It all started with one step forward.

And it continues on Sunday with 13.1 miles forward.

 My first half marathon.

In the past 6 months there have been more miles run than I ever dreamed I was capable of; bigger hills (literally) run up than I ever even let myself imagine running up before; more desire to lace up my shoes and just run than I thought possible.

There is a company that sells running stickers and jewelry called Lift Your Sole, and they have a great Facebook page that always has inspirational photos with quotes or encouraging words on them. Most days I appreciate the encouragement, but the photos today have spoken to my heart and helped bring to the surface all of the emotions that have been keeping me going, that have made running fun and something I actually look forward to doing. I'd like to share these thoughts with you, and with myself here in this space, to remind myself just what these months have done for me and why every ache, bead of sweat, and sore spot was worth it.

This one ^ took my breath away. I barely trained for that 5k back in May, I had just had surgery in January and kept thinking I *might* be or get pregnant and then I wouldn't be running the 5k anyway. While my physical scars aren't drastic, they are there and they indicate IF. IF is tough. And it has tried to hurt me, and a lot of times it has won. But as I've trained I have proved, and come Sunday, I will prove again that this body of mine works, it is strong, and it is not useless. I cannot tell you the power behind that sentence. Days when I would be running and be tired and crampy because of AF, my mantra was literally "I am strong and powerful." As one foot would hit the pavement after the other, I willed myself to believe this. Yes, I might have some scars, but I am stronger than IF. 

This one ^ describes the emotion I felt in the bathroom at the expo center after the 5k in May and also every time I met a new goal - be it speed or distance or just going out and running when I didn't want to. I can't change our IF. I can deal with it, try to treat what causes it, but ultimately, I know I cannot change it. While I can't say I've let go of it, when I run I have let go of letting it control me. 

This one ^ has been a favorite quote of mine for a long time, but it is so applicable to my experiences of the past few months. My fears of hurting myself (I'm super clumsy), of not being able to do it, of so many things. One of these big fears was crossing the 6 mile mark. Last summer, when Sara was talking about training for a half marathon, I remember, very clearly, saying to her "I'll start and end with you and meet you and do whatever, maybe I'll bike while your run, but I just can't run more than 6 miles, my body can't do it. Each and every time I pass 6 miles or head out for a "short run" of 6 miles, I smile as I remember my fears.

This one ^ is exactly what I was feeling and hoping when I registered for a half marathon (the one next August) back in May. That I didn't want to get to next August and be standing at the finish line waiting for Sara, still not pregnant or a mom, full of regret for not living my life. Each month since May as AF has shown up right on time, I have been rewarded for my decision, for I know that I decided to live my life rather than wait for a life that may never happen.

While running isn't an extremely expensive sport, there are some costs associated, as indicated here ^. Sometimes I've felt guilty spending our extra money on new shorts or a race entry fee, but The Man is always supportive and when I look in the mirror and see a runner (albeit a slow one), I know that is priceless. Because I see a body that works (at least in some ways), that is healthy, and that has gotten so much stronger. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window when I'm out running, I do a double take because I don't recognize the person I see. I see confidence and courage that do not exist at any other times in my life.

This ^ wil be my mantra on Sunday. While I'm scared to death of being last on Sunday (if only there was a turtle division, I'd fit right in), I know that crossing that finish line will be one of the greatest achievements of my life. The tears are already forming in my eyes as I consider it, and I suspect they will be running down my cheeks on Sunday.
Sunday, October 14, 2012. 9:00 am. Run.

(Comments are closed because of an increase in spam. You can email me at RebeccaWVU02 @ gmail . com (remove spaces))


  1. I was so, so happy when I read your one step forward post. And now it is really difficult to believe that it was more than a month or so ago that you posted it. I am so very glad for you, and while I subscribe to a zillion running blogs I already know that your race recap will be my favorite ever.

  2. You go girl! It might sound cheesy, but I am SO proud of you! Love that scar quote...I think something similar whenever I look at the scars from my lap. Can't wait to hear how it goes!

  3. What a feat! Have a blast and let us know how it went. Cheering for you!

  4. This is truly awesome. I love it, and I love that you're doing it. You've earned any and every tear on Sunday. I wish I could hang out and cheer you on, but I'll be there in spirit cheering you on!!

  5. I love this post!!!! I know that you had many mixed emotions about this race, but I'm so glad that you persevered!!!

    Thank God for exercise!!

  6. Yes, running is the best. I've been running (off and on) for over 10 years now, and it has gotten me through some tough times in life, awkward high school years, crazy college years, boys, family, and everything else. Somehow knowing I can make it up the next hill reminds me I can make it through the next challenge in life. Running has increased my confidence dramatically. Also, for what it's worth, my half marathon is definitely the most satisfying race I've run :)

    Best of luck Sunday! I know you can do it!

  7. I will be pulling for you! You are such an inspiration! You're awesome!
    "I'll look back on this and smile, because it was life and I decided to live it." Wow! This needs to be my new mantra.

  8. You've been training so hard for this and you are so ready! You will rock this thing, and I can't wait to hear all about it :)
    And I agree. Running has brought this new confidence to me that I never had before. I always look forward to see how you're growing over at daily mile and i'm so proud of everything you've accomplished.
    And you're about to run that 13.1 miles. And it's going to be awesome. And it's the best feeling ever when you cross that finish line.
    I'll be thinking of you Sunday!

  9. Wow! You constantly inspire me with your grace and attitude! Will be thinking of you Sunday.

  10. Good luck with the race!!!! A very inspiring post.

  11. Hi Rebecca,
    I've been reading your blog off and on for a bit now... First of all, good luck with your race!! I'm running the Hershey Half Marathon on Oct. 21 (but currently feeling pretty pessimistic about it, between some bad runner's knee and a nasty cold over the past week and a half!). I ran the Pittsburgh Half in May 2011 and it was awesome--so hard, but so worth it!

    But anyway, I originally missed your "one step forward" post and I wanted to say how much that resonated with me! I didn't run the 2012 Pittsburgh Half because I was hoping to be pregnant, and by the time I realized it wasn't happening, it was too late to sign up. In July I decided to take the leap and sign up for the Hershey Half, having the same realization you did. It would have been much more frustrating to me to be not pregnant AND not running, than just one or the other. It has also gotten me past my mental block to running during the 2WW, because you can't just stop running for 2 weeks (er, 11 days) while training for a race!

    Another something we have in common--my first appointment with Dr. D is next month. Maybe we'll run into each other sometime ;) (My blog currently does not discuss IF much, so you won't really find info there. I'm considering a new/second blog.)

    Oh, and lest you think we have too much in common... Go Pitt! ;-)


  12. Have a great race! I love running and I love your post about running. Finish with a smile and enjoy your victory =)

  13. Rebecca, I am so excited for you to run this race! I remember my first distance races and when I was able to train and do 13.1 races on a regular basis. I miss those days, but I can live vicariously through you, my dear. :)

  14. What fantastic quotes! I've seen the 13.1 stickers all over town, but didn't know what they were. That's such a great accomplishment! I know you're going to do great!

  15. Good luck on Sunday - can't wait to hear how it goes!! You better be posting photos of you at the finish line! :)

  16. Hope today was a huge success for you! 2 years ago, I could run a mile. Today I run a 5K easily--albeit slowly, but I'm making steady improvements. My dream is to run a half-k. Kudos to you!

  17. I know I'm a bit behind but this is so awesome!! CONGRATS on rocking your half today!!! This is such a huge feat and I am super impressed ;) I love your attitude and if I ever picked up running again, I will totally try the "I am strong and powerful" thing! Oh, and I am stealing these great quotes too!!!