Saturday, February 19, 2011


I hate running.

A few months ago, my sister-in-law invited members of the extended family to train for and compete in (aka complete) a half-marathon this spring. If you've been a long time reader of my blog, you know that I have been a (fairly unsuccessful) wannabe runner for a while. At the time of this challenge, I was not running at all. But I took her up on it, ready for a challenge and unwilling to look like a wimp to the rest of the family.

We've used a little learn-how-to-run program that has served us well. Today I was scheduled to run 8 miles for the first time. My running buddy canceled on me. The weather was gloomy. My MP3 player wouldn't load the thing I wanted to listen to. I could think of a thousand things I'd rather do than run. But I left the house when Meggie went down for her nap.

Somewhere during the first mile, it started to rain.

Somewhere during the second mile, my phone (on which I was listening to this) malfunctioned and I was afraid for a few minutes that I would be running the rest of the way in silence. Thankfully that bug worked itself out.

By the end of the third mile I was soaking wet and the rain was coming down hard. I contemplated turning toward home, but my pride kept me going.

During the fourth mile, I realized that I really needed to empty my bladder. And that my hips were starting to hurt.

I felt exuberant when I hit mile 5, knowing that I was more than halfway finished. The rain subsided and the sun came out. I noticed a family of geese drying off in a meadow. I saw a bird that I'd never seen before. I marveled at the gorgeous oak trees in my area and at the amazing world that Heavenly Father created for me and for each of us.

During the sixth mile, I tried hard to take my mind off my full bladder and my sore hips. I noticed that my shoulders and back were feeling tight. Trying to take my mind off these things didn't work.

During the seventh mile, I began to write this blog post in my head. I reminded myself of all of the reasons that I want to make blogging a priority again. I thought about blogs that I (used to) read that inspired me. I remembered how I want to have an influence for good on the world and that I have this forum to use for that purpose. (This was a more effective way of forgetting my pain, by the way.)

During the last mile, it was all self-talk and gunning for the finish line. I did not want to think about 13.1. Eight miles felt like plenty.

I arrived home 1 hour 45 minutes later (yes, I am that slow) feeling sore, stiff, and like I had conquered the world. I had done something that I didn't want to do. I had done something that was hard. I had done something that I had never done before. I had done something that was good for my body and mind and spirit when what had been far more enticing was staying home and nibbling chocolate chips. I felt wonderful. I knew I will do it again, and that one day in April, I will run 13.1.

I love running.


Aubrey said...

I've never run that far. Ever. I only ever got up to 3 miles. YOu are my hero! Is it weird to be so proud of a friend whom I haven't seen in years? But I am. I know how hard it is to even get out and go. And how hard it is to keep going. It is a total head game with yourself. But you did it!
(I was a running-hater myself. I still don't love running while I am doing it...but I really love how it makes me feel.)
P.S I love listening to conference while I run/walk/whatever, too. It's so uplifting!

Leslie said...

I still follow and read your blog.
Good for you for running, and completing your 8 miles today. It's hard to run and easy to think of a hundred other and better things to do than run.
It's great you're doing it. I'm always so proud of people who run because I know how hard it is. Even when I see people who I don't know running on the road I always think, Oh, good for them.
So good for you, Michal and know that somewhere out there in the real world and blog land is another Renouf Girl cheering for you.

Christine said...

You're a rock star! Way to go! BTW- I saw a couple of teenage girls throw something over the fence into your backyard this morning. If I had my phone on me I was going to call you. It might have only been a piece of gum- I couldn't tell- but thought it was odd. :)

Tamara said...


When I was training for my marathon I told a friend at work (who had run the 26.2 race before) how nervous I was about the training.
"How many miles are you up to?" she asked.
I looked defeated. "Eight."
"Oh! Well if you can do eight, you can do a marathon!"
Maybe she misunderstood me. "No, just eight. Not 18."
"Yeah I know! A marathon? No problem!"

So uh... I guess I'm just waiting so see which FULL marathon you're planning on running? :) lol

You've totally got this. If you can run eight miles, what are five more?? Keep going!

angelj44 said...

Way to go!!!! I loved this post you are doing so great at reaching your goal. I look forward to congratulating you when you reach 13.1 because I know you will get there.

The MacGregors said...

Great job! I'm training for a full marathon in June and just trying not to think about the end race... I just think about the miles I need to get done each day and try to focus on that. 26.2 miles is daunting! Good luck with the rest of your training- and your race!

Myrna Snider Thomas said...

I'm so glad you posted this. Now I can have my "Michal rah rah" when I need it most without calling you at 6am.

Ashley said...

Go Michal go! What an inspiration you are. I too, DESPERATELY want to get back into blogging. It just doesn't seem to be happening.:( Soon, though, soon. That's what I keep telling myself.

Kim said...

From the running buddy who bombed on you... I am proud. I know I would never have run the 8 without you, bravo for flying solo. We'll be ready for that half marathon, my dear, worry not. ;)

Michal said...

Aubrey, Thanks! Before I started this program, I never thought I could run more than 3 miles, and 3 miles felt like it would take forever to build up to. When you are back to running after the wee babe makes its appearance, you should try a program like this one. You could definitely do it. If I can, anyone can.:)

Michal said...

Kim, you're going to have to actually run the long runs with me to be ready ;). Hope everyone is back to their healthy selves now. See you Tuesday morning:)

Michal said...

Tam, no way. 26.2? Not happening:) I think. Maybe. Really?

April said...

Girl, you've got this 13.1 in the bag! I'm no where near 8 miles in training!

Cornfields, children and waterballet said...

I am so excited for you! As a "want-to-be" runner...who use to run and lettered in track in high school...I LOVE THIS POST! I have an amazing family who do amazing things in their lives. Thanks for blogging. I am sure you will make your goal! I am proud of you! Thanks!

Prudy said...

You're amazing! Congratulations on another mountain moved.

lizee said...

this was so seriously inspiring. i am actually a little choked up. it is funny how running is such a head game, how much good one person's example can be, and how your victories make mine seem possible. i just signed up for a triathlon this summer and have yet to hit the gym. today, i will start. it might be just five minutes but it will feel better than nothing.

Barbara said...

I am incredibly impressed by you but then I always have been. Just read in my journal (1999?)that you came back to work at the bakery like an answer to my prayers. Then you got a job and got pregnant and were off again.
Our granddaughter Bethany ran in the San Diego marathon last year and is going to do her second triathlon(1/2)in March. I feel lucky that I can walk 9 holes of golf. Keep on blogging!

Kallie said...

Michal, WOW! You are making such awesome progess. I am so impressed, proud of you, inspired and even jealous. Keep the blogs coming!

Becky said...

That's awesome, Michal! I think the most I have run is maybe four miles.

Marybeth said...

Michal, you're amazing!