How it all started (Part II)

So now you’re up to speed on WHY I’m running and WHY I can’t stop since you’ve read that last post from yesterday.

Now the question goes to HOW did you start actually RUNNING?

Two friends of mine had already planted the seed in my head. It just made sense to do what they did.

Berenice running for Mimi

Berenice and Paige had both dedicated their runs with Team in Training to my mother and to Sissy. I’ll be honest, I was really intimidated. They were both athletic, slim go-getters. I was a flabalanche. But a promise was a promise and I wasn’t about to back down. Sissy meant too much to me and deep down, I knew the reason she wanted me to do this was nothing but good for me.

So I made the phone call to the local LLS/Team in Training office and left a message. I don’t remember what I initially said in the message but when Jean Gearhart called me back… I think I counted at least 17 times that I said “I’m not a real runner”. She reassured me that I would be fine and would soon be running and ready for my first marathon.

Determined and scared outta my wits, I knew what I had to do. I said it and now I have to do it. So I went to the Bicentennial Street running trail a about 9:30 p.m. (so that no one would see me), took a deep breath… and “wogged” (thats my super technical term that means walking and jogging) as much as I could. I wogged from one light pole to the next. Then I walked from that light pole to the next. Then I jogged from that light pole to the next and so on and so forth.

I went back every night for two weeks after that and increased the distance of my jogging each time.

Bicentennial trail at night

This was about the middle of October 2011 and into November 2011 that the above was done. My training with Team in Training was to begin in January of 2012. I was so afraid that I would be the last one in on the team and hold everyone else back. So I pushed harder. It was November of 2011 that I was able to run my very first mile… EVER. I continued with my own personal training on that trail and entered my first 5k the following month, the Fiesta Marathon.

My first 5k - fiesta marathon

The following month, January 2012, I entered my first 10k – the Longest Causeway Run at South Padre Island.

My first 10k - The Longest Causeway run

The following month, February 2012, I entered my first half marathon – LiveSTRONG in Austin, Tx.

my first half marathon - LiveSTRONG

And simply never stopped.

Medal collage

And the questions continue… What keeps you going? Most people quit when it gets too tough or when it interferes with work/children/family/life schedules. How do you do it?

I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything. BUT I do know a lot of people who can help improve me and know a lot more about this subject than I do. Momma did a great job of teaching me to push myself and surround myself with people who are better at whatever task I’m focused on and super supportive people.

I signed up with Team in Training. In addition, I did the “beginner class” at Valley Running Company. I went further and signed up for private run coaching with Coach Hector Gandara. This all happened in 2012.

Note that I had an enormous amount of professional trainers supervising me throughout the year.

Another important factor is that I took the time to visit with my family doctor, Alison Garza (who is also a runner). She did a full check up on me. I did my colonoscopy and a cancer gene screen. (*I’m fine) Did a full exam, stress test and sonogram with my cardiologist BEFORE I went into this journey full blast.

But probably the most important part of what kept me going when things got tough was my run club. I do belong to a number of running groups all over the Rio Grande Valley but one stood out from the get go.

run walk or crawl

The all women group of Run, Walk or Crawl are women of all shapes and sizes and various fitness levels but we all have our own fitness goals and each of us respects them and encourages the other to reach them.

There was one day in February, shortly before the LiveSTRONG marathon, when I was told by someone, “You’re wasting your time. You’ll never finish this marathon. You’re going to end up hurting yourself. If really want to take marathon training seriously, you should train with (insert so-and-so’s name here).”

Just so you know… “so-and-so” had never run a marathon. She just looked really good at the gym.

When I told the girls of Run Walk or Crawl that I was thinking of quitting because of what was said to me, boy oh boy did they let me have it! I went on to run 2 full marathons and 5 half marathons after that… and the best part… I was able to be waiting at the finish line for “so-and-so” to finish her very FIRST half marathon after all of that.

Run Walk or Crawl has a saying on the back of our running jerseys. It says “NEVER EVER GIVE UP”.

And I didn’t.

2 Responses to “How it all started (Part II)”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I am so sorry for all you’ve had to go through, but you are such an inspiration! thank you for sharing with us!!


  2. Reblogged this on RunMyssieRun and commented:

    I’m reblogging this entry because I talk about my “WHY” all the time, not just for you but also for me – so i don’t get all caught up in the competition of things and stay grounded in my journey. Lately, I’ve been getting an unusually larger amount of questions on how to get started. So rather than typing the same thing over and over, I’m going to take the lazy way out and reblog this very important entry that gets overlooked too much. Make the decision. Don’t quit on yourself. Surround yourself with support. Tell your doctors (plural)… yes, all of them. Find something you like to do and go do it. Be active and don’t stop. Simple, right? I’ll see you out on the trails 🙂


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