The Boot, The Alternative

I had a case of the blahs yesterday.  Perhaps, it’s because it was literally 30 degrees two nights ago in Dallas. I actually wore pajama pants AND socks at work. WHOA!  To me, this is true fall, lows of 30s and highs in the low 50s. That qualifies wearing boots. As much as I love this time of year, I am just not in the cold mood yet.  Anyways, we haven’t really had a chance to chat much this week or in a few weeks. I’ve been really busy at work and when I’m not at work, I’ve just hanging, working out and enjoying life. It’s such a nice feeling.

I needed to do my follow up to my Half Marathon post. Thanks so much to comments from people! Ironically, I heard a lot more from people via other sources Facebook, Twitter, text messages than comments. Still, I appreciate your kind words. I’ve honestly been pondering the idea of “debuting” my blog on Facebook with that exact post. Isn’t that the big question in all of life’s moments: “When Are You going to Put it on Facebook?” I swear, it’s like that one social media vehicle controls our whole lives. Who I am to complain? It’s part of the reason why I even have a job. Still, if I see one more image of someone’s uterus (i.e. sonograms), I may vomit. Do women not realize they are basically showing us their insides. I’m a female, and I can tell you i will NOT be posting any photos of sonogram images. Show off your belly, but please wait until the child is actually in the world before you “show” him or her to all of us. Get mad at me if you want for saying that, BUT one of my pregnant friends is the one who posed the original argument. So, how about those apples?

Stepping off my social soap box.

No one can ever take my half marathon experience from me. Nothing would also compare to the excruciating pain I felt the next day as I walked to my car. Oh, it’s just soreness from running 13.1 miles. That’s all. Eventually, the pain started to go away. But this pain in my right foot got worse. I went and got a pedicure, foot massage. Didn’t help. I soaked in everything possible. Still throbbing.  Oh Lord, what the heck did I do to my foot?

Luckily, I already had seen a sports medicine doctor in 2004 when I tore my Achilles, so I didn’t have to wait months for an appointment. Of course, it was the SAME damn foot that I had hurt before. UGH!!!!

So, I went in to see the doctor and he immediately started wiggling my foot. “Oh, I see what’s wrong,” he said while inflicting pain on my ankle, “Every muscle and/or tendon” is inflamed. What?! I’m confused. X-rays confirmed that I hadn’t broken anything. Nope, to put it frankly, my right foot just wasn’t happy. It was under A LOT of stress.

I told the doc that I had just finished running the half marathon and the horrible conditions I experienced. He said he had seen several athletes, veteran marathoners,  in his office for problems since the race. If they had issues, I was bound to have editions.


Tears started to well up in my eyes as the doctor told me I would have to wear this boot for 3 months. Why me? Of course, this question loomed in the air, “Doc, will I be able to run again?”

He basically told me that i had two options: 1) Decrease my mileage/run shorter distances or 2) Decrease myself, 30 pounds to be exact. How did I not see that coming?

I chose Option 2.

The Holidays were spent battling this boot. I couldn’t even wear a cute dress on NYE. Sequins don’t go with black velcro boots. I couldn’t exercise, but I already knew that 70% of weight loss is diet, so I immediately changed what I was eating, determined to run again in 2012.

By the time March came around, I was more than ready to return for my follow up. I progressed from the boot to a stupid brace. I had lost around 10 pounds, only 20 more to go. Luckily, I could start working out which is where you read about various challenges I was doing.

To date, I have only lost 14 pounds, which is a smidge more than half of the needed weight loss to start training again. In 2007, I lost 60ish pounds, so I know losing another 16 pounds won’t hard. It won’t be easy either, but I know what to do to accomplish this goal.

Quitting running was never going to be an option. The half marathon opened up a whole new world to me, an athletic world that I had never experienced, which was ultimately the reason why I wanted to start running. It may have ended in my wearing a boot, but honestly, I gave the inner fat girl and her lethargic ways the boot too.

Nearly a year has passed since that dreary day. I didn’t run any races this year, but I sure learned a lot about myself. You could say that I earned a life medal, one in perseverance and determination.

Deep down, I miss running. I miss my relationship with the pavement. I miss sweating for hours. So, if I want to run again, I got to lose that 16 pounds. Why stop at 16 though?

Have you ever had an athletic injury?


I came. I ran. It rained. I conquered.

I hope you all are having  a great week! How sad that’s it taken me so long to write about my half marathon. It’s really ironic that I am working on this post about my half marathon experience because one of my best friends is trying to convince me to a FULL marathon next year. That’s 26.2 miles. DISGUSTING!

I’m not saying “disgusting” because my half marathon training was bad. It was one of the best experiences of life. I’m saying “disgusting” because it was a commitment.

Hal Higdon is the GREATEST resource for any runner today, especially the novice ones who refuse group training. Every detail of every day is outlined according to distance or work out, rest, a race, etc. Leave it to me though to customize it a little bit.

The first suggested race is a 5K or 3.2 miles. Oh, that’s too easy. I needed a challenge. I was already running a 3 miles a day and longer distances on the weekend, I could do more than that, which is why, when my friends suggested we run the Tour de Fleurs, I was all for it.

Tour de Fleurs is a race in Dallas that raises money for the Dallas Aboretum, a beautiful botanical garden in an “old” part of Dallas. The garden is near White Rock Lake, which is also a very historical part of the city as well. Runners have the option of either a 10K or 20K. My friends and I chose the 10K.

Please don’t make fun of the fact that my hat is too small. LOL it was on sale.

It was the first race that I ever participated in. I didn’t really struggle on anything. I kept a good pace and crossed the finish line with pride, as The Boy waited, cheering me on.

NOLA woke up early in the AM to go with me! He’s amazing! Please ignore the sweat stains. Disgusting.

After TDF, I was pumped up for the rest of my training. I ran another race, The Vineyard Run, in Grapevine with some other friends of mine a few weeks later.

Same too small hat. LOL…should have stretched more for those hills.

Free wine after running. Enjoying the lovely grapes.

Before I knew it, it was time for the BIG RACE.

December came pretty quickly. As recommended by good ol Hal, I ran my longest distance, 10 miles (or was it 11) the weekend before my race. I ran around White Rock Lake, plus an additional mile.  I knew I was ready to go. Spaghetti dinner was my dinner the Friday before my race at my brother’s birthday party. That’s when it started, the rumors of nasty weather that was forecasted on that Sunday.

Local meteorologist talked about the weather and kind of discouraged people from running. You see, White Rock Marathon is a HUGE race in Dallas that raises money for Scottish Rite Hospital. The whole city would be featured on 13.1 or 26.2 miles of beautiful, scenic route. It’s broadcasted LIVE on a local news station because several elite runners qualify for Boston and New York through this race. BIG. DEAL.

My alarms went off. I woke up, put on my race gear that was already laid out and headed outside. It was drizzling…cold and drizzling. The drive didn’t make it any better. It started raining harder. Oh lord. We arrived at Fair Park, parked and headed to the waiting/prep area.

Thousands of runners and family members were there, putting on their bibs and socks, taping up their chins, ankles and hamstrings, programming their iPods and music players for the long day ahead.

Such more gear. So little time.

Ready for a cold, wet mess ahead.

Some racers adorned Olympic gear. Whoa. I was a part of an elite group of people. MetroPCS was handing out panchos and gloves. I was sure to grab them.

We headed to the race start line, all 20,000 of us, and waited in the rain. The one downfall with the race of that magnitude is that it takes literally 30 minutes for the “average” runners to actually begin. So annoying. Super duper annoying.

As they wait…

He braved the rain, cold and wind for 7 hours. Super duper trooper!!


I started running. It started raining. I ran faster. It rained harder.

Mile 2. Still raining.

Runners around me start to run slower.

Mile 3. Torrential down pour. Water stop.

Mile 4…until the end. It rained, rained and rained. On McKinney Avenue around Sfuzzi, I threw off the gloves, as they were drenched.

Mile 6ish was Turtle Creek all the way up through Highland Park. That was the moment I learned Turtle Creek was up hill. I ran hills before. The Vineyard Run had killer hills. But these hills, on top of the rain beating down on my already soaked poncho, were just, well, bad.

Fellow half-marathoners around me started to slow down. Some even started walking. You could just sense the air of defeat in the atmosphere. No, Victoria. Don’t give up. Just keep going. You’re more than half way done.

At some mile marker on Greenville Avenue, the race splits. Marathoners go left and halfers go right. I paused for a second and just thought what would it be like it I turned left. Oh, another time.

I would love the say the rain let up. It didn’t. Around mile 10, I called The Boy from this trusty MetroPCS phone station, and told him where I was. It was nice to hear his voice.

Back to the street I went. Feet to pavement. I remember around this point, one of the race attendees, saying “you only have a 5K left…just 3 miles or to the end.” He was right. I had been running 3 miles just for exercise. I would be a piece of cake.

And then it rained the hardest of the entire race. From mile 11 to around 13, I could barely see in front of me. My legs were numb. One lady started crying next to me. “C’mon Victoria,” I kept saying to myself. “Just keep running. You can do it.”

Around the same time that I was motivating myself, the marathoners joined us in the route. They were, of course, wearing nothing compared to my completely covered, multi-layered body. Sprinting around the corner, these amazing men and women had already run 24 miles. They were experiencing a whole different level of pain. Their skin, versus my dry fit pants, was dripping with water and sweat. Some of them had red legs. Some of them looked like they were going to pass out. Bottom line is that they were STILL running faster than me!

If they can do it, so can I.

I gathered up all the strength I had left and literally sprinted the last 2 miles. It ran the fastest I could. It rained the hardest I had that day.

I saw the finish line in the distance and immediately started shedding clothes. I refused to wear my poncho in my “finished” photo.

Almost there!!

Pushing through the pain, motivated by the cheers of my boo and family standing on the sideline, I fist pumped as I crossed the finish line.




The race volunteers gave me one of those aluminum foil cover things as soon as I finished. What is the purpose of those again because I was still cold? Following the crowd, I slowly walked to the hall where they took pictures and gave us our medal.

Finally, I get my medal. I didn’t linger in their long for I wanted to see everyone who came out to support me, especially my amazing boyfriend who waited in the pouring rain and cold for nearly 7 hours for me to finish. LOVE.

Mom and Bubba

My cheerleader and Me

A few tears gathered in my eyes as I thought about what I had just accomplished. I remembered every mile, every moment as I walked back to the car. Wow, I really can’t believe I just did that.

My fam, NOLA and I met up at Maple & Motor after the race for some delicious hamburgers. Everyone was so proud of me. I honestly think no one really thought I could finish it. Hehe! They would never admit that though.

My Daddy admiring my medal…

Fellow runners were also there with their families celebrating their fantastic feat. Congratulations buzzed in the air as each new half or full marathoner walked in. I was a part of an elite group of individuals. We ran. It rained. We conquered.

Training and running a half marathon was already an amazing journey. Running it in those conditions was a test of not only my physical training, but my mental training. I could have not shown up. I could have just forfeited the $100 like a lot of other runners did. I could have walked 10 miles instead of running.

Nope, I didn’t do any of that. In the end, it was honestly my mental training that carried me to the finish line. I have never been so motivated to complete something in my entire life, even my MBA. That accomplishment deserved every 1,614 words of this post.

An entire year has elapsed since my race. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I honestly just got over my hatred of rain like 4 months ago. Now that I’ve finished, soaked in Epsom salt and iced my entire body down for hours, I really feel like I can do anything now. Nothing is out of reach. Anything is attainable with hard work and perseverance. No matter what is thrown my way, I can beat it.


Next stop? Full marathon? 26.2 miles? Maybe….

DUH! Running Lessons, Moments & Epiphanies

Running is no joke. This is probably why people just don’t hop on a treadmill and decide to start running. They know better. I should have known better, but I didn’t.

One thing I knew for sure about my half-marathon training- I did NOT want to use the group training/running classes such as Luke’s or RunOn. Yes, I know it is a great program. Yes, I know it’s better to run in a group because there are people to keep you motivated. I was fully aware of all of that. Simply put, I hate exercising with people. Going to the gym with strangers is one thing. Going to the gym with a friend is completely different. I am extremely competitive, and I end up pushing myself too far. I don’t want to increase my injury rate any higher than it already is. It’s just better for me to do things alone.

So, I did what everyone does when they need advice, I Binged it.  (#thingsnoeversays). I did Google it and stumbled upon Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Novice Training. It seemed perfect. I calculated 12 weeks back from my ultimate race in December and determined September would be the official start to my training season. In the meantime, I needed to be able to run 3 miles at least 3 times a week without wanting to pass out. Luckily, I was already able to do, three wouldn’t be that bad right?

When am I ever going to learn?

I carefully pushed myself slowly but surely to the 3-mile mark. I worked out nearly everyday. I ran 4 times a week just to keep my body warm. I changed my eating habits a lot and started drinking more water because I quickly realized when I’m hydrated, I run better. Duh, Victoria.

That faithful day in September was quickly approaching. Hmmm, I thought to myself. The race is going to be outside. Perhaps, I should try running outside a few times to see how I feel. So, I headed to the famous Dallas landmark, Katy Trail. What a difference it is?! There is no belt pushing you to move faster or you’ll get flung off the machine. Nope, there is only your feet and the pavement.

After the first 1/4 mile, I AGAIN realized, there had to be a rhythm to my breathing, my pace, everything I did or I wasn’t going to make it 1 mile, much less 13.1. I felt defeated for another 1/4 mile, and then I changed my thinking.  Best decision ever.

Well, hello there epiphany. Running is an equal combination of training your body and your mind. Once I figured out what I needed to do physically, I had to get my mind right to make it all 13.1 miles. Little did I know how important that epiphany would be for not only my training, but also my BIG race!