Who do you show up for?

The most humbling experience, until the next one happens. This is how I’ve approached the marathon training and pretty much life. Ready for the cliché moments? Training for a marathon has helped me more than the physical aspects; I’ve seen the growth more in my professional and personal lives than anywhere else.

You see, when you are out for a long run at 12-20 miles and you know that you need to get it done, no matter how fast or slow (speed is relative), you need to get the mileage down because that’s what will help you prepare for the race that you have coming up. You have to get everything ready and guess what? Caca happens, straight up s*h*i*t just like l-i-f-e. It just does. Just like when your five year old doesn’t want to put shoes on for the 3rd time you’ve begged yelled, you’re going to find that frustration in your runs. It’s inevitable. Sorry, sunshine.

This all came about because I had a crappy half marathon on Saturday. I was warned how difficult it was, I knew that it was going to hurt. I knew that I could do it. I set a goal of 2:30, which was going to be a great time for me. And then the race started and the first hill came and I thought, “Well… NOPE.” When I came up to 2:30 and I saw that I still had two more miles to grind through. So I finished it, at 2:56 I completed by 10th half marathon. And guess what, I did this for me. That’s who I’m ultimately running for in this journey. I’m running for all of the doubts. I’m running for all of the times I fought running. I’m running for all of the times that I loved this sport. And that’s how I want to wake up every morning. I am doing this for me.

When you show up for yourself, you are giving the world such a wonderful gift of uniquely you. That’s why it doesn’t matter what the next person is doing, you run your race of life, get those blinders on, and show up for yourself. When I run/walk/crawl across the finish line on December 3rd, I’m not going to end up with a contract with a professional organization. I’m not going to have sponsors from athletic wear (although I’m here to be your muse/model at 5’1” and 154 lbs.!). I will finish it dammit, I will finish it for all of the times I said I couldn’t do something.

– Melanie (and I didn’t get any tacos after the half, I had to rush to my daughter’s soccer game)

Training for the next week:

16 miles today

Friday – Joyride  – come ride with me some time.

Saturday – 4 miles

Sunday – 7 miles

Tuesday – 5 miles

Thursday – 5 miles

Saturday… 120 min warm up  – 3 x 5 min at 11:09 pace with 5 min recovery between, 30 min cool down

Redefine Strength

strength quoteIf there is anything training for a marathon has taught me there’s this mantra that I was slapped sideways with: redefine strength. What does that even mean? Strength is obscenely subjective. I remember growing up definitely not being a typical size and having to get clothes from the Misses section. I couldn’t shop from the trendy stores like 5-7-9 (no longer in existence, kids) like my friends and I definitely couldn’t purchase clothing from a certain alphabet store that boasted washboard abs on their bags. Nope, that wasn’t me. I allowed it to eat away at my psyche that fifteen years later I’m now writing about it praying that I can give my children the emotional intelligence to know that a size does not define them, nor does a number on a scale.

If you Google search ‘redefine strength’ you will find yourself pouring through over 3 million hits of the search. You’ll find workouts, emotional blog posts, personal trainers telling you they want to change your physique. And honestly, they’re all kind of bs. Only you can define what strength is. Is strength being able to throw 500 lbs. over your head in a clean and press? Is strength being able to run 0.25 mile in under 10 minutes? Is strength being able to get out of bed in the morning and put on a smile for the world when your whole body and soul hurt? We need to stop giving numbers out as a goal.

My ideal strength is different from yours and this is ok. We need to celebrate strength wherever we can and really congratulate one another on the little victories that we achieve.

malala cover

So guess what? You’re strong. I’m strong. We are all friggin’ strong. Get on out there, scare the s*** out of the world with your strength because your strength will ignite others. So I leave you with Malala Yousafzai because she’s the strongest of strong and you know it. If you haven’t guessed – my mantra for the marathon will be redefine strength because my body can do things that I never thought possible. I want to hug that little girl who used to cry in the dressing room and say, “Girl, do you. God will fix things just right.”

#SinMiedo

This post has been about four months in the making but what the hey, that’s actually what this is all about. If you had to head over to Google Translate to know what I just typed, no worries, nothing crazy. But what is it like to be #WithoutFear (#SinMiedo)? Lent 2017 was a beautiful moment for me. I set out to do things I was terrified of doing. First things first, I gave up all dairy and eggs which you may have read about in my Lenten post. It was a scary journey to partake in mostly because I was terrified of what others would say about me. Would people talk to me differently? Would I now be uninvited, or worse not invited at all, to social gatherings because of my newfound lack of interest in dairy, meat, eggs, honey? I didn’t care. I just took it day after day, meal by meal, and relished in the thought this was only for 40 days (hah, that was a funny joke God had on me).

But there was a bigger fear I was looking at uncovering, I have never run with a running buddy. Ever. Never ever EVER I my 30+ years of being mobile, I have never had someone by my side to talk to. Growing up overweight or obese you don’t really seek out social opportunities to sweat. I was ashamed at my pace. I was ashamed that I would need to stop after slugging it up a hill. All of this pent up emotion from when I was a child and hearing my mom plead with me to hurry up a hill. Then the first week of Lent I was hit with an emotional 2×4 by my closest friend, Peter. Peter is the guy from high school that is all around good looking and had the chubby best friend in high school (me); charismatic, loving, funny – this was Peter. I was his little sidekick. Peter and I have been very lucky to have had a friendship span over two decades and I knew that he wasn’t giving up on me now. We were friends for life and after his deployments and my running around being a campaign worker, we’ve still always managed to make time for our weekly text check ins and he would ask, “Hey, let’s go for a run!” I would come up with some excuse and say, “Oh, I have to pick up the kids…” and that would be the end of his cajoling. Lent 2017 this language and self-doubt stopped. I was hell bent on giving up fear.

So I did it. I said yes. It was a Monday afternoon, my amazing mother in law picked up the kids from school that day. And guess what, I didn’t die. We ended up running five miles in some pretty amazing spots in San Antonio. Throughout the run with Peter I began to think of all of the other things I had been so scared to even think of accomplishing. Naturally, you sign up for a marathon because why not?

I hope you join me along for the ride (run). I’m toying around with the idea of making a Facebook page (Will Run For Tacos, anyone?) and pushing this fabulous blog on it. Lemme know, k? Until then, I’ll be living sin miedo like God intended.