Two Firsts: A DNF and Cop Car Selfies

Two Firsts: A DNF and Cop Car Selfies

I sat in the Blue Bird bus, made in my hometown, with my legs hitting the seat in front of me. I wondered how I’m THIS much bigger than I was when I rode nearly the same bus to and from school. I was on the “hump seat.” You know the one. The one that sits over the rear wheel and you have a built in footrest. I always loved that seat and tried to get it every day.

The bus took us to the church for the start of the Tartan Trot 5k/10k. I was signed up for the 10k — ready to take on the 6.2 miles that I had run last year as my first 10k ever. It’s a rough course, but this time? I was prepared.

I met up with Faith and Sharon and saw Lindsey and Stephen. I checked out guys in kilts with fabulous legs, because YES, you wear kilts to run this race if you have one. Sharon and I made our way to the start, snapped our official pre-race selfie and hit the pavement.


Things were going great. I was having my best race ever. Was running a pace a good minute faster than normal. Passed my house and my boys were sitting out with water and a smile.

Strangely, in spite of running the fastest time ever, I was running in the last 3 or 4 people the whole time. That’s ok. Small race and all.

About the 5k mark, I noticed my breathing was very labored, however, I had just posted my best 5k time at 39:00. I trudged on. But by the time I got to the top of a horrible hill, I couldn’t breathe.

Not a dramatic “I can’t breathe” but a full on “I think I may black out, I can’t breathe” kind. Like the scary kind.

Of course, my inhaler was in my bathroom drawer.

The good news is, I was almost last, which means there was a police escort right behind me. I kindly asked him if he had an inhaler. He didn’t (why would he?) so I trudged on for about 20 more steps.

Then I gave up.

I quit.

At 3.91 miles and 49:59, I quit my first race ever. I got my first DNF.

I hopped in the back of the car with the officer, which was another first.

And I snapped a quick selfie, another first, because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?



The officer was nice. He asked me over and over if I needed to go on to the finish, but I was ok once I was able to get a really deep breath and had coughed for about 10 minutes straight. We followed the end of the pack and I was deposited safely at the church where the officer kindly opened the door for me. I mean, he kinda had to because I was locked in like a convict, but I’m going to just go on thinking he did it because I was special.

Sharon walked around with me as I bypassed the finish line and got my t-shirt and banana.

People said “congratulations” and I just said “thanks.” It’s a strange feeling to not finish. The logical part of me says it could be worse, that I’m healthy and it’s good I DID stop when I did. But my heart is mad at myself.

We didn’t take the Blue Bird bus back to the parking lot. We moseyed the .83 miles back to our cars. It was nice.

There’s a first time for everything. And I’m blessed that my first time to not finish a race was close to my house and close to someone who could help. And I’m even MORE blessed that my first time in the back seat of a cop car was for an asthma attack and not something else.

This is probably a bad idea.

Remember a while back when I talked about making sure I was SO VERY prepared for the Wine & Dine half marathon?

Remember when I said I was going to lose 20 pounds before the race?

Remember when I made ALL THOSE PLANS?

Well, life happened.

I could make a million excuses about why I’m not ready, but the bottom line is that I’m not ready. Physically, I’m not trained at all. Sure, I’ve run. But nothing of any length or importance.

Mentally? I’m so ready I could run it tomorrow.

This is probably a bad idea. In one part of my mind, I feel like it’s going to be a complete disaster and I’ll get swept by the infamous “balloon ladies.” But in the other part of my mind – possibly the crazy part – I feel like I’ll finish faster than I did for the Princess Half.

Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I’ve done it before? Maybe because I have a plan?

It’s probably because I have a new running skirt and think it’s really cute and sassy. Or it’s because in my heart I believe I can do it and I believe in the magic of Disney and that pixie dust really DOES work.

I promise to listen to my body and stop if I need to and I promise to have fun.

Those are the makings of a winning combination, I think!



It’s Sunday, two days before Charlie’s tenth birthday. I’m at a loss for words and lacking motivation to do much of anything, anticipating the day in a way that has me paralyzed.

I would suspect that’s normal, though.

I was texting with my friend Karen earlier, and she suggested I make a goal of running 10 miles this week. Then we decided we should ALL make that goal.



This solves a couple of problems for me personally:

One, I’m likely going to eat pizza every night this week since my husband is traveling, so I’ll be able to burn off a few calories.

Two, Henry and I can burn off some energy and (my) anxiety in the evenings with a run around the block.

It seems so very easy, really. Just pick your favorite activity — running, walking, skipping, biking — and log 10 miles this week.

If you tweet, use #10ForCharlie hashtag. If you don’t, let me know on my Facebook page.

Throw on your running shoes and get outside!

The Hardest Part…

The Hardest Part…

Day after day, I see pretty quotes come through Facebook and Twitter and everywhere else saying things like, “The hardest part isn’t finishing, it’s starting” and other such motivational blather.

I say blather because, while it IS hard to start AND to finish, I feel like I’m stuck.

I’m feeling more like this:

hardest part

It was pretty easy to start running. I quite literally just woke up one day and said I was going to do it. So I did.

It wasn’t “easy” to finish my half marathon 265 days later. But in a way it was.

Motivation pushed me. Your support and willingness to help with my fundraising pushed me. My son and husband were proud of me and that made me get up and out the door for 4, 6, 8, and gasp! 10 mile runs.

Quite honestly, the fear of failure pushed me more than anything. I had said I was going to do something, run a half marathon, and I felt like others were watching for me to follow through. I don’t like to fail, and I certainly don’t like to disappoint people.

But now I’ve done it. I finished my half marathon. Yet I feel unmotivated. Even though I feel like a total badass, I feel like the fire is gone.

Keeping going with it has been the hardest part of the journey. Maybe that’s totally normal, but people just don’t want to put THAT on motivational posters.

Yes, I’m signed up for a second one in November and yes, I’m still running. But not with any regular schedule or extra oomph! I hate every step of the run, yet I love the thrill of the finish. My body has learned what it can and can’t do, so I’m running using its cues instead of a pre-programmed run/walk program. I’ve found my groove. I am a runner.

Actually, I’m one badass mother runner, or so my hat tells me.

So why do I feel like keeping going isn’t going to be easy? How do I motivate myself to kick it back into gear?

ps: You can get the hat here

Two Halves Make a Whole, Right?

I did it.

I did the thing I swore I wouldn’t do.

I signed up for a second half marathon.

I know. I KNOW. You all told me that I would be addicted. You told me I wouldn’t be able to run just one.

You told me that I’d forget how much it hurt at mile 9 and the next day I’d be wondering when the next one was.

You told me my first wouldn’t be my last.

I didn’t believe you.

But my bank account believes you because I just signed up for the Wine & Dine Half at Disney in November.

It just *happens* to be the weekend we were planning to take Henry for his birthday. COINCIDENCE? I think not…

So here’s to it… to two halves making a whole, to a summer of running, and to another medal for my collection.

Oh, and there’s liquor at the end, so how bad can it be?

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