13.1 Miles…one step at a time

 

 

 

I did it! I ran my first half marathon…on Sunday February 5th, I conquered my biggest #OPEleanor challenge. It was one of the most AMAZING days of my life.

Training for this event was both exhausting and exhilarating. I never knew what my body was really capable of and training for this taught me so much about myself.  The training was pretty basic…every week we had to do a one day of cross training and two days of either running or walking. On Saturday, we would get together as a group and do the “long runs” on the trail. Each week they increased the mileage till we hit the 13 mile mark. The people were so supportive and encouraging–on the days when I was down, there was always some one to encourage me and give me the boost I needed to keep going.

The first few weeks, I dreaded getting up at 7:00 AM and hitting the trail. It was cold and windy and damn it I was tired! I get up everyday at 5:30 and don’t get to bed till about 12:30 or 1 on any given day.  I usually have at least one or two papers due each week plus a presentation and lots of reading. Not to mention my full time job and raising my daughter–you know those minor details! Sleep is a huge luxury for me and it took a while to convince myself that losing sleep on Saturday mornings was actually a good thing.

3 weeks into the program, I did my first 5k! It was a huge milestone for me and really a huge turning point for me. Seeing that I was capable of doing that really motivated me to keep going. Week after week, I kept at it. There were so many days when I was going through some major issues and it was those days when I realized how much I needed to keep running. I can’t even describe how liberating it was to be out there and not have to do anything other than put one foot in front of the other.

I know I sound really sappy and corny, but this challenge really changed my life.  Aside from the obvious sense of accomplishment (hey I ran a half marathon!), it gave me back some of the self confidence I had lost in the last 10 years of my life.  I still have a lot of work to do on myself but for now? I’m just thrilled that I can add “completed a half marathon” to my list of accomplishments.

I’m a Runner Now…

On Sunday morning, I will wake up, put on my running gear, lace up my shoes, pin my number on my shirt and for the first time in my life—I will be a runner. By the time I cross the finish line, I will have completed my first half marathon. To say that I am proud is putting it lightly. I am beyond SUPER proud.  I have never been much of an athlete. If I am being really honest, I will admit that for years I have been downright lazy. I have flat feet, bad knees, a back injury—all sorts of reasons that kept me away from exercise for as long as I can remember.

 

So what changed that? Well, a little bit of vanity, a little bit of bribery and a big push from Megan (https://twitter.com/#!/undomesticdiva) . Last year she challenged all her readers to join her on Operation Eleanor-a 30 day challenge to do one thing every day that scared you. I didn’t do 30 things but I did take the challenge and while most of the things I did are private, the running was the most demanding.  When I first started this challenge, I was in the middle of a deep depressive episode. With my therapist clear across the country, I had to figure out a way to work through this on my own.

 

I joined a training group and embarked on my journey to train for my first half marathon.  The first few sessions were really hard, I felt so out of sorts and damn it if I could barely keep up.  It took a ton of sweat and sometimes-even tears but with each passing week, I gained more confidence and slowly I changed the way I saw myself.  I can’t say that I am 100% better today but I can say that the worst is behind and for that I am so grateful.

 

So today, I want to dedicate my run to two people who in their own ways have kept me motivated and challenged the last several months. First of all Megan—thank you for challenging us to get out there the kick our fears in the ass. I have had the pleasure of meeting her and she is as kick ass awesome as they come. I also want to thank Single Ma (http://fitandfabforlife.wordpress.com/) for reminding me to be grateful for the ability to run. I have followed her blog for years now and have learned so much from her.  Her fitness journey has inspired me and kept me motivated.  Both of these amazing ladies have made helped me become the runner I am today. Thank you ladies!

 

I hope you all send me good vibes Sunday morning, I know I will be thinking of all great people in my life every step of the way—all 13.1 miles!

#OpEleanor

When Megan over at http://www.undomesticdiva.com threw out the idea for a 30 day challenge, I knew  I wanted to jump in.  I thought about a million different things I wanted to do but something inside me knew I was avoiding my real challenge…taking care of me. I am good at taking care of others but when it comes to me, I am blind as a bat. If it is something physical, I usually misdiagnose and over medicate (note to self: blog about horrible overdose experience soon!) if it is emotional, I tend to try and “get over it” or shove it to the back of my head. The part of me I have neglected the most is my spirituality. I am not big on organized religion but I do believe in God although I couldn’t tell you what shape or form he/she takes ( in my mind God is played by Morgan Freeman, but thats another story..lol).

During these next 30 days I am going to challenge myself to take care of me, to give my mind ,body and soul a little TLC (and a bit of an ass kicking!). There are some challenges that are deeply personal and will be kept in my journal only however I will blog about the rest and share the results with you here.

First step…I signed up for a beginners running group. Starting this Saturday, I will be training with a group for a half marathon in February. This is a HUGE deal for me–I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. It is something I have always wanted to do but have been scared to since I suck at running. I am flat footed and running has never been easy for me. I know this is going to challenge my body a lot but I know that with effort and practice I can conquer this challenge. I want to run for a couple reasons–first because I want to lose weight. I know that is a little vain on my part but it’s the truth. I also want to run to clear my mind. My mind is always going a million miles a minute and I want something to help change that. My aunt is also joining this group although we won’t be together because she is a really experienced runner. I am happy she will be close by though and am grateful for her support.

Good luck to all the #OpEleanor participants…I can’t wait to share this month with you!

The 30 Day Challenge

As if I don’t have enough to do, I am now embarking on a 30 day challenge! You can read more about it here undomesticdiva.com

Basically I have to make a list of 30 things that scare me and do one thing each day in the month of November. I’m not sure what my list will look like but I’m sure it will include things like running a mile (without my usual walk breaks), getting back into a bikram yoga class, going a day without caffeine, a day without sugar, etc…

They may seem like little things but they are things that are scary for me .

 

I’ll post my full list and the results as I go through the challenge. Anyone have any ideas on things for my list?

 

 

Current Events

As you can see by my scarce posts, I have been unable to sit and write a decent post in weeks. I am knee-deep in homework, papers,and  PowerPoint presentations. I am super proud that despite my hectic schedule and my never-ending list of things to do, I am still holding down a 3.5 GPA!  I am so grateful for the opportunity to finish my degree. Going back to school restored my self-confidence in so many ways and brought some wonderful people in to my life. My friends J and B have been lifesavers and the most amazing support system anyone could ever hope for. Through their friendship, I have been able to be myself and not hold back or hide who I really am. The gift of their friendship is one I  will treasure for the rest of my life. When I walk at graduation my two gifts to myself will be my degree and my friendship with them. If I get nothing else from this experience, I will have those two things and they make all this work so very worth it.

Belle is keeping me busy as usual. She is growing up so fast, I feel like I’m on a very fast roller coaster with no end in sight! She is currently getting ready for her dance recital which means I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Her schedule is insane–she is performing in 7 dances (ballet, hip hop, tap and jazz) which translates to being in the studio 5 days a week for 1-2 hours each day plus 4 hours on Saturdays. Her dedication and passion for dance leave in awe. Aside from motherhood, I have never been that dedicated to anything in my life. Her show is not till November so we have quite a bit of time with this crazy schedule.

 

There are a couple of things on my mind that I want to blog about and I am hoping to get to them in the coming week. Till then, wish me luck on my presentation this week!

Another First & Last

Today I woke up at 5:30 am and jumped in the shower so the tears could flow unnoticed. I pulled myself together and woke Belle up to get her ready for her first day of 5th grade.

As the mom of an only child, every event is what I call a “First & Last”. It is the first and last time you will experience said event and the feeling is nothing if not bittersweet.

I am so proud of  my daughter. She is a kind, loving, talented and super funny kid. I always marvel at how I got so lucky.  We have our moments–what mother and daughter don’t right? She is stubborn, determined, and incredibly strong willed. I, in turn am impatient, a bit demanding (when it comes to grades, manners, etc) and at times a bit crazy. We clash about the usual stuff: clothes, school work, etc but mostly we have a lot of fun together.

When I feel weak, she is my strength and when I feel dark she is the light that pulls me through (cheesy I know–but oh so true!).

I have always been super sentimental but lately all these “first & lasts” have been really getting to me. I guess the reality of not having anymore kids is finally hitting me. I never thought I would admit this but I am actually a bit sad about that. I have made peace with that fact in my own way but some days, like today, I really wish there were no “first & last” just yet.

Getaway…

This past weekend, I took a much needed getaway to one of my favorite cities in the world: San Diego!

I cant even begin to explain how badly I needed a mental break from my life. There is so much going on and sadly no end in sight. School is moving along nicely although it is of course a huge time/effort challenge. Work is not so great but I understand that I have to stay put while I finish school. And family life? Well that is always a dozy around here!

Instead of boring you with a recap, I will leave you with my favorite picture of the trip: The historic Hotel de Coronado

What to do?!?!

I have a million pressing issues in my life right now but there is one weighing very heavily on me….what do I do on August 7th???

Why is this so important you ask? Well because I have to decide which one of my two crushes I will go see.

Option 1:  Go to the SF Giants game and see the hotness that is: BRIAN WILSON!!!!!!

Option 2: Go see my musical main man: Jason Mraz !!!!!!!!

  This guy may act a little off the wall but he is HOT and brilliant–and those eyes? *swoon* I’m a sucker for those eyes. Let me just state that given half a chance I would so rock this guys world LOL

And now my other crush:

 What can I say? I have loved Jason for years….his songs are amazing and there is something so awesome about him. I saw him perform live and it was hands down the best show I have ever seen!

Now it may not seem like a huge deal because I could go to a ball game any time right? True but on August 7 they are giving away Brian Wilson jerseys (well to the kids but that’s the cool part of having one–Belle will get the jersey and I will keep it!) and of course I HAVE to have one!!!!

 

I really wish this was my biggest problem right now–it so isn’t but it’s fun to be a girl and crush a little!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Words of Mine…

Some of you many remember my old blog–I started it 4 years ago and while I never became a prolific blogger, it allowed me to meet some really cool people and share whatever was on my mind. About a year and half ago, I went back to school to finish my college degree and blogging took a major hit. I deleted it and quietly followed my favorite bloggers on twitter and their blogs but lately I felt the pull to write again.

The old blog was great but it didn’t reflect where I am now and where I want to go. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no idea who I really am right now or where I want to go but I know I want to grow and keep moving forward. Being a mom (especially a single mom) is one of the most insane things I have ever done. I adore my daughter and cherish being her mother however I want to find myself again. I was so desperate to be a great mom, I lost sight of who I am. I’m not looking to recapture my youth or anything like that. I just want to remember and embody the fact that I am more than just a mom.

Going back to school has been such a great thing for me. It is exhausting, challenging and at times total chaos but it is hands down one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It has allowed me to be student, a friend and a team-mate. I have met some amazing people and can not wait till the day we receive our college degrees together.

 

Life is crazy and chaotic but I look forward to sharing these words of mine with you…and I hope you share yours too.

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