You Don’t Make Decisions Because They Are Easy, You Make Them Because They Are Right

I have been thinking about this post for almost two weeks now.  I kept thinking over the last few days about how to write this post.  Each attempt ended up deleted because I couldn’t seem to get my thoughts together.  I almost just didn’t write about it at all but knew eventually I would have to, and also, I feel like it needs to be documented here in some capacity as part of the journey. 

I could write a whole big lead up to it, but I am not going to do that. I am just going to write it. 

:taking deep breaths:

I am not running in the Philadelphia Marathon.

Before you read on, please understand that this was one of the most difficult decision I have made in a long time.  I feel like I have failed myself and all those who are rooting for me.  I am disappointed (not so much in myself, just in general) and sad.  However, like my title states: I did not make this decision because it was easy, I made it because it was right.   The only thing that makes this okay for me is the knowledge that, for me at this time, this is the right decision.  But even knowing it is the right decision doesn’t make it any easier.

For those of you who have been following this journey, I feel in some way I owe it to you (as readers and friends) to tell you how I came to this decision.  So here goes:

*Back in the summer when I signed up for this race, I truly in my heart thought I would be ready.  In fact, I had zero doubts about signing up.  I had a schedule, I was feeling great and I was ready to go.  Over the summer, things progressed nicely; I was getting in all my alloted mileage, running well (remember the sub-30!!!) and feeling really good about running a marathon in November.  It never once occurred to me over the summer that I would not be running in the marathon.  I could picture myself running the 26.2 and crossing the line.

*Then September came.  And with September comes craziness.  And I expected this because it happens every September.  Every September the kids come back to school, my classes begin and life goes a little haywire.  I knew all of this when I signed up for the race.  The first week of September was great- I was on vaca, getting in runs on the beach and relaxing for hours a day.  But when reality hit, it came back with a vengeance and I was not ready!   

*My job, which I write very little about, has been extremely stressful.  Working in a school comes with stress, but this year is a whole different beast.  There are many different variables that contribute to this, none of which I am going to divulge on this blog, but it has been a really tough year already. 

*At Rutgers, I am currently carrying the heaviest work-load I have ever had.  While the classes themselves are enjoyable, the amount of work is exhausting.  For my one class, I have a 500-word (approx 2 pages) blog entry due each week in addition to reading and commenting three classmates blogs a week with a thoughtful response to their postings.   Also for that class, a weekly reading and weekly project.  In my other class I have a weekly reader-response paper due in addition to a ridiculous amount of reading and various other papers spread over the semester.  (Be honest, you are exhausted just reading that!) 

*Before I ran PDR two weeks ago, I hadn’t ran in days.  I knew I wasn’t a 100% prepared to run but because my mileage in general was so high, I ran anyway.  And I did okay.  But I didn’t have a great race.  While I was running that day, I started thinking about the marathon.  I started to question if I was really going to be ready.  And more than that, I had to wonder if my body would hold up.  I had quite a bit of knee pain, a little foot pain and honestly, I could not have run another mile that day.  It was all I could do to get through the 13.1.  I knew then, that it was time to seriously give thought to dropping out of the marathon.  

*Last week, with the race over and some time to think, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things that plauging me as far as the marathon was concerned.  Three things stuck out the most: I am stressed out to the max, I have only been running approx 10-15miles a week and I am afraid that running unprepared would put a stress on my body that could lead to an injury.  So, I made the decision I knew was right. 

And there you have it.

Yesterday, I emailed the people at Philly Marathon and asked to be dropped to the half.  So it is official. 

Until now, the only people who I told are my mom and two of my friends.  I am not too proud to admit that I am a bit embarrassed…my pride is definitely hurt.  I am an overachiever and I do not like the feeling of giving up.  But again, and not to beat a dead horse, I do know it was the right decision. 

I believe that one day I will cross the finish line at a marathon, but right now is not my time.        

I Need More Weekend In My Life!

I vote for five day weekends and two day work weeks.  All in favor say “I”!

This past weekend was great, but !whew! was I a busy girl!  Since I was busy doing homework and watching Sunday night TV last night, I didn’t get a chance to do my week in review.  I figure now is as good a time as any…


 At work we had a DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) fundraiser and I volunteered to compete and let me just tell you…DDR is wicked on the quads and calves!!!  It was a heck of a workout!  I didn’t win but it was a lot of fun and the kids loved it!   After work I headed home to get ready for my Gram’s 80th birthday dinner.  We held it on a restaurant on a lake and it was a great time.  I had the chicken parm which was to die for and a few glasses of much enjoyed wine.  Afterwards, my mom, my aunt and I all went to a local tavern for another drink.  All in all it was a great night with my family!


Saturday morning I slept in until 9am!!!  My awful-horrible-no-good-neighbor didn’t come home Friday night which meant I got to sleep in 🙂  The  rest of my morning was full of errands!  After almost a month of not food shopping (the situation in my fridge was pathetic) I was finally able to get to Trader Joes for some much needed items.  Then I hit up Target and went home to do laundry.  It felt really good to get so much done but seriously, I need a maid cause no matter how hard I try, my house aways seems to be cluttered!  Later, I decided to go for a run.  I can admit I have been a little lazy since my race and it was time to get back on the move.  It was a short run, because I had plans and needed to get home, but I did 3 miles @ 9:47 pace and felt pretty good the whole way.  Later that night I went out with a friend for another fun night past my bedtime!


I finished up my food shopping (I shop at like three different places) and went down to my parents house.  I visited with my Pop-Pop and cut my Mom-Mom’s hair.  Then I met up with my mom and we had a nice lunch followed by a very uneventful shopping trip.  I was once again unable to find pants that fit me which sucked, but on the upside I did get two new shirts.  Afterwards, it was back home for a night full of homework followed by some Sunday night TV. 

This week…you guessed it…busy busy!   I feel like I have a paper due every week!  On top of work and school, I am officially in apartment hunting mode- after two consecutive horrible living experience, I am being fairly picky this time and therefore starting early.  Here are my rules:  no complex’s, must have on-site parking and a W&D and most important…I do not want to live under anyone EVER again!  My lease is up in February which seems like a long ways away but I know it will come quick so I am looking now.  Also, I am looking to get back to spin class tomorrow- I really need to get my workouts back on a regular schedule, so I am hoping to get a few runs in this week as well. 

Om, so this post was a little all of the place (scattered, a little like me lately!) and kind of whiney (yuck!) so my thank for sticking it out.  For now, I will leave you with some photos from my Gram’s party on Friday night:

gramMy Gram with her cake 🙂


My mother and I – everyone thinks she is my sister!


My parents and I ♥

Give-A-Way Haiku

My haiku’s for Rebekah (I did two cause I am a kiss ass) and her giveaway!!!!  If you go to her page, you can enter too:)

I gave you blog props

And I spelled your name just right

Karma’s on my side ♥


A poor runner girl

Who both works and goes to school

Needs to win contest!

Great idea- I love it and of course, I hope I win!!!

TiaRT- Yoga For Dummies

This weeks TiaRT comes from Kitzzy: Tell us about your experience with yoga as it relates to running.

In truth, her question is much more involved (and actually a question) but the truth is, Yoga doesn’t really apply to me as it relates to running.  However, Yoga does relate to me in the following ways:

  • Falling– for athletic as I am, coordination is not my thing.  Right from the beginning of my first class I was falling all over the place, making a complete fool of myself.  Every time I went to yoga it was a one woman circus and I was the star of the show.
  • Farting– I don’t know what it is about yoga that makes me want to fart, but it’s like my body reserves all it’s gas for exactly the time in between when yoga begins and ends.  And it isn’t just me- girls whether you admit it or not you ALL fart and I would bet you have all let it go in yoga.  And that is precisely the problem- I have the maturity of a five year old when it comes to farting (I am even hysterical as I write this) and laugh the entire class.  Whereas many of the people ignore all the gas passing, I crack up.  This prohibits the whole relaxation thing, thereby defeating the purpose.
  • Sleeping– As ridiculous as the falling is and as funny as the farting is…falling asleep is just plain embarrassing.  The last time I went to yoga, I fell asleep in the child pose.  Not like dosed off…like I woke up and everyone was in a different pose.  I promptly grabbed my stuff and left.   And if you noticed, I said it was the LAST time I went to yoga.

So yeah, Yoga is a no-no for me.

Props Wednesday- Meet Rebekah

Meet Rebekah!!  For the love of blogging, I hope I spelled your name right!

Rebekah has done distances from 5k to marathon and of course she kicks butt!

What makes Rebekah’s blog, Fair Weather Runner, one of my favorites is that she keeps me laughing.  And she does a “Best Part of My Day” post that I just love for its positivity.  They are simple things like running in the snow, taking a vacation or having a good run.  If things are crappy or she is having  a bad time, she doesn’t hide it…but it is not her primary focus either.  Her focus is on being herself and it shows in every post.  Rebekah is funny, positive and not afraid to poke fun at herself.

Oh, and Rebekah is a philanthropist- earlier this summer she started Shoes4Africa…which transpired into Shoes4theWorld.  She collected shoes all throughout the summer to send around the world to those who could use them.  If you are interested in donating email her for sure.  The more shoes the better!!!

Rebekah was recently sidelined from running recently due to foot problems.  She is on crutches and out for Chicago, but instead of pouting (ok, maybe a little [warranted] pouting) she is still going and she is volunteering.  So if you are doing Chicago look out for her at the mile 16.5 aid station.  And keep your fingers crossed that she can pull a speedy recovery (and a double finger cross that it isn’t a stress fracture!) and can still run in her upcoming half-marathon at the end of November.

Look readers, show Rebekah some love.  She is a runner and she is on crutches.  She is doing a lot of good for the world and deserves the good karma of strong feet and legs.  So go visit her blog, send her some love and if you have them sitting around send her some shoes too!


I am so busy, even taking the few minutes to write this is difficult.

I feel like the world’s worst blogger- I have about 4 posts started but not complete. One of those is my “props” for this week. I am really hoping to get it in by tonight but I don’t want to write just anything in an effort to get it done.  So we may just have to wait until tomorrow. suspenseful huh???

I am tired, my head hurts and I still have about 8 hours left before I will be home again. I know, I know…stop whining and talk about running, right?? 

Uh, so about running.  Yeah, haven’t run since the race on Sunday.  Add slacker to the list.

Tomorrow I am taking they day off- I have a funeral in the morning and I am using the afternoon to get two papers done; one is due tomorrow night and one has to be emailed to my professor by noon Friday.  I am hoping that I can get caught up so my head no longer feels like it is spinning off my neck.

I hope all my sick bloggers are feeling better and I hope all my well bloggers stay well.  And I hope you all keep reading even if I am a crappy blogger this week.

PDR Photos

School work is taking over my life tonight (and probably tomorrow night) so no time for a “real” post.  I won’t leave you empty handed though: since I didn’t have them yesterday, here are some photos from the race.

47946-025-021fPretty early in the race- notice the thumbs up as always!

pdr2This is Mile 9- still with the thumbs up but if you look close, you can see the hurt in my face.

47946-880-019fGotta love the photos with the watch stopping

47946-880-020fSoooooo close……….

47946-880-021fFinally crossing the line!!

47946-448-016fOfficial Finisher Picture 🙂

PDR Weekend and Race Report

What a fabulous weekend 🙂

Friday- work went so slow I was half expecting time to start going backwards!! Finally 4pm hit and the weekend began.  Unfortunately, I had a viewing to attend but afterward I met up with my friends Monique and Colleen for dinner and the PDR weekend was officially underway!  It was quite exciting because I hadn’t seen my friend Colleen since High School and we all had a lot of catching up to do!  We ate that this amazing Italian place and when I say we ate, I mean we ATE!  I had a huge plate of lasagna with salad and lots of garlic bread.  We hung out at dinner for a few hours eating and catching up and then decided to have a drink and toast to the upcoming race.  Things have been so busy and stressful lately with work and school; it was such a good time and it was so good to laugh like that.

Saturday- we were up and at ’em good and early to head over the expo.  We took the Patco over (fabulous plan, so nice to not worry about parking and all that Philly bs) and while it was a bit chilly, it was a good walk in the city over the Convention Center.  We picked up out packets, bibs and etc., and then spent some time looking around and scoring some free swag.  I walked away with quite a few goodies 🙂 After working up an appetite walking around, we headed over the Chilli’s for lunch.  We love to eat, have you noticed??  From lunch it was back home as we all had individual plans for the afternoon.  I had an End of Summer Luau at my teammates house and once again it was so nice to sit back and relax.  The turn out was small, which was a bummer, but it was gorgeous out and there was great food and good company.  I only stayed a few hours because I had the race; I was home by 7pm and had my bags back and was in bed by 8pm.  I was up a few times in the night (thanks to my jerk neighbor) but for the most part, slept well.

Sunday- Race Day 🙂

Time/Pace: 2:29:45/11:26

Overall: 10,536/12,247

Gender: 5152/6394

Age: 1150/1386

Pre-Race:  woke up feeling rested, went through my morning routine and was ready to go.  Monique and Colleen met me here and we drove over around 6:15am.  Once we got to the race we checked our bags, used the potties and stretched out.  Before we knew it the race was starting so we headed off to our respective corrals.

Race:  the first two miles, as usual, consisted of fighting through all the runners who should have been in corrals behind me.  It was so packed it was hard to move- the first mile was the worst.  On top of the crowd, I was having knee pain almost right from the start.  I knew if I didn’t figure something out, it was going to be a looonnnnggg race.  Right as I hit mile three, I saw a WaWa and made the executive decision to veer off the course and go in- I am sure they thought I was holding the place up…I ran in like a bat out of hell and said “I am in a race and I need an advil, does anyone have one they would be willing to give me” and to my happiness, the lady behind the counter had Motrin and gave them to me.  It took me @ three minutes and I knew I would struggle to make up the time, but I truly believe without it, I might not have finished at all.  So yeah…my PR- I left it in WaWa.  I fought through miles four through seven with some knee pain but was still pacing relatively well with all things considered.  I gave my mom a call (she was following me online) while I took a GU and she updated me on my splits; I knew a PR was going to be really tough so I decided to just bag it and enjoy the run.  I started to notice the pain subsiding when I hung up with my mom (yeah for Motrin!) and ran really well for the next few miles.  And then I fell apart.  Right before mile 11, I started getting cramps in my hamstring, my groin and my calves.  I have never, in all my runs, had this happen.  I stopped, laid down in the grass and stretched out as best I could.  When I started running again I was still sore so I just trotted along- I was probably pacing at close to 12 minutes but I was afraid to push to hard and pull something.  I really wanted to sprint the last mile but my legs were just dead.  I did up my pace but not by much and part of me was ready to crawl over the finish line!  It was the best feeling when I saw that finish line and I was elated when I crossed it!

Post-Race:  I got my medal and my water and then I saw Monique and we headed over to meet her parents.  A few minutes later Colleen met up with us and we spent a few minutes stretching and chatting about the race.  We grabbed our bags and headed out to lunch.

I won’t lie, I was disappointed to miss my PR, but I still feel really good considering.  Had I not stopped at WaWa…had I not stopped to stretch…had I not stopped to take a GU three times…all those factor into my time, but that is part of the race.  All in all it was a really great day and my time is secondary.  The race was well put on, the weather was amazing and best of all, I ran this race with two of my good friends.  We have all followed each other through up and downs, training and various races; it was great to finally race together.  While we didn’t see each other on the course, it was so nice to know they were there.

As of right now, my knee is unhappy.  I took an ice bath and iced my knee…hopefully after some rest and advil and a massage later this week I will be back to new in no time.  I look forward to my recovery run and getting back out on the road!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  If only Monday never had to happen!

On a sad note, I would like to ask for your thoughts- my best friends Aunt passed away early Saturday morning after a long (very long) and courageous battle with cancer.  It is a very sad time for her and her family; please keep them in your thoughts.  Cancer SUCKS!!!!

TiaRT- Sponsored By: Yours Truly!

Yeah! This was my week to sponsor the TiaRT question over at The Runners Lounge!!! I am really exicted to see all of your answers and I am looking forward to meeting some new readers/writers through this project. 

My question was: You get to run the last six miles of your next marathon with 6 different people.  They can be dead or alive; famous or not famous.  Who are these people and why did you pick them?  Furthermore, why did you pick them for the specific mile you did?  Remember, you get an extra .2 miles with runner #6.

I have been thinking about this answer for quite some time now but have narrowed it down to my six (kind of, and you’ll see what I mean by that as you read).  I should also note…while I think she is amazing and would have added her if I had more choices, I might be the only person who doesn’t have Kara Goucher on the list.

Mile 21- Burt Yasso–> he pretty much has the best job ever and has had some of the most amazing experiences of all time.  I met him once and he was the most laid back cool dudes.  By mile 20 I think I am going to need a serious pick-me-up and I know he would force me to bust my ass.  Plus, I would probably get a good story or two out of him as well.  As an added bonus, maybe I could talk him into getting me a job at Runner’s World ;).

Mile 22- All my blog friends–> I know this is WAY more than one person (but it’s my question, so I can cheat!) but I could never pick just one.  You all have our own stories and I am inspired by each and every one of you.  I look forward reading about all your races, the ups and downs (I like the ups better!) and advice.  I would have this blog even if I had only one reader, but I sure am glad to have all of you 🙂 I have a few blogger meet-ups planned for future 2009 races and I hope I can meet more of you in 2010!

Mile 23- Sandy and Tessa–> these were my beloved doggies growing up (I also had a dog Bandit, but I was too young to really remember her) and I still miss them both terribly.  Both of these dogs loved to run and I wish I had them now to run with me.  They, while very different in personality, were both the best dogs ever.  They look a lot like Aron’s dog’s, Kylie and Emma and they often remind me of them too. 

Mile 24- Ryan Shay–> The sky that was his limit, is now his home.  In short, this would give him another chance to run and it would give me a chance to run with one of the greatest runners of all time. Ryan Shay; a life cut tragically short.  Every time I run 5.5 miles, I think of Ryan. 

Mile 25- Chrissie Wellington–> I don’t really get all hyped-up about famous people, but I am in straight awe of Chrissie.  Teammates of mine have been given their medals to them by her and it is the #1 reason I want to do the Timberman 70.3, for the chance to meet her even for only a few words/moments.  I am inspired by her and I admire her.  She came into the sport and took it over, but without ego which I highly respect.  Although by mile 25 I would probably be falling apart, I would kick it into serious gear if Chrissie was there with me.

Mile 26 (+.2)- My Mom and Dad–> I could never choose between them.  Neither of them are runners (my mom is a “walker girl” as we like to say!) but they are my biggest fans and supporters.  They come to as many races as they can, listen to hours of triathlon/running talk and most importantly, support every goal I set for myself.  I would love for them to know the feeling of crossing the finish line.

Here is My Slideshow that accompanied my question.  Warning: it plays music, so if you are at work or being sneaky, turn off your volume!

Thanks to all of those who participated- and if you haven’t yet, it is never too late…I believe you can take it and run any day you want!

Props Wednesday- Meet Diane

Meet Diane.

Diane was one of my first commenters and one of the first blogs I read on a regular basis.  Right off the bat I loved her blog, mostly because Diane is what Finishing is Winning is all about! 

Diane doesn’t run 7-minute miles or come in at the front of the triathlon racing pack.  But she finishes and if you asked her a few years ago if that would be possible she would have laughed, right Diane??? 

You see, Diane a few years ago is not the Diane of today. 

Her blog is titled Fat Girl to Fit Girl and rightfully so!  She calls her transformation her “mid-life fitness journey” since it began just before she turned 50.  Since May of 2008 Diane has lost over 60 lbs and went from coming home and eating to coming home and running!  She made a lifestyle change and not too long ago she competed in her first Triathlon.  Recently, she completed her second race and guess what- she took 2nd place in her division!  She is proof that anyone can have success in the sport of triathlon if they put their minds to it and work hard to reach their goals!

Not all days are easy- old habit die hard- but her blog is an honest assesment of both her successes and not-so-much successes.  Her blog is very much like a journal, a way to keep track of the ups and downs.  Diane writes with a brutal honesty that you can tell resonates with her readers.  She is an inspiration to many, and a fine example of what can be done when you put your mind to something. 

Keep up the great work Diane!!  As for you readers, go check out her blog and cheer her on!!