Last Thursday I finally went to early morning yoga! I woke up at 5:15am and really considered going back to sleep. I still had plenty of hours before work. But I thought about it and knew that it really isn’t easy to be up that early but that’s what makes a difference. So I got up and am so glad I did! The 6am class I went to was awesome and I felt so refreshed afterwards. I woke up really early but I wasn’t even tired throughout the day, it was a perfect way to start a morning! Since then I’ve been to two more classes, one on Saturday (not as early but a morning start), and another one today. As long as I keep this up I can make it into a habit. While yoga is excellent for runners and we need those good stretches I also do it for the mental benefits it gives. Our minds need to be exercised too.
Also during the weekend I finally strained my first tinctures! They came out great. I made a Hawthorn Berry tincture which is good for cardiovascular health: blood pressure. I also made Echinacea purpurea which is good for the immune system and helps fight colds and the flu, especially during the first signs. I’m going to write about the Echinacea purpurea because I just had an experience with it.
During the weekend my niece slept over and she was sick. She’s feeling better now but what she had was at risk of spreading it. Last night I felt terrible. My body was aching, I had the chills and was lethargic I just wanted to sleep. I thought about canceling my yoga class because I felt so bad. I took some drops of the echinacea and went to sleep. Woke up in the middle of the night, took more drops and went back to sleep. I woke up at 5:15am and I was surprised that I felt so much better! My body aches were gone, my chills gone, and I felt energized enough to go to yoga! And that’s exactly what I did. I had a great start to my morning and my yoga class helped me feel even better. I still find it amazing how well it worked. I’ve used other remedies that are supposed to help stop colds the moment symptoms start but none of them have worked for this. Natural holistic medicines really are the best. I really recommend the echinacea since I’ve tired it and can say it definitely works! As of right now I can say I feel 90% better and all I did was take the tincture and sleep. I still have other ones I’m making and they will be ready soon!
I suffer from lazy days more often than I would like. I don’t usually admit it but it’s the truth of most healthy/workout regimens. For example, on Sunday I was feeling lazy… really lazy. I just wanted to get some shopping done, watch the game and watch a movie. I did all three so by the time evening came (when I usually go for a run), I didn’t feel like going out in the humid air for a run. Plus, the movie was a bit longer than expected so it was later than usual.
While I can say I’m pretty good at pushing myself I’m glad I have my family now to join in that push. I ended up getting almost 7.5 miles in on Sunday and it would have been a run I missed out on. Take yesterday, it was storming outside and we almost cancelled our run. When the rain and lightning stopped we went out, safely navigating our way through the puddles. My training partner is my dad (and sometimes my sister), which is still almost a shock to me since I never imagined him getting into running. It started with my older sister joining me last year though. I’ll never forget the phone call she made to me telling me how she was inspired to give running a try. Her job was having a corporate run and she wanted to sign up with me and she wanted to the Princess Half Marathon. The first runs my sister, dad and mom joined me for all mean a lot to me… it has been a journey, one that continues to grow.
It was July 12, 2016 when I signed up for the 2017 Disney Princess Half Marathon. I had slacked off with my workouts and had gained weight again. I told myself that now that I was registered for my first half marathon I would get back to it and start training. I bought a running journal hoping that it would keep me encouraged. As the months went by I told myself I would sign up for another run, I would go to the gym and run some miles on the treadmill. I never did sign up for another run and while I did run on the treadmill, it wasn’t very often and not enough to be considered training. I did a mile sometimes around my block with my dog and I was glad to at least get some running done.
As the February race came closer I started to get nervous. I knew that Disney swept you if you didn’t keep their pace (thankfully I didn’t know about the Balloon Ladies then, it would have made me more nervous), so I started to look it up to see if they really did do that… yes they do. I started to search if it was possible to run a half marathon without proper training… everything I read didn’t make me feel better. I had gained all the weight I had lost plus a bit more. With the run barely 2 months away, I went to the gym more often and ran longer miles everyday I went. I never reached the 13.1 but I did go as far as 8 miles before the race inched closer.
2017 was the year that Disney cancelled their marathon due to weather conditions. I remember that well because I began to hope that they would cancel the Princess half marathon because I just didn’t feel confident. I truly believed I could not finish the race. I was so scared that I didn’t want to go, I was willing to lose the money I paid because I didn’t want to face the possibility of failure. I would have quit, I would have never attempted the half marathon if it weren’t for my older sister. I thank her immensely because it was her who pushed me to go anyway. If it weren’t for her encouraging me, going to Disney with me, staying up to 3AM to drive me to the race, I would not have gone and would never have experienced the run that changed my life. To this I really can’t thank her enough.
It brings me to tears when I think back on that day. It was February 26, 2017 a year after I had done my first run. A part of me still hoped that the run wouldn’t go on but my sister was there staying up all night so that she could drive me and kept on encouraging me. I was so nervous… not only was I about to attempt a half marathon I didn’t feel ready for I was going to do it alone. After she dropped me off I followed the crowd since I didn’t know where to go or what to do. It was cold that morning but I seriously didn’t know if I was shaking from the cold or from nerves. Once I got to my corral I couldn’t stop shaking. After waiting for about an hour it was finally my turn to start the half marathon.
That first step across that start line was the beginning of the moment that changed my life. I ran, not at a fast pace but at a steady pace for about the first 6 miles. I was so scared of getting swept I refused to walk (and take pictures) unless I really had to. It was about mile 6.5 that one of the entertainers on the course said that we were 45 minutes ahead of the buses. At that point I was so relieved that I started to walk. I kept a walk, run, walk, run pace until mile 9 when I felt I could no longer run. I was exhausted but just kept on going. People always ask me how I felt during my first half marathon. One thing I always say is that the final 5K felt like the longest 5K of my life. I remember one of the volunteers at the 10 mile water stop told us “just a 5K left!” and I thought “only a 5K?”. The second thing is that mile 12 is the longest mile ever! I remember wondering how much longer until I saw mile 13.
And then I saw it, mile 13 and I knew the finish line was right around the corner.
I ran to the finish line. As I crossed it I heard a man announce, “you all are now half marathoners!”. Yes, we were, yes I was… and I couldn’t believe it. I did it. I really did, I started and finished a half marathon. My mom, who was another of my supporters, messaged me as she got the text update and my sister sent me another grand text telling me that she knew I could do it… I was surprised she was even awake after staying up all night. My little sister had also gone to Orlando with me so I thank her too for being there for me and also supporting me, she kept telling me what an accomplishment it was to finish.
It really was an accomplishment and it was one that really changed my life. It was this run that inspired me. After finishing my first half marathon I now felt inspired to run more, I wanted to run more. I looked for more runs and signed up for them, I no longer cared if I had to go alone. I had run the entire half marathon alone and being alone no longer scared me. When I think back on the person I was then it really brings me to tears because I still can’t believe what I did and what I continued to do. I did it alone, not truly alone because I had the encouraging words from my family and friends and it was all that I needed. Over a year later I re-read that running journal I had bought back in summer 2016. In it there was a page where I wrote down my goals. One of the goals was to run a half marathon. The reason why I wanted to run the half marathon was to prove to myself that I could. I not only proved to myself that I could, I proved to myself that I was capable of so much more and that this was only the beginning.
“Running is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It’s the focus of my daily routine, the source of everything. It gives my life a sense of rhythm. It’s not just a game or a sport, something outside of life; it’s a part of life. It’s an adjective that defines me.” – The Complete Book of Running; James F. Fixx