Tag Archives: for love of the run

The Pitch – My Relentless Pursuit to Run 13.1 Miles for Two

30 Mar

Hello lovelies!!!

 

Happy Badabump [insert Hump if you’re not lucky enough to endure unprecedented weight gain despite workout efforts, heartburn (from water), hunger pangs at 5a that are only satisfied with a slice of toast with a light spread of natural peanut butter and drizzle of honey, kicks and jabs from within that wake you up but melt your heart, the insatiable appetite for an entire bottle of wine – Chardonnay, Prosecco, or Malbec – because close to 9 months of sobriety is a bitch and I’m jonesing for a buzz, oh yeah, and upper/lower back pain] Day to you all!!!

 

Anyway… Let’s get to the content.

 

Well holy guacamole runner friends – this mama-to-be ran a half-marathon pregnant! Yes. Pregnant. All of 31 weeks of me and my little macaroon hit the pavement running. If you’re reading this and you follow me on IG and/or Facebook I’m certain you saw my photo spam that documented this incredible journey. Anyway, I’m here to give you a little glimpse into how I convinced my man to let me run 13.1 miles for two to mark the most epic and total experience ever.

 

A little disclaimer: The Rock n’ Roll DC Marathon Series is significant to me. I ran the Rock n’ Roll DC Marathon Series in March 2014 and it marked my first ever participation in the full 26.2-mile trek to the finish line. I trained for months on the unforgiving apparatus – the treadmill – during my first winter in the District classified as “snowmageden.” Despite running on the treadmill with an even incline, I finished the race and with far too much energy left in the tank – after the hills and all. The energy stores left in the reserve triggered my affair to find perfection. I would go on to run more marathons as the ultimate test of my running ability. Fast forward to the Rock n’ Roll DC Marathon Series in March 2015 – this would be the third marathon I would complete. Having just come off the residual high of missing a BQ by 4 minutes (I ran the Marine Corps Marathon October 2014 with bronchitis and stopped several times to hack a lung or two) I was more than ready to race and secure my spot on the Boston Marathon starting line. I was certain I’d qualify and at the very same race only one-year prior that ignited this passion. My legs were light. My body told me I found the balance between training and rest days. I was at my perfect race weight. I was alert. I had no fear that I wouldn’t give 100%. I hadn’t exhausted my limits. I would BQ. I was flying. “Light. Easy. Fly.” was written on my hand for support during the moments when the fun of running manifests itself into drudgery. But BQ I didn’t. The significance of this race was the mounting wave of pain that overtook my right hip . After a failed BQ attempt, an arthrogram (painful) and x-rays I was told surgery would be the placeholder for a BQ (at least for a while) to repair the FAI and large labral tear. I didn’t know what was worse. The constant state of excruciating pain felt on my right hip or the fact that I’d be forced to be immobile for 6-9 months post-surgery. That reality led me down a rabbit hole of emotions and what-ifs. Thoughts of losing all athletic ability, losing muscle and form, endurance capabilities, maximal aerobic capacity/peak VO2, etc. I was devastated. Ugh!!! I was told by the doctors that surgery would help me – it’s the setback for the ultimate comeback. But I didn’t care. I wouldn’t be running. And life without running is not life – at least not for me.  Then through Immaculate Conception (wink wink) my body decided to carry a life – and voila – I found myself 31 weeks pregnant and flirting with my third Rock n’ Roll DC Marathon Series  – but this time I’d only tackle the half-marathon – that is, if everyone cleared me to run because of baby girl and my hip. Talk about the significance of this particular race. Each one marked a pivotal moment for me in my exploration of mind, body, spirit and ability.

 Note: I’ve been running with FAI and a labral tear since diagnosis. The pain is not terribly significant since distance has been minimized. It’s there. But tolerable.

But let’s talk about this third Rock n’ Roll DC race, my being in the third trimester and the arduous pitching I had to conduct to make the sale. Because I was a runner before being pregnant and maintained my activity during pregnancy I was cleared outright by my doctors to participate in the half-marathon. The only convincing, pleading, marketing, selling, and solicitation I had to do was with Andy – the father of our unborn child. His concerns were that of my health (especially my hip) and baby girl. Granted he knows I would never jeopardize the health of our baby he had his worries, despite what the doctors said. Naturally, I petitioned him. Every. Single. Day. 

 

Because his obstinate stance opposing my participation running a half-marathon was met with my obstinate stance for participating, we missed each coupon code and price reduction incentivizing runners to join.

 

Then shit got real. 

 

The last-call for registration was during the Health Expo for package pickup. Hello, this was two days prior to the race. My sales pitch obviously lacking. Andy wasn’t budging. Couple my plea to run with a higher cost to race – I didn’t see a favorable outcome. This wouldn’t be an entry fee paid for in the race with my unrestrained willingness to push myself to collapse and PR. No. This is an entry fee I want to pay so that I could run effortlessly with a moderate heart rate to feed ego and pride – to say I did it. To say I ran for two. (But don’t I most days of the week on the treadmill for $29.99/month?)

 

I channeled my inner teenager. I flooded him with texts. Message after message pinged his phone as if we time traveled back to when we were teenagers and he pulled some dumb shit (okay, me too) and I was appealing his requests.

 

I explained why I had to run. And I am sharing my mini dissertation with you so you can get a glimpse of my conjunction of life and running.

 

“…my being pregnant is really a marvel to me. I haven’t lost the lust to run and it is who I am. I don’t want to be like the norm because of the lack of perfection (my being pregnant, not a race weight, etc.) as a reason not to participate. I have the intuitive and instinctive nature to care for my daughter – unborn or not – and me. If I need to walk I walk. It’s not about racing. It’s about being a part of a community and a tribe that is unlike anything else. It’s about me being out there – moving – slowly – and with the grace of God and my will behind me. It’s about showcasing that you can be fit and active and pregnant at any size and at any stage. It’s my play time. Where I can be interacting freely in an environment that I love – and outside with nature – in my element. It’s liberating. It’s euphoric. And I miss it terribly. It’s so much more than running. It’s my lifestyle. And I know you came back in my world when I was prepping for a surgery – but you don’t know who I am and how liberating and free it makes me. I found myself through running and it’s because of running I’ve found confidence and self-acceptance. It’s gives me so much joy. It fulfills me.”

 

And there you have it. Like an overdramatic 16-year old girl I was committed to convincing the man I love to accept me.

 

So what did he do? He went ghost on me. The sound of silence was loud. Unbearable.  Each passing 45 minutes I glanced at my phone. Nothing. Not even the little dots to indicate he was typing. I was convinced I wouldn’t be running. He won. My determination to run was no match to his contrarious petition.

 

Then I got the call.

 

The call of calls. My florid of texts worked. He granted my request!

 

I was in shock. Giddy. Childlike enthusiasm came over me. You couldn’t wipe the grin from off my face. I was smiling ear to ear. Big. Wide. Showing all my teeth! I giggled. I shrieked. I jumped up and down. No kidding. I was time warped  back to being 16 when he asked me to prom – I couldn’t wait to announce the news but more importantly, dress for the occasion! Except this time I wouldn’t need long preparation, a fancy dress, my hair all done up, or makeup – only the essentials – colorful compression socks, a matching headband, sunglasses, my Garmin (I’m eyeballing the new Garmin Fenix Sapphire 3  but it’s totally unnecessary as I’m 8 1/2 months pregnant), iPod, a hair tie and my Newtons.

Fenix Sapphire 3

 

So there you have it. I signed up…

 

Not to race. Not to smash a PR. But to simply run.

 

And run I did.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

 

XO

 

Valgal

 

PS – My experience running for two covering the distance of a half marathon at 31 weeks pregnant will be posted shortly. I’ve had the case of pregnant brain and speaking let alone writing complete sentences has presented me with a great challenge – that and maintaining a focus without being distracted “Squirrel!” Ha.

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Good Morning from the Blue Line

15 Nov

Good morning from the BLUE Line Metro. It’s 6:17a and the metro is dead. I’ve learned that people don’t start their commutes until after 7a and that’s when the people watching would be ideal. But here I am. Sitting and watching the early morning commuters at 6:20a. I don’t think many are awake. They never look disheveled but they don’t always look coherent. I enjoy these moments. The observing of the sharply dressed men and women. But really men! I love watching them. They are so dang handsome walking hurriedly in their suits and Cole Haans; appearing untouchable. Then I see a glimpse of toilet paper stuck to their necks and chin. It reminds me at this very moment status (i.e. Salary, title etc) doesn’t matter; we are all human.

Back to the BLUE Line. The weather finally took a turn to chilly but you don’t feel it in the metro. I’m sitting here on the BLUE Line and I notice the gentleman to my right is holding on to the rail. He’s older. He’s dressed sharp. Dressed to the nines (almost everyone is), and he is sporting a heavy black coat, gloves, and a slight mustache or shadow of facial hair (for what I assume is for #mo #movember #november #movember #movembernovember; mens health awareness). Let me reiterate. A heavy coat and gloves. I get the gloves. I get the mustache. I don’t get the heavy coat.

I don’t quite understand the heavy coat because as a Phoenician I find the temperature this morning tolerable. It’s 30 degrees. Or perhaps 30ish degrees. I’m dressed warm. True. I’m not not dressed for extremely cold conditions but I am comfortable. I am warm. There’s no blizzard in the forecast. So I chuckle about this man’s attire because as a Phoenician, it should me in the heavy coat.

This chilly morning I have on my white and black polka dots slacks, a black turtleneck, one of my favorites gray scarves from Road Runner Sports (come to think of it I should order the other one in black. Santa if you’re listening?) my black Ralph Lauren jacket and my $16 Nikes to boot! $16!!!

I mean I wouldn’t run in these Nike’s but they retail for $75ish to $150ish. You could say I committed petty theft. Anyway, these are my fashion forward Nike’s. I can’t help but to think, Gawd athletic gear is sexy. Or do I think solely Nike athletic gear is sexy? (I’m staring at my shoes…) The entire gamut of it all-the whole athletic look thing—>embodies sexy (In my humble opinion).

Sure the tight compression pants show off every curve or lack there of. I recognize I have no arse thanks to distance running. Please refrain from telling me to do squats … I do. However, 50+ miles a week negates my efforts. Let me get back to the point.

The shoes are my daily commuters. No sprints or distance runs will be logged in these fashionable gems! But first I must rave: these Nike’s are black with a silver swoosh. The bottoms are adorned with the glorious combination of white, neon green and a slim outline of black. These kicks are the freakin shizzle!!! I actually think they make my morning brighter. No joke. Welcome to the world of me and my obsession with Nike. It’s the little things that make my days.

Okay. Back to the topic at hand…again. It’s truly not that cold yet. Or is it? Is this what they are taking about!? Is the older gentleman on the metro trying to prelude to something by sporting a heavy winter coat prematurely? Is it premature?Should I expect to be froze here soon? To date I am comfortable with what 30 degrees feels like.

I’m beginning to look like I belong here. I have the jackets. Yes that’s plural. Jackets. I dress appropriately with the exception of black leather gloves. I carry a tote that is refuge to my pink umbrella and choice of stilettos for the day. I frolic around the city in my flats and relish in the moment when I get to adorn my feet with the gorgeous collection of my heels when I settle in at the office. I even wear the earbuds as I walk around the streets as a deterrent to avoid engaging with the psychiatric patients … ehhhhh…ya. It’s not every day I meet this “psychiatric someone” but I prefer to deflect the probability of it happening again…

Regardless of that, I am blissfully happy. Living in the now. I’m taking this all in. Who would have thought my dreams would have led me here. I’m in awe!!! This feels so right!!!

Thank you for believing in me friends.

Please enjoy the pictures!

XO

Valerie

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