Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A little help from my friends

So how does one become a RUNNER? It's as simple as this, you make a choice. Let me explain...

This is Debi, BTW.

Less than 2 years ago, I read a blog about a child with cancer and it broke my heart. The mother of the sick child asked if followers would consider running/walking the St. Jude Marathon/Half Marathon in order to raise money and awareness for children like hers. Well something about that touched me deeply. I knew I couldn't run it, I couldn't even run around the block at the time. But the thought loomed in my head for a few days. One night as I was working out, I asked a friend who is a trainer at my gym about it, asking if she thought I could do it. She gave me the best advice, she said "Buy a Ticket." You will never do it, unless you purchase an entry to the race. Something will always get in the way. If you purchase an entry, you will be invested and you have a commitment date.

So the next day, I did it, I purchased an entry to the St. Jude 1/2 Marathon. YIKES!!!!   I bought an app, same one that Dawn referenced here, and then I started running/walking for the next few weeks. 

Just to clarify, I was not in shape at the time, far from it to be honest. I had just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and while I was glad to find out that there was a reason why no matter how much I worked out, the weight was not coming off quickly, it was extremely frustrating. (Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.)

When it was time for a 5K, a friend that just started running herself agreed to run it with me; and she kept me laughing the whole time.  To make the day even more special, my husband and daughter were there waiting at the finish line.

Once I got to 5 miles, I was stuck, I just couldn't get myself past it. I had been doing all of my runs by myself and thought I needed some company to overcome this one. Janell had been very supportive along the way and she was training for the marathon at the time, so I asked if she would mind running 6 miles with me and she graciously said yes. We talked as we ran all 6 of those miles and it was amazing.

As the miles started increasing, something started decreasing...my weight!! I couldn't believe it. Well, that got me motivated, for sure!!

Still in my mind, there was no thought that I would actually run ALL 13.1 of those miles when it came down to race day, I just wanted to run as much of it as I could. So I kept upping the miles each week, and finding that some were a little harder to overcome than others. When I look back, my most exciting run was when I completed 9 miles; I literally started jumping up and down I was so excited (I am known to act like a down-right fool sometimes); but the sense of accomplishment that came with that was something I hadn't felt for a long time.

On race day Jennifer and Janell invited me to join them and I was more nervous about letting them down and messing up their race time that I didn't allow myself to even think that walking was an option. When I turned away from them at 12 miles so they could complete the full, I almost couldn't stop hugging them. I crossed that finish line that day, along with many more since...all with a little help from my friends. 

So you too can make a choice, "Buy a Ticket" and see what you can do. And along the way, don't hesitate to ask a friend or your significant other, to help you, whether they run with you for 10 minutes of your run or 10 miles. And Girls Run the 901 would love to cheer you on along the way!! 

So will you "Buy a Ticket?"  

Whether it's a 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, or Marathon, you can achieve your goal!


  1. Do you have any advice on where to find a friend to run with? It seems none of my friends like to run and I have set a goal to run the St. Jude marathon this year.

    1. You may also check the MRTC(Memphis Runners) website. They list places all over the 901(Hehe) that holds group runs at all times during the week! Good luck!

    2. There are many ways to find a friend to run with. Breakaway Running and Fleet Feet stores in Memphis do group runs during the week currently, they also offer Saturday group runs closer to the St. Jude Marathon and they are very helpful and are for every pace. If you go to a gym you may be able to find someone to run with there as well. We all have people that we run different distances with based on their pace and capability. For me, it wasn't until I started running that I became friends with and aware of other runners. The running community in Memphis is very friendly.

    3. Thanks for the great advice!

  2. Debi you are truly a motivator for me! I have thought(and still do) that 26.2 may be too much for me. I want to do it so badly and seeing you girls really gives me such inspiration. Thank you girls!

    1. Meredith, you are such a sweetheart!! You can absolutely do 26.2, I 100% believe in you and promise to cheer you on along the way!!

    2. Meredith, I have not had the privalege of meeting you, but we obviously have mutual friends, have seen your supportive comments and just recently found out I went to high school with your husband. Such a small world! This is Dana btw... One of the six:) just wanted to say thanks for your support and don't doubt or question your ability to do 26.2! I may or may not have just blog stalked you... And I think you are one tough cookie! You will rock it and the Girls of the 901will be cheering you on for sure!