like a champ...you are!

  2. Very proud of your Kerilyn! Way to persevere! Great job!!! FT

  3. You SHOULD be proud...you were awesome! It isn't easy - it takes determination, sweat and (let's be honest) tears...and you did it. With a smile on your face. AND you were wearing heels the next day. I am so happy we got to spend the weekend with you - congrats :)