I know a lot of people hate running. I can’t help but think, why? It’s such a great way to work through anxiety - albeit, marathon training produces a lot of anxiety. But it’s a way to structure your thoughts, to organize your day, and to ultimately, find a well of strength that you did not know you have. Not to mention the people - so many people have come into my life that I would have never met had it not been for running.
The opportunities that running continues to provide are jaw-dropping. As I look ahead, I can’t help but squeal silently at the Fall racing season. Yes, I am out of shape. Yes, I’ve gained weight and lost muscle. But when I look back, I think, if eight additional pounds is all the collateral damage I have to show for the last year and half of my life, I’ll take it. Eight pounds is nothing.
Most notably, I decided to sign up for the St. George Marathon. Long-time readers will remember that this is my only DNF to date; in 2015, I was foiled in my BQ attempt by a ruptured ovarian cyst. I don’t know when it happened, but I got through 10 miles at marathon pace before succumbing to the pain at mile 14. Laughable now, I remember how the race director, the bus driver, and I all screamed at each other on the side of Snow Canyon Road. I did not want to take an ambulance to the hospital - those things are expensive! - but they did not want to transport me for fear I was going to like, die on that bus. I ended up convincing them to take me anyways. At the finish line under the care of a very sweet doctor, he told me to go directly to the ER. I drove myself. I was in pain but fine. I got meds, a rather unhelpful brochure encouraging me to “exercise more,” and the resilience that a DNF does not define oneself.
It’s ironic that the marathon this year falls on October 5th; this was the day the divorce papers were officially signed by a judge and I was returned to "single status." A very weird phrase. I had a hair appointment that day. When I dragged myself up to Carlos’ station on the 2nd floor of the hair salon, I could not stop sobbing. I told him to cut off all my hair and dye it red.
A good friend and more importantly, an amazing man, he took one look at me and said, “No.”
He picked up my bag and essentially, me, and put us both in his car. I had no idea where we were going - a bar? Were we going to drink our sorrows away mid-afternoon? I found myself staring a some hole-in-the-wall place with giant doors in the middle of ChinaTown. Just as I was thinking about the copious amounts of whiskey I would consume (editor’s note: I HATE whiskey), the doors opened to reveal the most splendid, tranquil tea garden I’ve ever seen. Carlos forced to not only order a sandwich, but also eat it along with dessert. It was the first time I had eaten in 24 hrs. I had a work phone call that day (sorry Jennifer E) that I muddled through, while he chatted lightly and made me feel normal.
I can’t help but think October 5, 2019 will be much different than its predecessor. I want to run St. George strong for any number of reasons, but mainly, as a massive do-over. To both myself, and the Universe. Will I BQ? Unlikely. But I am just excited to see the last 12 miles of the course that eluded me in 2015.
Speaking of marathons...in kind of a kismet kind of way, I got into the NYC Marathon in early November. I’ve been trying to get into this one for years - it would be my fourth World Major. I missed the time qualifier by 2 silly minutes, and had no luck in the lottery. As fate would have it, NYC has a rather robust council for Girls on the Run, and I am officially in as a charity runner. Two marathons in one month is not ideal, but my World Major times is not anything to be concerned about. I am just excited to be a part of it and earn that 4th medal. Only London and Tokyo to go!
While running and motherhood is the beacon of my existence, it was a shock to hear in early May of additional good news news. I had coffee with the manager and assistant manger of lululemon. Over the course of our beverages, they let me know that I had been selected as the new run ambassador for the Downtown Summerlin Lululemon store. I was dumbfounded. I am the not the fastest in town, nor the prettiest or skinniest. But according to them, they wanted someone who “inspires others through audacious goals” with roots in the community. I don’t think my jaw ever left the floor during that meeting.
Humbled and honored, I accepted my role. First up: a photo shoot for the picture that would eventually hang in the new Lululemon store. I was flabbergasted - and totally overwhelmed. I ate Cheez-its for dinner the night before the photos. I am supposed to be a normal person, right? Well, here is me in all my normalcy. Eek.
My first engagement as official run ambassador happened on June 5th, Global Running Day. Lululemon had organized a giant run from the store, and almost 250 people showed up. I spoke in front of the crowd and then all the runners out on a 1.5 mile loop and back. To have 250 people following you is incredible; I wish I could say I handled it better. But after the speech, I was so busy directing the crowd that I promptly forgot about my own child. I took off - and around mile 1, I realized, “Shit! Where is he?” Thankfully, good friends had taken the little Bear under their wing and were running with him. Based on their feedback, he never complained once, which is a true feat. Whenever I run with Scott, I’m met with tears within the first 800m. God bless Alan and Gamini for being the adult male role models that Scott needs in order to run well.
So there you have it. Girls on the Run Las Vegas is thriving. I am marathon training. Scott is not complaining on his runs (albeit, not with me). Life is moving on, and for that, I am thankful. If the last 18 months have shown me anything, it’s that we are stronger than we know. We are smarter than we understand, and braver than we think. If you are fighting your own battle, keep a stiff upper lip. Life happens in seasons; some seasons are not pleasant. But Fall season - and hope - is just around the corner.
Cheers to many happy (hot!) miles ahead --