Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Distance Dreamers Wednesday

An awesome fellow blogger named Abbi has organized a wonderful group called Distance Dreamers, this is a group for first time marathoners (or feels like first time) and half marathoners. I decided that I wanted to join this group because it has been so long since my first and only marathon (6 years ago) and I like the support and encouragement I get from others in the running community. On Wednesdays Abbi will be posting questions for all of us to respond to. Here are the questions for this week.

What made you decide you wanted to run a long distance race?/Why the full marathon as your distance of choice? Before I trained for and ran my first (and only) marathon 6 years ago I had never run before in my life, other than being forced to in gym class in high school (which I did not like). In 2003, I was 33 years old and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. My husband and I wanted to start a family and I knew that I needed to quit smoking first. I had tried to quit in the past to no avail. One day I just got it in my head that I'd quit smoking and start running. I knew you couldn't do both!

Really, my husband was my inspiration. I had seen him run several marathons in the past. The most inspirational one being in Paris where they played the Chariots of Fire song at the start of the marathon! He motivated me to get dressed in my running clothes and get out there...he coached me as I struggled to run/walk even a mile at first. After a couple of weeks it became a habit and I wasn't smoking anymore or even thinking about it. We both signed up for the Marine Corps marathon and ran it in 2004, less than a year after I had started running. After crossing the finish line I knew I could do anything I set my mind to. I also knew that someday I would run another marathon.

Very soon after we ran the marathon I got pregnant with our first son and although I ran for awhile after finding out I didn't keep up with it and once the baby was born I took even more time off. Well, to make a long story short I took a lot of time off from running to take care of my family and was happy doing it.

I really started to miss running though and wanted to start again, but after my 3rd son was born I was up a lot at night and still needed to get up and go to work the next day. I didn't feel like I had much energy to do anything other than what I was already doing. Once the baby started sleeping through the night I decided I needed to start doing something for myself again. I wanted to find the time to run. I started getting up at 5am and running and it felt great! I knew as soon as I started running again that I wanted to sign up for either a half or full marathon because it would give me a goal to focus on and it would get me out there each day working towards something and would also be a way for me to have time to myself!

Why was this the year to go for it? I decided to do the marathon this fall because I am turning 4o in September and thought it would be an awesome way to celebrate my birthday! I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like to run a marathon after having 3 kids. I know it's much harder to find the time to train but it will all be worth it when I cross the finish line!

To read more stories of why anyone would want to run a half marathon or a full marathon go check out Abbi's blog and if you're interested in joining our group let her know!


abbi said...

Thanks for posting! I'm enjoying reading everyone's responses. What a great way to celebrate 40!!

Becka said...

How long has it been since you quit smoking? Almost three years for me!

Heather said...

Hi Becka, It's been 7 years since I quit. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself!

P said...

I signed up for a marathon as a celebration of my 40th birthday, too! Awesome story!

Melissa said...

Thanks for posting!! What a great story!!

ajh said...

Great way to celebrate a birthday!

Erika said...

It's been 7 months since I quit and it was the best decision that I ever made! Way to go!