I Ran a Freaking MARATHON!! – Part I: The Backstory

I didn’t just run it, kids, I rocked it. Truly.

* * * * *

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

In order to tell the whole story, I realized that I was going to have to back up and start from the beginning.

The story really starts in 2007. That was when I ran my very first marathon. My daughters were two and four at the time. Things hadn’t truly started going downhill with my ex at that point, but there were plenty of issues brewing. I was definitely a discontent stay-at-home mom. A mom who got almost zero time to herself, except for running. And I ran. A lot. It gave me solitude. Time to collect my thoughts. A stress release. Alone time.

In May of 2007 I ran my very first full marathon (the first official race I’d ever participated in) with only one goal in mind: to NOT be last. I accomplished that goal — barely. My finish time was embarrassingly slow; only about 10 people (max) finished behind me. I was so embarrassed of my finish that as time went on, I wouldn’t tell people what my time was. Just that I had run a marathon and that I was slow.

The truth is that I didn’t believe in myself. I crossed that finish line feeling like I hadn’t really accomplished anything. I actually felt deflated. I had so looked forward to this huge feeling of accomplishment when I finished and then when I finally did…it just wasn’t there. Nada. Zip. In my head, what I had done was nothing to be proud of.

The main problem for me was that I had relied so much on my ex through the entire training process that I finished knowing in my heart that there was no way I would have been able to finish had he not (almost literally) pushed me out the door on  some of those training runs. I struggled so much with self-doubt. I relied on him to chase those demons away for me, because I wasn’t strong enough or confident enough to do it on my own. I may have run a marathon but I still didn’t believe in myself or in my ability to do it, because I truly didn’t feel like I had done it on my own.

Hm. Maybe the reason why I was so slow was that I was carrying my ex husband with me the entire time. An extra 250 pounds will certainly slow one down.

It was only a few months after running this marathon that I slipped into a pretty bad depression. One of those “scary thoughts” kind of depressions that honestly, took me about two years (along with counseling and medication) to fully recover from. During this time I lost my passion for running, as I lost my passion for pretty much everything else. I made a few half-hearted attempts, but it became increasingly more difficult, despite remembering how much joy it used to bring me.

I felt terrible. Physically, mentally and emotionally. Depression had me firm in its grasp. During this time my marriage ended. I lost a community of friends. So many things seemed impossible for me at that time. Not just running, but basic things like happiness and joy. For a while there I really didn’t think I would ever get to experience any of those things again.

* * * * *

That’s it for now, folks. There will be one more “backstory” post before I give you the dirty deets on how it all went down on Sunday…

6 Responses

  1. When I read CBG’s post yesterday, I was secretly “high fiving” you! Now that I know a bit about your “before” story, I’m so glad you were able to rock this race and beat your last time! Happier lives tend to draw the most awesome things to us.

    Can’t wait to read about your day!!!

  2. It’s always so good to see how things affected us, isn’t it? And then see FULLY how we’ve overcome.

    Love this. GO girl.

  3. I am so glad that you believe in you now. Makes me sad to think you ever thought ANY time finishing a marathon would be bad. You FINISHED and did something so few have. I am very proud of you!

  4. ahh!! you’re killing me! I can’t wait to hear all the details! I LOVE how much you believe in yourself today vs. before. SO awesome.

    • LOL! Sorry, Jess….just wanted to set up the backstory about why this particular marathon was SO important to me. I promise I’ll write about the actual race soon. Gotta find some time! Busy, busy, busy!!

  5. […] So in Monday’s post I set up the story. Yes, I’d completed a marathon before. Barely. But it wasn’t something I’d ever felt a lot of pride about, because of my poor finish time and because I’d felt like I hadn’t really done it on my own. […]

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