Allison O. -"This story could be applied to many different situations; people just beginning to exercise, people who have suffered an injury, people trying to lose weight, etc."
…Back at it
Following the delivery of a healthy baby boy in April, I knew
I would have to take some time off from running to recover.
The first month or two as a new parent are still fuzzy, but I
clearly remember the intense pain and not wanting to do
anything physical. As time passed, I started feeling better
and knew I needed to get back into running. I started off
going to the gym once or twice a week and doing a couple of
miles on the treadmill. It was slow, but I’ve always been a
slow runner so that didn’t bother me. Next I transitioned to
running outside. This was a nice chance to get some fresh air, enjoy the scenery (southern CA), and
have some alone time.
A few months after the baby was born, we moved to Las
Vegas. Once in Vegas, I joined a local running club that met
every Sunday. I enjoyed meeting with the group because
everything was planned out – the course, the water stops,
etc. – and all I had to do was show up and run. One morning
at the group, several members mentioned they were doing
the Goldilocks half marathon. I hadn’t heard of this race so I
looked it up online. It was set for mid-October, about 6
months post-partum. I can be slightly impulsive at times, but
I thought this was a great opportunity to really shake the rust off, so I signed up. I continued to build
up my miles week by week and felt ready when October came around. The race went well and I was
proud of myself for finishing.
The running group organizer was also a race manager and was planning
a Halloween race. Who doesn’t like to dress up in a costume? So of
course, I signed up and completed this race as well. All during this time,
my dad and sister were training for the full marathon in Hawaii,
scheduled for Dec 13. Originally, I thought there’s no way I can complete
a full marathon right now. But day by day, the little voice in my head
kept getting louder and asking “WHY NOT?” So I registered for the Hawaii full.
My sister came to visit for Thanksgiving and we completed
another half marathon together. Only 2 weeks until the big
race. On the flight to Hawaii I was excited and knew I could
finish, even if I had to walk 20 miles of it.
Race day came and it was an early 2:30am wake-up call. We got on the bus and waited at the start
until the gun, or fireworks in this case, went off at 5am. We crossed the line at about 5:10am and
were off. This is a very large race and it can be tricky to find your pace and settle in. It started
getting hot once the sun came up but the aid stations with wet sponges were fantastic. As the miles
got into the double digits the inevitable pains started, mainly in the soles of my feet. I ran the
majority of the race with my dad and sister and we made up our own running / walking system by
the time we hit mile 20. When we finally saw the mile marker for mile 26 and the finish line not far
beyond it, I thought “hallelujah.” We did it, in a record breaking 7 hours :) It’s never been about the
time though, just the act of doing it. At about 8 months after giving birth, I was a marathon finisher!!
This story could be applied to many different situations; people just beginning to exercise, people
who have suffered an injury, people trying to lose weight, etc. The big things that made it possible
for me to get back at it were:
1. Show up – everyone starts somewhere
2. Set a goal, and share it with people so they hold you accountable
3. Start slow
4. Have a support system (I could never have done any of this without my husband)
5. Keep going when it is difficult
6. Have fun – what’s the point otherwise?
Finish line at the Hawaii Marathon December 13, 2015.