Chicago Marathon 2007. Determination. Spandex and Margaritas.

Hey everyone!!! SOOOO sorry I have been keeping you all in suspense but I am still alive and well. Its been crazy the past couple of weeks just trying to get back into the swing of things. It took me a while to write this last one because I was trying not to forget anything. The whole weekend was amazing and I will NEVER forget it. I wrote out everything so I hope you enjoy.

I woke up @ 4:45 am and headed downstairs for breakfast. I called mom and Dad for some last words of wisdom but immediately the tears started to flow like the Mississippi river. I was scared and up until that point all I saw were athletic and tones well, oiled machines around me. Where were all the underdogs>? My parents calmed me down as much as they could and said I was going to do great and it didn’t matter if I finished or not. Ahhh……the soothing words of a mother. They always know what to say. I hung up the phone and started to eat my granola and yogurt when all of a sudden my girl Steph and my sister came down to join me and then again….Niagara Falls in full effect, couldn’t get out of my head that I was the misfit….the outcast. I felt unprepared, surrounded my super humans…..abs so tight you could eat off them…and then there I was …muffin tops. I quickly got up and ate a muffin so that I could taste and feel like a muffin all at the same time. I’m not sure why I put myself through the torture….but it felt appropriate at the time.

This is what it must feel like getting married. I had everyone attending to me. 6 girls in the room all were trying to help. I had one girl bibing me on the front, another girl in the back, another getting all the areas they should try to meet me at, someone filling my water bottles, my girl showing me the bottle of tequila she had imported of the special event and another girl lubing me up with all sorts of Vaseline. It was quite a site. ShirtsMy girl Steph and sister Kerri surprised me and made the whole group T-shirts to support me. They were awesome. On the front spelt out my name “Melissa”
M = Marathoner
E = Energetic
L= Lunatic
I = Inspiring
S = Strong
S = Sexy
A = Athlete

On the back of the shirts was a picture of me double fisting a drink and it said “Chicago Marathon, 2007” Determination, Spandex, Margaritas; It’s funny how only three words can sum up my 5 months of training so perfectly. I loved them.

This was pretty daunting in itself. After I got ready I walked down to the starting line where I was trying to find my 5 hour pace group. Now, when I picked up my pace bib they had run out of the 5:00 pace so they ended up giving me a 5:30 pace bib instead and with a magic marker filled in the 3 so it looked like a 0. Great……can you make me look any more ghetto? Anyways as I was walking down to the race I passed but the 6:00 hour pace group and I was stunned. There they were….all the underdogs, the rest of the muffin tops. These were the people I was looking for since I set foot in Chicago. They were old, young, and overweight. It was my group. I felt like I should join them, give them a hug, I felt comfortable just being near them but instead I stuck with my pace group and continued on and got scared again. I was making my way through all the runners noticing the gear they had on. Hi tech watches aero dynamic hats and batmen belts. There I was wearing a bandana, no water bottles, a ten year old watch, a ghetto ass bib, and inspirational names, elastics plastered all over me….a real outcast.

And were off!
Well, not really. It took me about 20 minutes to get to the actual starting line but once we started I was filled with excitement. There were so many runners, all from around the world. It was a mix of excitement, anticipation, anxiousness, a little fear and A LOT of adrenaline. Right in the beginning all I did was pass screaming spectators and TV cameras. All I did was smile and wave. I think one of my favorite parts of the race was within the first mile; it is something I will never forget. All the runners had to go into a tunnel and it was the coolest thing. Just runners were allowed in there at that point but everyone was screaming making whoooop, whooooop noises everything echoed and everyone was happy. I even gave out a little whoop as well!!! So much fun!!!

The FUN Miles
The first 13 Miles were a breeze, I was feeling great. All I had to do was keep hydrated and I would be fine. I got a little nervous when at only mile 5 they ran out of water!!! Here is a little clip of what it was like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbZTI7Cw0rM but I was honestly feeling o.k so I didn’t let it bother me. At mile 8 I come around a corner and there they are….my support group. There was Stephanie, Kerri, Georgi, Fang, Peter, and Rod all cheering me one. Once I saw my sister I think we both started to cry. She was like “YOU LOOK GREAT!!!!” I tried to hug everyone but I was so excited to see them I don’t know if I caught everyone. Fang and Kerri ran with me for a little bit, Fang was running with a pot top clanging it oh so delicately for a marathon but it was awesome. My sister, I think was just screaming and holding a sign that said “Melissa is HOT SHIT” I actually vaguely remember her repeating those words for at least a quarter of a mile…”MY SISTER IS HOT SHIT!!!” MY SISTER IS HOT SHIT”!!! hahahaha, that shit makes me laugh and cry at the same time now just thinking about it because I could tell in everyone’s eyes and especially hers, how proud she was of me. Luckily she had some water with her so I had it on me. As I kept going, there were so many bands and screaming spectators. Everything just seemed so easy, like all my hard work over the past 5 months just clicked. Up until this point I have never seen a marathon before OR have trained with anybody this whole time. So if you can only imagine, how my mind was fully occupied on my scenery, I was taking it ALL in. All of it, it was awesome.

Leaving the noise and excitement, miles 13 – 16 were a little slower. Mile 14 is when my first negative thought slipped in when I came up to a water station and they were out. You are out of water? I mean mile 5 they ran out, mile 12 and when I finally rolled up to 14 out of water?!! Is this some cruel joke? Everyone was looking like they were on the titanic and they just told us there weren’t enough boats!!!! Honestly, not a pretty sight at all. People were mad. I was lucky enough to find a cup on the ground that had water but people were dousing themselves in the water fountains, drinking the fountain water, etc. It was ugly. I kept moving. I was still in the game feeling positive. For a good couple of miles I was stalking….I mean running behind this fine ass man. Athletic and Toned probably running as slow as me but you wanted to just eat him up. I will never forget him and who ever he is I just want to thank him for getting me through miles 15, and 16. God bless him.

Mile 17 is where my second entourage was, my Charlie’s angels, Erika, Marjorie, and Jill. They saw me from afar and they were screaming there heads off!!!! It was SOOOO awesome, to have them there, I don’t think they really realize the impact they had on me that day. I hugged each of them and was filled with adrenaline again; it was like I just started the race…well not really but almost. Jill actually ran with me for about a mile which was cool. I remember her having all this shit in her hands like water, bananas, camera, cell phone, etc. She asked me how I was doing and I think the only thing I said to her was that I was doing o.k but my legs were starting to hurt. She said I was doing AWESOME and that I am going to be fine. She said I looked great too, muffin top and all so that inspired me as well. After she left me a little further down the road where there really wasn’t any spectators I remember putting my arms out to the side and embraced the breeze. I know it sounds cheesy but I was just so happy.

Mile 18 – close shop?
I heard from ambulances and helicopters say they were closing the race. HUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????/ Get the fuck out of here! I didn’t believe it and I don’t think anybody else did until we hit mile 19 where I started seeing the police reroute runners down an unknown street. It was official….they were closing it due to the lack of water and the heat. Now I have to tell you that I believe this was a fork in the road for me. I could have either listened or obeyed but instead I listened to my heart. I ran past those cops like O.J did in his Ford Bronco. I didn’t look behind. There was not a cold chance in hell I wasn’t going to not finish this race. Not a chance in HELL!!! (I am screaming now) Most of us kept slowly running. I remember seeing people passed out along the sides, people throwing up, looking like death but even though my legs were sore I was still feeling great!! The sun was hot but I had my small thing of water and holding it like it was a precious stone. The cops advised us again that “IF YOU DO NOT STOP RUNNING YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT” I kept running,. As I approached mile 20 I saw something colorful blob coming towards me and getting closer…..there she was…my crazy ass sister wearing the piƱata costume I wore for Halloween last year. This costume has every color of the rainbow in it, it comes with a hat and it’s about the size of an air balloon. I think we were both so frigin excited to see each other….I was amped. A few feet down, I see my other girls, George, Stephanie, and Fang. They ALL started running with me. Stephanie ran for about 30 seconds, it was hilarious. She could hardly breathe and it was awesome. Georgi had like 5 bags on her and she ran with us for about 2 miles. I think she was surprised like myself to see me looking so bright eyed and bushy tailed at mile 20. I could see how proud everyone was. It was amazing.

So my sister and Fang are with me at this point and we had just crossed a clock that was turned off. They are not timing us anymore. What the fuck, so I had a decision to make. I mean as long as I finished…and they weren’t timing me…I guess I could walk. I mean everyone around me was walking at that point so for mile 21 and 22 we all walked. I could feel my legs tighten because up until that point I prob only stopped a minute there, a minute here and that’s it. It was at mile 23 where Fang received a text message that one of her other friends she was tracking had just crossed the finish line. Shit….they are still timing us so I started to run again. God bless my sister and Fang. Poor fang had on these slip on shoes and she was trying to keep up without them falling off, she look so fucking graceful running. Meanwhile my sister who was drinking all day was red faced and needed water, lol but she did awesome. I was so frigin proud of everyone that day.

The Finish Line:
There is was...finally. I was so excited to SEE IT!!!!!! My sister and I got amped all over again and at this point EVERYONE was walking but not us. I WAS RUNNING PAST ALL THE SKINNY BITHCES!!....well...not really running (more like a slow shuffle) BUT STILL, I WAS RUNNING PAST ALL THE SKINNY BITCHES! There weren't too many spectators at this point because they closed the race but it was all good. As we were only a 100 feet away from the finish line and as my sister started singing a song from the movie “the Natural” I thought to myself everything I worked for. All the sacrifices, the commitments, the injuries, the spandex, everything was now coming full circle and I was finishing it. I felt like Lance Armstrong. I was amazing, relieved and excited and to top it all off I crossed it with my sister....holding hands. I started to cry of coarse.

I was handed my medal and that silver blanket that everyone gets after they finish. I think it keeps the body heat in and I know at that point it was so hot out I know I didn't need anything else covering me but I WANTED IT. That’s what the professionals do. I met up with Marjorie, Erika and Jill who all gave me mad love, I know I keep saying this but I was on cloud nine. Throughout the 28 years I have been on this planet it is number 1 in my book of most amazing things I have ever experienced. I then met up with everyone else (after I picked up my cold beer at the finish line of coarse) and they gave me flowers and the tequila shot that Steph has been talking about since day 1. Oh, and lets not forget the cigarette that Steph gave me and lit. I know it’s a little strange to think I would want to smoke a cigarette, have some beer and a tequila shot after running 26 miles but if you know me at all….its really not that strange.

I went back to the hotel where I took a 10 minute ice bath and then took a 2 hour nap. I woke up....we all got ready and got dressed because now it was time to celebrate!!! I wore my medal like a crucifix, it wasn't coming off. It’s actually the necklace I have been wearing everyday..you know...as an accessory. We went to this Margarita place and then headed to this hip hop lounge where we didn't leave until 3:00 in the morning. I was dancing and drinking, strangers wanted pictures with me, everything. Again....I have such a great group of friends and they made this milestone in my life so fuckin special I don't think they will know the extent of it. There was so much love and positive energy in the air....such a beautiful thing. I love you guys....
My legs were pretty frigin sore the day after. I guess I shouldn't have backed that ass up the night before (just kidding) but I don't think the dancing helped. My thighs were swollen and my feet looked like dough rising but nothing that really bothered me. We all got on the plane and went back to New York.

So the question I keep getting: Will I do another marathon? Right now I really can't see myself dedicating my life like that again. I'm excited I did it but I think one time may be enough. I would love to do New York but I can't even think about that right now. As for everyone else who has thought about it I HIGHLY recommend it. For me the marathon was the easy part. It was the months prior that killed me but as much as I complain...the shit has made me stronger as a person. I feel invisible most days and confident the rest. Anything that I was afraid to face I look at it and laugh. Honestly, everything seems so much easier. If I want something ALL I have to do it put my mind to it and focus, plain and simple. Period.

I am Melissa Beth Ferrara, the average girl who ran the Chicago 2007 marathon where everything that could have gone did. I amazed myself in so many ways that day. I am super woman…BOOyaaaaaa. Peace out people and THANK YOU for your support, until next time. Much luv. Xxoo.



I am going to die

So this may be the last time you hear from me since I am going to die in less than a week. I will become part of the Chicago highway and be embedded permanently into a yellow line…what a way to go.

At the beginning of this madness one of my main initiatives was to lost weight. One would think that training for a marathon it would be an easy accomplishment but in my case…not so much. I have successfully managed not to lose a single pound. Yes….a little discouraging but who cares right when I can eat chocolate cake and wine all day and not gain anything. That actually might be the “runners high” that these motherfuckas have been talking about. Anyways, I know deep down I needed to make a lifestyle change and even though I didn’t really STOP my lifestyle, I have cut out a lot!!!!!! (That deserved 6 explanation points).

Since starting this I looked at my schedule with disbelief. Not realizing my own limits and not really doing any sort of major physical activity that involved more than reaching reeeeeaaaaaly far for my pack of cigarettes and now being able to look at 8 miles and think of it as a “short run” is bananas. I have been focused on running the marathon this whole time feel like I haven’t really shared all the little moments that make up this huge milestone. It’s not about just running 1 long race but it was about getting there. Challenging my mind, body, liver and lungs in ways they have never really been tested!

It was about tying my shoes laces when my body was screaming
It was about treating various rashes caused by irritating sports bras
It was about Mother Nature testing me through the rain, the wind and the piles of dog shit
It was about waking up @ 5:00 in the morning, alone, only to hear the pounding of my steps, my emphysema kicking in and the leaves that seem to just gracefully sweep out of my way.
It was inspiring people like me to run
It was learning about myself, the average girl, who hopefully will feel like
Lance Armstrong and do something extraordinary.
It was about my attitude and the belief that if I ran 26.2 miles, everything else will seem easy.
It made me prioritize what’s important.

SO the most I have run is 18 miles. I know. I know. I know what you are thinking. To be honest I am scratching my head too. I don’t know why my schedule doesn’t have me training the whole 26.2. In fact I can’t even think of another sport that trains this way! For example, the “triple jump”, they don’t just take 2 jumps and hope the by shear adrenaline they will make the 3 jump?!!! So why is it that marathons only have me training up to 20 miles! My mind cannot come up with any explanation except I think it might be a cruel joke someone played on me, or maybe I didn’t print out the second page of my schedule.

I just found out recently the people that couldn’t make it to Chicago can sign up via the website, enter your cell phone or email and receive updates every couple of miles to see where I am at! If by chance on Saturday you don’t receive any updates for a couple of miles I have either fell into a ditch somewhere- playing dead or in a bar using my bib number as a fuckin coaster, Eitherway.....you can track my ass. You can sign up below. Just copy and paste this link into a new window. http://www.doitsports.com/results/MSG-signup.tcl?sub_event_id=2161

The question I keep getting asked is “Are you ready” Hell fucking no am I ready. I am TERRIFIED but I have to believe IN MYSELF and BELIEVE that I trained hard enough to conquer this. I could get really hurt at mile 2. Start freaking out at mile 3 and think of how I have 23 miles left to go or at mile 16 when my body just starts to say “fuck you Liss” there is a good chance I might not finish but again, I am as ready as I am going to be. I worked my ass off, well…not really my ass per say but I did as well I could.

So with that said I just wanted to give a little shout out to my Whitney Houston entourage that is making the trip to Chicago
1. My sister Kerri: who will be doing her usual song and dance which consists of pots and pans…mixed in with a little Capoeira
2. My girl Stephanie: who will be chain smoking the whole way with a bottle of tequila in her hands.
3. My girl Georgianna: who recently asked me to look into fire safe flares that I could carry on the marathon route to notify them where I am. She also introduced me to my first pair of spandex (She is 3 sizes smaller than me but figured I’d try….I mean there spandex!)
4. My Charlie’s Angels (Marjorie, Jill and Erika) who have supported me this WHOLE time, never complaining and always understanding the importance this marathon was to me. I missed you guys this summer.
5. My girl Fang, you always made me wonder how I was accomplishing all the mileage I did. You were so intrigued by it all and always the first one to ask how training was going. Thanks girl

Without these girls, my friends and my family in my life I think my training would have been a lot harder. Everyone has been soooooo supportive and I am really blessed to have such a great support group. I couldn’t ask for anything else. So with that said I am not only running for me….but for you as well. Don’t ever think you can’t accomplish something….its only your mind that sets limitations. Anything is possible. Shit…..if I can do it…..I know y’all can do it.

Wish me luck!!!


week twenty - 18 days and counting

18 days and counting….this is where I am at.

Well it is exactly 18 days until THE day. I don’t know if you have been following my blog since the beginning but I am ready to get this show on the road!! I have isolated myself from my friends completely and I am ready to have my life back. It’s been ALL about the marathon and everything revolves around it. I remember a couple of months ago saying that “I enjoyed running” and “My rest days I feel as though something is missing” oh and my favorite I had said this far “Its meditative” WHAT THE F***!! I can’t wait to get this show on the road and not have to run another mile again. I mean, I don’t want to think that I am hanging up my running shoes for good, but right now….with 24 days left….I could hang them up for good and be perfectly fine with it. Period. Oh, and for the record, I obviously at the time said those statements when I was only running under 20 miles a week. The time when I considered an 8 mile run to be long. I digress. Below are just a couple of things that are going through my head at the moment.

First things first: I am scared out of my mind. I don’t think my legs are there yet at all and it sux because I know I have been bustin my ass but as I am closer to the starting line, I think back to the runs I missed. I question whether or not I ran fast enough, long enough, lifted enough, etc.. I just ran 18 miles, I feel like I should be singing that Kanye West song, “Jesus walks” because at this point of the game it’s a frigin miracle I have come this far.

At this point I don’t care what I look like in my spandex. Construction workers can have all the fun they want while they sit on there ass…looking at my ass….on their lunch break. I am happy to know I am making their day.

Every Saturday on my long run I see the same homeless guy sitting on the bench. Ever since I started he has been out there. If anything at this point I wish we had some sort of talking relationship so he could cheer me on but he has made no attempt to even look up from whatever the hell he is doing. In fact I have his schedule down to a science; case and point: My first loop around the park he is smoking a cigarette. Second loop he is reading the newspaper. Third time around he take a little snooze, and buy the time my ass makes it around the fourth time..he has built a damn house!! God bless him, and while we are at it…bless me.

I think I maybe inspiring some people. I think its funny because a couple of people I know are joining a race here, a race there and they have come up to me and actually told me that “Well if you can do it, then I can do it.”… What does that mean exactly? It’s like a reverse insult I think. I guess a normal, you know… healthy person would look at my lifestyle with disgust. I mean I used to smoke, and drink all the time…so maybe it is a compliment. Anyways, I thought that shit was funny.

Anyways, till next time.


week fifteen - she's back.

So I went home this past weekend for one of my friends going away party and it was also the weekend I had to run 15 miles. The most I have ran this far is 13…what’s another 2 right? Anyways I was actually looking forward to running in my town just because the area is beautiful, full of greenery, memories and well to be honest…men in that town don’t really appreciate a fully figured woman so I was excited I didn’t have to be running past any old men or the lovely 25 construction men I encountered last week where every time I ran by them one gentleman kept saying “she’s back!!!”.

Anyways the run was overall pretty good. The only thing that was messing with my head was the fact I had to run through 3 towns in order to get my mileage in. The towns are pretty close together but geez….I couldn't’ help but say, what the fuck. I mean really. What the fuck, 3 towns!? After the run besides my legs being really sore...I was o.k. It took me a little over 3 hours to complete and that is stopping 4 times. It was cool coming home to see my family, they haven't really seen me suited up in my spandex, dry fit superman top, batman fuel belt and my trusty hankerchief. I looked like a damn super hero by the time I left, lol. All I needed was a fuckin cape! Anyways, I was telling my brother Fred and Tom about my Gu packets (I had only bought a couple to last me the run) and if you knew my brother Fred you would think this is really funny but anyways as I was telling him what they were for and the benefits they have. He grabbed one off the kitchen table and sucked the whole thing down like it was a Popsicle! In about 3 seconds one of my fuel packets was gone, no more spinach for Popeye. I didn't get mad or anything because really....its just GU right? But I did give him a stare of disbelief. I just don't think he thinks sometimes but I love him either way and he seemed interested in the whole thing so that made me happy.

That night I went to my friends going away party and reunited with some friends I haven’t seen in a while which is always nice. All of them are sooooo supportive and help me keep going. I drank more then I wanted to and smoked too much as well….sigh. I felt disappointed in myself in the morning and promised that today was a new day and I would need to get back on track. It scares the hell out of me the race is only 47 days away. To be exact its 47 days, 18 hours, 42 minutes and 37 seconds till race day. Shit.

Shit, shit, shit.


week thirteen - still injured and feeling sad

Still injured and I guess I am finally coming to terms with the fact this must be part of the journey. At some moments I feel as though I might not be cut out for the 26.2 monster, maybe I was only suppose to run as far as 12? I mean I have gained so much this far like self confidence in my work, my relationships and most importantly myself so why don’t I just throw in the rag? Well I guess the other realization I am coming to terms with is that my heart is now completely in this even if I have to walk the whole thing, I have to do this.

The thing is that this shit is really hard, hard on a lot of levels but I get the hardest thing about it besides the 360 degree lifestyle change is the commitment this takes, it’s a stick in my side sometimes. I liked my old lifestyle. I liked hanging out with my friends after work, buggin out and everything. I know some of you might be saying “well you can still hang out and not drink” but when I do go out its hard for me to stay committed to training. I fall back into my old ways too easily. It’s not my friends…it’s me. :(

The other thing that is bothering me is that I feel like I am not working hard enough either being injured and everything. I feel more accomplished when I am outside running then in the gym doing the elliptical…I need to get better why the fuck isn’t it healing :( Anyways, sorry to be so negative right now but its just how I'm feeling.
Achilles not healing
Doubts keep flooding
26.2 look’s bleak
sneakers worn
body tired
through the muscles
I feel strength
keep treading
keeping trying
keep going

memories of my mom
ripped and ruptured
enclosed cast for over 6 months
chiseled off, leg now slightly thinner

please heal
give me the strength within
keep treading
keep trying
keep going


week twelve - 12 miles and six maragaritas

Sooooooo enough said....I ran 12 miles today. Give me props...please? Like right now....
I was on cloud nine and decided to go out to my favorite Mexican restaurant with my sister and my good ol friend Jose Cuervo and got shitaced. Does anybody else do this?!!! Yeaheee for me.....


week ten - polka dot bikini vs condom caps

Soooooo,very uninspired to write for a while but my sister encourages to just to track the bad and the good. That is the whole part of this journey right? Anyways, my ankle started to hurt again and I was told to stay off of it for 2 weeks therfore I have to rely on the gym, which I hate. So anyways I went to the gym to try the "aqua jogging" that I have been reading about. Looks pretty easy so off I go.

First I would like to say I am new to the whole olympic size pool thang. The most I have done ever in my life in the pool is play marco polo, skinny dip, and lets not forget the endless hours of floating on a raft with a spray bottle in one hand and my maragrita in the other. So when I show up @ 6:00 in the morning there is a line of condom caps waiting to get into the pool. Condom caps being old ladies who have on swimming caps, swimming sneakers and the one piece bathing suit that looks like it was just made out of a rubber tire. Anyhoo....I come out of the lockeroom area you know....with a towel wrapped around me tightly becasue you know.....I am conservative (right). So I come out in my polka dot bikini looking like I am about to do a photoshoot for sports illustrated, hair down, you know.... you never know whos going to be at the pool! So they all turned around at the same time (they must have been friends) but they turned around and just looked at me and straight up told me I couldn't go in! I was a bit confused and caught off guard but they told me I needed to:

  1. Take a shower before I do anything (What the hell does a shower do, why do I have to do that before I get into the pool!?!!)
  2. You must at all times where a condom cap.
  3. Bathing suit (they actually said I would be o.k with going into the pool with the bikini but there eyes didn't really express the same feelings
  4. Sneakers: They recommened these for some reason but at the moment I can't remember because it was so dumb.

With all this said, I turned around with my head down, said thank you, got dressed back into my gym clothes and headed back upstairs to the illeptical where I was soooo disheartened and intimidated by these Qtips that i refuse to step back into the pool area. I felt like they were in a club gangin up on me. I reminded me of a time in middle school where I was the last one picked for kick ball....it wasn't a good feeling back then or even today! Anyways, I will keep you posted on what happens....


week.nine - spandex debut!!!!

So......week nine and today I ran 5 miles but more importantly it was the debut of my neeeeeew spandex...yes...spandex, my arch enemy since I can remember. He was never my friend come to think of it. Well today as stepped outside looking like I just came off one of those rides at the water park where its a straight shoot going over like 100 miles per hour and when you get to the bottom you think your bathing suit is somewhere on its way down but really come to find out its just so far up your ass but you cover all your private parts anyways as a "just in case tactic"......that was me, coming out of my house! I felt completely naked anyways, let me continue. So I started to run.

That particular day I decided to run the "road less traveled", "across the tracks" as some would say not knowing what I was about to run into keep in mind and all was fine until a gentleman in his 70's put his hands up against his lips giving me the kissing motion saying "perfecto", mauh "Perfecto", well....thank you I guess? I ran a couple more blocks and a gentleman across the street, beer in his hand @ 9:00 AM who was 3 sheets to the wind celebrating the Puerto Rican day festival (which BTW didn't start until the NEXT DAY) Screamed "LOOKING HEALTHY GIIIIIRLL!"

Looking healthy!? I thought to myself? As in healthy like "skinny healthy", or healthy as in "ripe for the pickin" healthy or "Italian sausage" healthy...which is it....really!

Lastly, much to my dismay I happened to run by a group of guys that were in my way of running but kindly separated as if I was Moses parting the red sea. It seemed like I was running in slooooow motion at that point....In my head I just imagined everything that is a little loose on my body going up and then doooooowwwwwn. Elevator goooooo up! Elevator go doooooown. Elevator goooooo up! Elevator go doooooown. It was also at that moment I decided maybe I should wear shorts over my spandex. Pretty entertaining none the less.

Till next time, you can check out my past stories @ www.marathonmindflow.blogspot.com


week.eight - fell down stairs

So week eight, and today I ran 7 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not that great but not that bad. It was soooo much better then my last run which I am happy about. Overall feelings about the marathon are still good. I have my good days and my bad days. Last night I went for my best friends birthday and everyone was drinking. I really wasn't in the mood to drink for some odd reason. I don't know if its because I just wasn't in the mood or because I think this marathon training is starting to me me think differently. I am putting in all this hard work, running miles and frigin miles every week and to blow it all on a couple of drinks, all the calories just to let loose a little? Now I don't want to get ahead of myself because this is the FIRST time in my life I am questioning the alcohol intake I consume on the weekends, and right now I am thinking...its not worth it. The average 150lb person burns about 100 calories a mile (I think) so if an average drink has about 150 calories?! Yeahhhhh, I think I am good. Its not easy running in the first place and having to add another mile for the screwdriver I had last night.....no thanks.

But to tell you the real reason for this blog today as I was leaving my house last night and I fell down 6 of the 12 stairs that lead up to my apartment (and to answer your next question...no I wasn't drinking)!!! I have NEVER been the most graceful person on heels, I mean I wear them but I think I am one of those girls that "looks like" she never wears them. Anyways, so yeah...the stairs, WTF! The only thing I worried about was if I was in any serious pain, like a twisted ankle or something. My legs were throbbing and still are today. I could have easily fell down all 12 but by the grace I god I grabbed the side railing. Ugh, I look like I got clubbed. People were staring at my legs today when I was walking. I wasn't sure if they were looking at my thighs rub together and my shorts riding up on me (lol), OR the horizantal bruises I have from hitting the corner of the stairs! For the sake of myself, I am going to say they were looking at my bruises. :) Anyways, I will try to take some pictures for you but I am starting to think I should just wear sneakers all the time. God forbid something happens like that again.


week.seven - bad run

Oh, today was awful. Today was my long run and I did horrible! I ate an egg white omelette before I ran 6 miles and my stomach was killing me @ mile 3. I wanted throw up I felt so sick so I walked for a little bit. The other thing I did was drink too much water and Gatorade before I ran so I felt it sloshing about in my stomach...bad..bad...bad! I was suppose to "run" 6 miles but I think I had to of walked maybe a half mile of it. My feet were so heavy today and it was extra hot out...I was dying. To cap it off as my ego was telling me to just quit this little smart ass girl (maybe bout 8) sees me and says "Damn! she looks exhausted!" I chuckled but I really did look like shit, I was exhausted. I wanted to tell her how many times I have been around this damn park but what the hell is that going to do. I can't get to down on myself but its hard. I am really discouraged today.

"Even if you fall flat on your face·at least you are moving forward." --Sue Luke


week.six - ego vs heart

yes....I think I did. HOLY SHIT! I just ran 7 miles! LOL......I don't how long that took me but I have to say it wasn't too bad. It was def. hard and I am finding out how much my mind is going to get me though this whole experience. There were @ least a dozen time when I wanted to walk like when the sweat was in my eyes and my legs started to stiffen @ mile 6. I just ran through it but it was only my mind that was telling me to. My EGO was telling me to stop but my heart was telling me to keep stride. Today was a good run. I still have my health..I am still strong.

On a side note I found out July 7th is my high school reunion. Looking @ my life and where I am up to this point is all positive. I have a great job, I live in N.Y, I have my own place, no kids, single, training for a marathon, not too overweight and I have mad people that love me!! I will let you know how that goes. I am starving at the moment. shit.

Man imposes his own limitations, don't set any
-Anthony Bailey

week.five - need to quit

Right so my last post I told you about Camella...my alter ego. Well, this week was tough. I could hardly breath because of my unhealthy habits. I need to commit to this marathon sometime soon.

So I ran with Randy today and we were def. going faster than my usual pace. I asked him to run like I wasn't there and he did just that. I felt like we were running 8 minute miles..I was damn near sprinting and was dead afterward. Sometimes I feel like I am doing good other days I feel as though I am behind. I guess I should be grateful that I am just "doing". A 6 minute mile....is the same distanse as a 10 minute mile.

"To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

week.four - my 1st injury

So I am in my 4th week and last Saturday after I ran I was in SEVERE pain...it was my Achilles tendon. shit. I was limping and sore as hell. When I got home I immediately put ice on it. After about a day..the pain disappeared. Fast forward to my next run..2 miles...piece of cake right? Sure as shit...my ankle immediately hurt. Limping again...now I am scared. The doctor told me my Achilles tendon was "inflamed" Perscribed 4 Aleve and "light workouts"...Light workouts?! So the next couple of days I was @ the gym doing the illeptical...fun..fun..fun. On a side note...why was this girl at the gym wearing a backless shirt....no bra....long black hair...beautiful girl by the way running on the treadmill next to me, WTF! Why would she wear that...it doesn't make any sense.

Anyways...I digress.

Let's see its a Friday night I decided that instead of running on Saturday which is my planned long run I thought it was a good idea to go out drinking with my lady friends and sleep in...long run on Sunday. I could use the day of rest right? Friday night was a shit show. I had way to much to drink and my alter ego (everybody say hello to Camella) came out. She smokes cigarettes when she's three sheets to the wind. She has a ball, believe me. Mojitoes, tequila shots, friends dancing on bars (not me..just as an fyi) I came rolling in @ 3:00 am. Nice. I hope you had a good time Camella!!! The funny thing was....I woke up @ 8:00 am and felt like running. So I ran 5.5 miles and felt like a superstar after all. So does this mean I can keep drinking?

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired."

week.three - hit by a car

So I got hit by a car this week, YEAHHH!! To be honest I didn't get exactly hit. I would have if I didn't do a Dukes of Hazard slide across the top of the hood. The funny thing was that I kept running...yeah that's me...pretty hard core. I should be hitting beef like Rocky Balboa in no time!

Later on in the week I ran with my friend who is also running his first marathon, I am learning that not everybody likes to talk when they run. As we were running I asked him what he was doing for the weekend and he immediately told me he "didn't like talking when he was training" so there I was. Running in silence for the next 2 miles. Greaaat. That was fun.

The day of my long run I was blessed again that my friend Georgi came through in the clutch, I made her ass get up nice and early (Thanks G!) It was a great day to run. 70 degree weather, nice outside but at the same time I couldn't help that I had to run 4 frigin miles.....it seems like forever! It took me a while to get into the groove but once I did it was good! For some reason I always think one day when I go out to run I will look like all the "real runners" that make the shit look so easy. They look as though they are running on clouds...gliding through the air like elk prancing along the concrete as if they stayed in one spot long enough they would sink, ME ON the other hand look as though I have a ball and chain wrapped around each ankle, just escaped from a prison and have been running from the damn Police....Can you picture that?! Yeahhhh, that's me...

"Tough times don't last but tough people do." --A.C. Green


week.two - chub rub

otal: 10.5 . Tuesday 2 miles . Wednesday: 3 miles . Thursday: 2 . Saturday: 3

So I got through my first and second week without too many problems. I ran with my friend Georgi a couple of times and my friend Randy (also running the same race with me) Overall it's no that bad. As some of you may know, I have never ran outside in my life. I have come to find out the shit is pretty hard! When you got the sun, rain, sweat, pot holes, chasing dogs and lets not forget the lovely chub rub (happens when your thighs rub together), it makes it a lot harder. Does this mean I have to buy a pair of spandex?! I NEVER thought I would see that day, believe me. I guess I could wear shorts over it so I don't look like an Italian sausage running down the street looking like its about to burst! I have been running consistently and doing about 10 - 15 miles a week. If you want to check out my training schedule you can view it here: http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/novices.html

I am getting to like running but at the same time it takes a lot out of me! I am in bed by 9:30 most of the time so that I can get up @ 4:30am to run before work! I don't see my friends or my sister for that matter until the weekends. I am TRYING to keep my drinking to only one night a week but it sucks! I am having a hard time cutting that down and I need to commit to this marathon sometime soon. I mean I am making all of my runs but I guess I could be doing better. Most of the time I am excited for the marathon but I have to say...another part of me is like.."what the HELL are you doing to me"! All of the years of being unhealthy I guess it's good I am punishing myself and getting back in gear. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." —William Shakespeare

week.one - friday the 13th

For everyone that doesn’t know me my name is Melissa. I am THE typical case of a person that likes to work hard but play harder and today I signed up for the Chicago marathon; that’s 26.2 miles. I am sure you are wondering why a person like myself would wake up one day and decide to run 26.2 miles well, let me tell you.

I have heard the experience is “life changing” and that sounds really good right now. Currently I am in a point in my life where things are o.k. I have a good job, great people in my life, roof over my head and most importantly I have my health but I don’t have any clear goals right now. I don’t know what I want to do with my life and each day that goes by is another day wasted!! Signing up for this gives me a goal and for the first time in a long time I am excited about doing something and that feels amazing.

Another reason why I am doing this is because of Camella. Say hello to my alter ego. She loves to drink and have a great ol time. She’s been partying like it‘s 1999 since 1995 and its catching up with me. Years of unhealthy living and I don't have anything to show for it. I am also overweight. It’s been a battle for me as long as I can remember. I have been on every diet you can think of and even though I am somewhat happy at the weight I am at now I would still like to lose another 15lbs. I have always wondered if I could run a marathon. It’s been a very faint voice in the back of my head but the voice quickly fades usually. Not this time though, it stuck. I think I am supposed to run it right now, this moment, this year. I can feel it.

I work with an amazing creative director (David Lam) who is directing/filming a documentary called "Athlete". (Please check it out
www.athletemovie.com) The film is about endurance sports and the individuals who are redefining what it means to be an “athlete”. The film features ordinary people who balance their family, work and life with an amazing commitment to achieving their goals. So for the past 6 months or so I would ask David every week who he was filming. One of the athletes is a cancer survivor; another is blind, and many others. I started to become really inspired by these people and I didn’t even know them! So with a little persuasion I decided to sign up.

To answer your second question....Why am I flying to Chicago to run 26.2 miles vs. running the New York Marathon which runs close to my apartment in Brooklyn? Well it’s because Chicago is pretty flat. No hills no bridges so it’s perfect for any first time marathon runner. To be honest I am more scared than anything. Scared because I am not educated on marathons or even running for that matter. I was on a soccer team in high school but to be completely honest I have NEVER, and I mean never ran outside a day in my life. The odds are already against me. My ego has a great time at putting me down because all I can hear in my head are negative comments like" you’re not strong enough, fast enough, you drink too much, smoke too much, you won't be able to do it, what are you thinking" but I am determined. If there is one thing that I love about myself is that once I set my mind to something, I don't back down. I do think the only thing that will get me through this IS my mind so I need to start believing in myself I can do this.

So please comment, give me any feedback, inspiration and tips because I am going to need all the help I can get. I will be looking for your support over the next 5+ months and also keeping you up to date on the struggles and achievements along the way. I hope you enjoy my marathonmind.flow. my journey, my mind flow to my first marathon.

Nothing Ventured. Nothing Gained.