Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I've Been Robbed

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I wish I had written that statement.
Hell, I wish I could remember it.
This is my latest battle:  more difficult than losing weight, harder than running 3 half marathons in 3 weeks, unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
I am not anyone else.
I am ME.
There is no comparison.
Then why do I compare myself to everybody, every day.
I have so much to be proud of, but I continuously knock that pride down because of what I haven’t accomplished.
A friend says, “Wow you’ve lost weight.”
My answer? ”I still have a long way to go”
Because I’m comparing myself to my friends who never had a severe weight issue or celebrities who can hire trainers or Biggest Loser contestants who make losing weight their job.
A friend says, “Gosh, you’re amazing. You’re running so much”
My answer? “Yeah, but I’m slow”
Because I’m comparing myself to my swifter friends who are not carrying 50ish pounds of extra weight or what Runner’s World Magazine says is a normal pace or the fact that when I log my exercise on a website a 13 minute mile is considered fast walking not running.
I keep stealing my own joy.  Robbing myself of what I have done and what I continue to do. 
I need to take off the ski mask and gloves.  I need to stop creeping around joy like a bandit ready to swoop in and stomp it until it becomes misery and stress. 
This is my life. These are my accomplishments.
This is MY JOY. 
They belong to me. I can share, but they’re precious and I need to keep a close eye so I don’t steal it from myself.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Happens When The Dreams You Didn't Know You Even Had All Come True?

I just spent $150.00 on a race. I’m sure it will be at least another $500.00 before it’s all over.

But I’m giddy. I can’t sleep. I’m so stinkin’ excited.

The Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon is mecca for lady runners. They try to keep it small (only 25,000 runners….), women are let in by a lottery and many women put their names in year after year after year and don’t get in.

But I found a loophole.

Nike is a company that celebrates women athletes and caters to the young ones. So, they keep registration open for college students.

Hey, wait! I’m a college student!

As if making the decision to go back to get my Bachelor’s degree wasn’t already a great idea….look what it got me!



I started to think about why THIS RACE was making me so excited.

I wanted this race….bad. Probably because it was the hardest to get in to.

Even when I didn’t get picked in the drawing, I knew I was meant to do this race. I KNEW I was going to be running from the Union Square and through Golden Gate Park.


Maybe I want to do it because I was born there. Maybe it’s because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can talk my folks into being at the finish line and bringing my Nonnie.

As I continue on this journey to lose more weight and become more healthy, I’m realizing that races have become the goal AND the reward.

A year and a half ago, if you had told me that running a difficult half marathon would make me this happy I would have told you that you were out of your mind.

But I got in and I’m ecstatic and excited and I feel like my dreams are coming true.

And the Tiffany finishers necklace doesn’t hurt either…

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Because I Can

Lately I’ve been getting some looks…and some comments.

They have to do with my aggressive race schedule….otherwise known as “Heather signs up for everything!”

I get the looks that say:
“Don’t hurt yourself”

I get shakes of the head…people saying:
”Another one?”
“What did you sign up for now?”

Most people mean well. I have a wonderful support system full of people who are proud of me.
But very few actually “get it”.

When I was grossly overweight, I physically couldn’t do the things I do now.

And there was I time when I told myself I couldn’t. I remember HATING to run so much in high school that I would just walk when we were supposed to run. I simply didn’t think I could do it.

We “mind f*ck” ourselves so much.
We tell ourselves we can or can’t do things and we believe it. I’m through with that. I’m through believing I can’t do things.

I spent the majority of my life telling myself I can’t and believing it…now that I realize that, in fact, I can, I don’t want to limit myself and I never want to stop.

I’m going to run 10 half marathons in 2012. I’m going to do a sprint triathlon this September. I’m going to do a Ragnar before I turn 40. I’m going to run the LA Marathon next year.

Because I can.

~HKS 5/10/2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How Running Saved My Life...

It's hard to believe that just over a year ago I was depressed, grossly overweight and totally inactive.

I'm lucky enough to have friends and family that loved me no matter what, but did I really love me? I mean, how can you say you love someone yet treat them so poorly?

Then I started running. I never really believed I COULD run. I told myself (and anyone who would listen) that I only run if something is chasing me and even then, I'd probably let them catch up. However, I decided to try. I did C25K...

Then I started B210K before realizing I actually LIKED to run and didn't really need an app, I just wanted to go out and do it.

I made more time with my friends who shared my passion. I read articles, took advice, made new friends who wanted to run too. I started signing up for races. First a 5K, then another and another. Then a mud run, then a 10K, a few more 5Ks, a couple more 10Ks and a half marathon.

I did 12 races in 2011.

 I signed up for a very difficult summer series where we ran cross country trails with kids half my age who finished the race as I was passing mile marker #1.

I started waking up at 5:45am to get my runs in.

I started waking up at 7:30am on Saturdays to meet my training partner.

I started living a different life.

I started living.

For me, running became a way to play sports without sucking. I'll never be an all star at competitive sports because I care more about having fun than winning. With running you can lose but still win! How? You run against yourself. You don't need to scout other players to see how they play. You have total control over how good you are or how bad you suck. If you train, stretch, become comfortable with the road and make achievable will meet or exceed your goals and you will win....regardless of what place you come in during the race.

For running, it's not about the finish time, it's about the finish line. I've made it to every finish line. I've never been last in a race (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I continuously improve my time because I strive to get the most out of my new and improved body.

I love being a runner.
I love telling people that I run half marathons.
I love signing up for races and researching where I could go to run.
I love buying workout clothes and running shoes.
I love finding the perfect song and downloading it onto my shuffle.
I love learning of the newest accessory, supplement, electrolyte drink, power bar...

I love how when I hit the road I can work out whatever is going on in my head. I end each run with a clarity that I don't think I've ever had.

There are days when I think to myself, "If I could go for a run right now, all of this would get figured out." I love my ever-growing collection of medals, race bibs and race shirts.

I love how I feel stronger, sexier and healthier.

I love myself. The difference is visible in my body and my heart.

Running saved my life....maybe it could save yours?

~HKS 1/30/2012