Week 6, 8 miles for Karen (11.28.60-12.07.09)


  • 8 miles
  • 90 minutes 06 seconds (11:15/mile)
  • Tune of choice: “So are you to me” by Eastmountainsouth
  • # of times regret running Boston Marathon: 1 (and that’s all it took for me to almost give up)
  • # of times got over myself and realized it wasn’t about ME: 1

The Run

What can I say? This was perhaps the most difficult run I have ever experienced.  I was feeling GREAT getting dressed, excited to test my limits. It would have been Karen’s 50th birthday, so I wore the shirt she bought me 2 years ago at the beginning of my weight-loss journey. I wore it in her honor. I snapped a picture (right) excited to blog about my “Run for Karen” when I returned.

HALT. SCREECHY BREAKS. Unfortunately for me, from the moment I opened my front door I was in agony. My feet were completely numb, calves in excruciating pain, breathing totally out of rhythm. I’d barely made it 2 1/2 miles up the road before I’d decided to throw in my metaphorical towel. I was utterly defeated standing by the Wakefield Lake with a brutally cold wind upon my face and nothing left to give. iPhone in hand, I dialed someone to pick me up. I was done.

And then I looked down at the words “Calling…Mom.”  OMG. YOU WIMP!!! I thought to myself, Are you really calling your mom right now??? So I ended the call, shook the numbness out of my feet, stretched my calves and turned off the drab sports radio in exchange for some iPod shufflin’.

The first song came on. One song out of a possible thousand-plus in my library, “So Are You to Me” by Eastmountainsouth, stunned me to the core, the very song I’d prepared to sing for Karen at her remembrance party the night before but lost the courage to follow through. Between tears and surges of empowerment, I felt Karen. She had sent me a sign that she was with me the whole way. She helped me finish. More than that, she helped me run even faster than I could have ever anticipated. (Hey Karen, see you on April 18th. I’ll need ya!)

If I learned anything from this, folks, it’s this: I can do anything. I can accomplish anything. I can be anything, including a marathon runner. I know this because I have people in my life (and beyond) who support me in everything I do, no questions asked. I have people in my life who love me for the doofus I am and not just when it is convenient for their needs at the time. I have people who see me as beautiful BECAUSE of (and not in spite of) the fact that I am total crap at bowling, make a fool of myself in public, and can’t control my snarts (neeze farts. Happens a lot when I am tickled).

I’m running this marathon because of myself, but I am able to battle because of the support I feel. So it will be done. I will finish. And I thank all of my wonderful friends and family for being there with me through it all.