Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And so it begins...

199 Days To Go

Today I officially signed up for the Women's Half-Marathon that takes place in November 2010 in St. Pete {big gulp}. I have planned on training for this since last November, one week after the birth of my baby boy. Now that the challenge is official and the work begins, I thought I would start this blog to hold myself accountable and have a hard copy account to remind myself why I decided to do this. I also hope it can remind, not just mommies, but all women that may stumble upon this, that we can still achieve big goals while balancing life's sometimes overwhelming current obligations and duties.

With that said, I should explain why it is I decided to take this challenge.

Reason #1. I actually set a goal to run a half-marathon 1 1/2 years ago as a pact with one of my very best friends. I live in Florida and she's in North Carolina. We both had began to discover a love for long-distance running. This wasn't marathon distances (or half-marathon distances for that matter), but long distances in our novice minds. As we began approaching 4, 5, and 6 miles we realized we could continue to strive for larger goals if we continued to hold each other accountable updating each other during our daily gossip sessions. We learned about the 2009 New York City Half Marathon and decided this would be our goal...together (and an opportunity to finally convince our husbands to let us take that girls trip to the big city we had been trying to plan). We began our training, kept each other posted daily, increased our distances and then...well, you know what they say about what God does when we make plans? He laughs.

After a year of fruitless trying, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant (insert applause sound here). Needless to say, the half-marathon goal feel aimlessly to the wayside, as well as any ambition to keep fitness in my life for the next 9 months...errr, make that 14.

Moments after my best friend squealed on the phone with delight when I told her I was expecting, she immediately paused, thought for a second, and the scolded me for not keeping my commitment (in a hilariously-loving way that only your best friend could do). Now it's my chance to make it up to her. Two years later, St. Pete, here we come - husbands and baby in tow to cheer us on.

Reason #2. You have now probably realized I have a new light in my life. My chunky monkey was born last November. While he was worth every single ounce of that 50+ lb. weight I gained, I am realizing that as I approach his six month birthday I can no longer declare, "I just had a baby" as my guiltless excuse for still holding on to this extra 20 lbs of mama love that hangs off my hips (and legs, arms, booty, etc.).

Reason #3. Last and most importantly, this endeavor is for my son. That may sound perplexing considering he is only six months old and I think it's safe to say he likes mommy's bouncy belly, but let me explain. For monkey's first birthday (the same month as D-Day...the half-marathon) I want to give him a strong, healthy, be-all-she-can-be mommy. It's not to say I don't possess those traits now, but I want to be able to explain to him one day that I had a colossal goal I wanted to achieve in honor of him. I want him to know I worked hard and profusely and I accomplished it. I want him to know he was my motivation. It is his little face I keep picturing at the finish line. Need I say more?

Now, to close this introductory post I want it to be known I am starting this training from scratch. No professional training, no six miles under my belt any longer, no time records I am trying to beat. What I do have is an incredible support system, a snazzy jogging stroller, and the most inspiring little running buddy one could ask for (although he sleeps through most of the run). I say this because I want to invite anyone out there who might be considering a similar challenge (or any challenge, for that matter) to travel with me through this process and let's show those around us we can turn these aspirations into reality. Your goal may be extraordinarily larger than a measly half-marathon, or it may be a small check off your to-do list. Hey, it's all subjective and it's all relevant.

More to come shortly! The plan is to keep this blog updated on a regular basis to not only hold myself accountable, but also provide a record of my personal bucket list accomplishment.

Okay, I'm going to hit 'Publish Post' now....there's no looking back. Here I go.


The Hays Family said...


I am SO proud of you!!! If I still lived in St. Pete I would run this with you...I have been looking for motivation to get out and get back in shape and I wish I could take part in this. But I must say your story (especially the connection to your little man) is inspiring and I wish you all the best!


The ActiveWatcher said...

Wonderful post and blog. I think you're doing a great service for everyone out there in the same position as you! Keep up the hard work, and good luck on the training and race! Can't wait to have my own kid to jog with, so to speak :)

Andrea Leigh said...

Thank you for the kind words and support! It really is fun and encouraging to have such an adorable little running buddy with me (smile).

Skeetersmum said...

Good luck! I did the Women's Half Marathon LAST year and I'm doing it THIS year and I'm excited! Last year I did it 1 month after extensive stomach surgery, so I was running in all kinds of compression garments. That was hard, so my time was HORRIBLE! But, you know what? It didn't matter because you are going to see people there that are in CHEMO or just over chemo..some without hair..supporters, etc etc. You will be amazed. Some run, some walk, but most FINISH and that is what it is all about! Good luck to you!! Denise

Andrea Leigh said...

Awesome inspirational comment, Denise!! You are right, finishing the goal is what it is all about. I appreciate your input. : )