Running to find me


Why are you running a marathon?  I am asked on a regular basis when people become aware in whatever manner they do that I am running a marathon.  Just to clarify, I am more appropriately jogging a marathon.  I will venture to answer this question in a better way than the quick answer I give on the fly, which is something similar to “why not?”

I am pretty competitive, those close to me and those that have worked with me for some time realize this, I not always compete with others, and I more often compete with myself.  I think this is what drove me to even start running to begin with.  Back in 2006 I was moving to NYC I was told by a few individuals that I would not make it in NYC, and at the time, I doubted even myself.  I was determined to change my life for the better and along the way prove those individuals wrong.  Moving to NYC was not easy.  I needed a release for some of the stress I was feeling juggling raising daughters, a career, getting myself on my feet, and negotiating a divorce.  Whew, you say, yep, it was a lot, and I certainly did not have the extra income to afford a gym to work out the aggression so, I started jogging around the block.  The release was amazing and I felt myself getting stronger and stronger as I could go further and further.

Then came along some amazingly encouraging co-workers that had recently completed their first marathon, they talked me into signing up for a 5K with them.  I did, I completed it and it was an amazing feeling when I crossed that finish line, I was hooked!  This was the early part of 2007.  I went out that year to cheer them on as they ran the NYC marathon that following November 2007 and the bug bit me.  All I needed was to see that energy, determination, and to have them telling me all along I can do it, along with the competitive spirit I already possess.  Just like that, I was in.  I completed by first marathon in November of 2008, NYC and have since completed 10 full marathons and traveled to some amazing places to complete these races.  I ran each time to be faster than the time before or run a tougher course than the one before, running my personal best in 2010.  In December of 2013 I completed my tenth in my birth town of Honolulu with my parents and my friends present, I said it was my last; it was as amazing as it sounds.  I stopped running regularly and felt like there was something missing from my life, lost in a way, so I decided to do it again.

Now, here we are and I just completed the Louisiana marathon, 26.2 beautiful miles of oak and magnolia trees, a stroll down LSU’s Victory hill, and the university lakes in Baton Rouge.  Why do it after a three year break, this one was all about proving a lot to myself, seeing that I still have it in me.  I signed up, the first step, this part was easy.  I found a plan and stuck to it, this was much like the first time all over again, it’s a harsh reality when you find it difficult to complete a couple of miles.  I gained a new respect for the marathon distance that I did not have before.  I did however, find that satisfaction, the rush, when I completed the first long run, I was back.    Maybe not.  There were aches and pains and minor injuries and those moments I needed to push through to get out there and to finish.  Good thing I surround myself with uplifting people who reminded me I could do it even when I felt like I couldn’t.  This time, I turned off the competition in my head, I turned off the pace timer and tracking devices and just had fun on the course and enjoyed every moment rather than fighting with myself.   I sang, I slapped high-five to strangers, I danced, I skipped, I ran my race!

So another completed, surely my last full marathon, although I was reminded that eleven is just an odd number to finish with.  In all of this I have proven to myself that I can do it.  I have shown my daughters that they can do anything they put their mind to.  I have shown myself and those around me that hard work and dedication will get you to the finish line.  Don’t give up on anything.  Running (jogging) has always been a personal journey for me, my time, to think, be creative, and just figure things out.  While I don’t see myself committing to the distance training again I do see myself staying with it and enjoying shorter races, keeping it part of my fitness routine.  I have learned along the way in all of this that running is as much about the mental as it is physical, for me the mental benefits outweigh the physical.

I stuck with it and somewhere along the way, I found myself again.





5 thoughts on “Running to find me

Add yours

  1. Congratulations!!! You are amazing! I’ll be running my 2nd NYC Marathon this November and several half marathons. Thank you for being such a great inspiration and again Congratulations!!! Hector Ventura👍


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