Monthly Archives: September 2014

What motivates you?

“What motivates you?” It’s a question that I’ve been asked quite a few times over the last few years. People are always curious as to what made me wake up and decide I wanted to lose the weight, change my lifestyle, and become one of those crazy runner people. And I’m realizing lately, it’s a question that doesn’t hurt to ask yourself every now and then.

The week leading up to the wedding happened to also be a pretty high mileage week for me- with a sprint tri just two weeks after the big day and a half marathon the week after I had a long run, some bricks, and some pool time to get in. No problem. With the week off from work I figured I would pencil them in as a break from table assignments and sign painting.

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Except that when the time came for my workouts I kicked, screamed, whined, half assed, and even ditched some of them completely. What I thought would be a welcome distraction was just another to-do… that I didn’t want anything “to-do” with. I got the bare minimum accomplished and told myself that once the wedding was over I would be back to normal.

Until the workouts after the big day felt just the same as the week before. I got really good at talking myself out of getting out the door and staying on the couch. I’d kick myself after, but that didn’t stop me from not getting it done or not trying as hard as I could have. And every time I complained about not wanting to go for a run that same question was always asked of me “Why are you doing this?”

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Obviously I can’t use the “white dress” excuse anymore – but we all know by now it was always more than that. So what is it? What makes me want to get up on a Saturday morning and run 10 miles alone? Why do I come home from work, change, and head out on the bike? What motivates me to sign up for races, to run new distances, to challenge myself? While I know there’s an answer inside of me, at this very moment I don’t have a clear view of it. I’m just so tired.

I’ve been running long enough now to recognize a burnout coming. And after a summer of wedding planning, training, Run Club, and the rest of my life- it’s no surprise I’m tired. So I’m pulling myself together and rallying through the next two weeks, because that’s what a true bad ass would do. And then I’m ready for a well deserved break when I can sit back and remember all those reasons I love what I do…. from the comfort of my couch.

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Short & Sweet

I still can’t believe I’m married. It’s been 4 days and I constantly catch myself saying “Did that really happen? Is it really over?” Just as everyone told me all those years, months, weeks and days that went into planning disappeared with the blink of an eye.

Luckily those same people told me take moments in the day to just let it all sink in, and I’m so glad I did. I did it as I watched the sun rise over the ocean on my morning shake out run. I did it as I stood back in a big, bright kitchen, as I watched some of the most important women in my life curl hair, pour mimosas and laugh. I did it as I stood in an open doorway, pacing between checking for the limo and looking in the mirror because I just couldn’t believe what was staring back at me. I did it as I sat in silence in the empty limo, staring out the window as familiar faces made their way to rows of white chairs. I did it as I took my first steps down the grassy path, clutching the crook of my father’s arm. I did it as I watched my husband shakily slip a band onto my finger, as he spun me on the dance floor for our first dance, and as I watched my parents trade off dance partners with my new brother and sister-in-law. I don’t think a tent has ever felt as much love and happiness as that tent did that night. I’ve certainly never.

And so this week, I’m going to leave my words at that – and let a few pictures do the talking, for they say it best. I’ll be back next week with my usual ramblings but today, I’m going to spend some more time in this wave of happiness. 🙂

 

PS. Thanks to the friends/family for capturing these shots. If you want to see more (I mean, how could you not? 😉 ) check out our photographer, Rebecca Deaton’s blog post.

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That white dress

Three days.

In just three days I will put on the white dress I knew was mine from the minute I saw it. In three days I will walk down the grassy aisle, stand in front of my closest friends and family and declare my love for the boy I met eleven years ago this month. It still doesn’t feel real to me.

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Babies (and just friends) in 2003.

 

One would think it should have sunk in by now, since we’ve literally had the longest engagement in history (Ok maybe not the longest – but over two and a half years is a pretty long time). There were many factors in our endless engagement, some of which didn’t surface until after our decision, confirming my belief once again that everything happens for a reason. But the biggest factor was the girl I was on that bitterly cold February night.

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One of the few pictures of us I have from the months around our engagement.

I can make the joke now that he didn’t “slip the ring on” – because it was incredibly tight on my pudgy little finger. In the days after we got engaged I would take my ring off and assess the imprint it had left on my skin, the same way my jeans did. And I think that’s when the panic really set in. I couldn’t imagine myself in a white gown. I couldn’t think about standing in front of my closest friends and family, looking the way I did at that moment. The road from Point A to Point B was impossible.

We all know well by now that I did make it from Point A to Point B. And I couldn’t have made it there without this incredible guy by my side the entire journey. When I came home and told him that I had found a local studio that I thought would be the answer to all my problems his response was “Call them up!”. When I cried the first week because I was hungry and too sore to move he carefully portioned out my dinner for me, brought it to the table, and told me he was proud of me. He would leave water bottles in the freezer for when I got home from bootcamp that first summer. He celebrated every pound lost with me, and he reminded me of how far I had come whenever I got frustrated. He came to cheer me on at my first race, and has rarely missed one since. When I finished my first double digit run I crawled into the house to a card and a box of Lush bath supplies because he was so proud of me for sticking with it. I smile when I catch him talking about me to someone because even though he doesn’t know a thing about running, I can hear in his voice just how proud he is.

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My biggest cheerleader, always.

Sometimes I feel incredibly selfish for the amount of time I absorb in working out, training, running, racing. I feel guilty that I go to bed early on Friday nights because I have a long run on Saturday. I feel bad that sometimes I’m too tired and sore to do anything besides lay on the couch. But I know that at the end of the day I’m not just doing this for me. I’m doing this for us, for our future. Someday I want to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. I’m doing this because someday I want to be that mom whose kids are used to Saturday mornings in their jammies in the running stroller. I’m doing this because I want to show my children what it means to be strong, to face challenges, and to take care of your body. I want to grow old with the love of my life in the best way possible.

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to put on that gorgeous white gown on Saturday. I know how much sweat, how many tears, how many miles and inches and pounds I have fought through to get to that dress. But the truth is- I’m more excited for what comes after that white dress. Excited for this new adventure together, excited to see what comes next.  Andy has never seen me for anything other than the person he loves, even my worst times. But a relationship is that much stronger when you learn how to love yourself just as much.

And so in just three days I will begin both the shortest- and longest race of my life. A race that isn’t about how fast I get to the finish line, but enjoying it for as long as I possibly can. But just like everything else these days, it’s just right, left, right. 🙂

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Let’s rewind two years.

We all know I’m a sucker for anniversaries. I’m even more of a sucker for anniversaries where I can attach sappy symbolisms to them and with just 10 days to go to my wedding – I’m a sucker for anything soft and sappy lately.

Two years ago this weekend I ran my very first race, the Diva Dash (no judging). Fast forward two years and this weekend I will be running a 5K alongside the beginner running group I coached over the summer. How’s that for sappy symbolism?

That first runner's high glow.

You can’t help but stop here and ask “How the hell did this happen?”. At least I can’t.  As I quickly flip through the images and events of the last two years it still comes as a shock to me.  Road races, triathlons, half marathons… if you held a crystal ball two years ago I probably would have thrown it back in your face.

There’s so much about that first race that I never want to forget. I never want all that naïve goodness to disappear. It will always remind me where I came from. I knew practically nothing about running- I didn’t know about paces, or where a bib goes on your shirt. I had just gotten my first pair of “real” running shoes (which I didn’t wear for the race because I didn’t want to get them dirty) and I will admit now that I showered and did my hair before it because “I wanted to look cute”. I thought I needed to carb load the night before (truth be told- the fat kid in me just wanted an excuse to have pasta again). and I didn’t have a goal except that I wanted to finish. I was scared shitless.

Steps away from my first finish line.

And while I’m sitting here being all mushy and reminiscent there’s no way I couldn’t write about the person who got me across that first finish line. The one who two years later continues to push me across them- both physically and mentally. She is always a step ahead of me (more like 10 actually), and somehow always sees my potential miles before I can. I know I mention her all the time but she is every reason I’m here writing this today. It may not have taken a village to raise this runner – but it certainly took one hell of an individual.

Sometimes I catch myself saying something I’ve heard her say a million times and I smile. The thing about being a runner is you’ve got to pass on the tips and tricks that you learn along the way. I can only hope that someday I’ll be that person to someone else.

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