Saturday, November 5, 2016

Running Perspective

         I “beat the bridge” and I conquered the MCM 2016!  I had an absolutely amazing weekend in DC.  This race was important for so many reasons (to me).  It may sound cliché but I believe it in every way.  This race changed me.  The change was small but extremely significant.  I have already posted about how the training for this race changed me, but the race itself created some changes in perspective.  There are things about that day that I could never put into words, so I am just going to keep those in my heart.

         Please keep in mind that these are observations are from me and should be taken in that context.  There were several different types of runners that ran with me on Sunday.  There were the runners, who would finish the race in the same amount of time that most people run a half marathon.  These runners are serious and I have to be honest I don’t know any runners like this and I don’t really understand them.  I am just going to move on……There are the runners who are considered the average marathon runners.  They run a marathon a little faster and avoid most injury.  I am trying very hard to work my way into this group.  These runners finish any where from 4 hours to 5 ½ hours.  I look up to these runners.  These runners inspire me and challenge me.  They also show me that IT is possible.  Most of my running friends are in this group and I have so much respect and love for them. I ran the first half of the MCM with these runners.  Granted, I was in the back half of this pack but I was with them.
         Then there is my group of runners.  These runners are all heart!  In what we lack physically, by injury, physical exhaustion or age we make up for in heart.  I ran the second half of the race with them.  These are the runners who will not quit!  You never see these runners stopping.  They are always moving forward.  Let me tell you a little bit more about these runners.  These runners are people who started with the goal to finish.  Some of them wanted to finish stronger, but their bodies had other plans.  The heart that these runners have is one of the most inspiring things I have ever experienced.  I am going to try very hard to put into words the truly amazing things I saw Sunday.  I hope I can do them justice. 
         There was a couple running in my group of runners.  They had to have been in their 70’s.  The wife was running at a steady pace, but her companion was struggling.  He would run a short distance and then walk.  His wife (I assume that is who she was) would run back to check on him.  I bet she ran 36 miles by the end of it.  You could tell that this was not what he was accustomed to.  He was a Runner and he was in disbelief that his body was revolting like it was.  He began to voice his frustration by saying things like “I used to be a runner and now I am just a damn walker” or “this is stupid, I should just quit.”  I finally looked at him and asked him why he was even out here.  I asked him to look around, did he see anyone who wasn’t giving it everything they had?  He teared up a little and continued with everything he had.  He never said another negative word.  He finished that race and I hope he was proud of himself.
         Around mile 24, I noticed a woman who was bent over at the waist.  Her legs were moving but it was like the top half of her body had just folded.  It was obvious that she was in pain.  I don’t know if the pain was from injury or exhaustion.  I watched her for a few minutes kind of confused as to why she wouldn’t just stop.  Then out of nowhere came two women, who I assume were her friends, and she put her arms around their shoulders.  These three women moved forward.  They didn’t let that woman stop even though they were exhausted too.  I offered to help carry her, but they didn’t want my help.  That’s heart!
         I saw a man who was limping so severely that I hurt for him.  I saw a woman incredibly overweight, who was running as fast as she could.  She was on a mission.  I saw a lot of heart.  I was running and concentrating so hard on just keeping my legs moving, when I heard someone say excuse me.  I looked back and saw a woman about my age.  I slowed down and got even with her.  She looked at me and said “you have been an inspiration to me most of this race.”  I looked at her and thought “ME?”.   I was confused, why on earth would she say that to me?  She continued saying “I have been looking at the back of your shirt.”  (I was wearing a yellow tank top… on the back it says “never give up” and “it takes all you got”)  she explained that the saying on my shirt and the fact that I never stopped, kept her going.  I was blown away by this.  I have thought about this a lot.  I never considered myself an inspiration, until a complete stranger from Iowa told me.You never know who is looking to you for inspiration, so all you can do is put your heart into it.                   


Every person, who runs a marathon, has a personal goal that they are reaching for.  That goal maybe a PR, conquering a fear, proving you are a badass, or just to finish something that less than 1% of the population of the USA ever has.  Running a marathon takes a lot of hard work and a lot of heart.  I am grateful to the people who ran the MCM 2016 for changing my perspective.  On to the next adventure....

         Side note:  I have a good friend, who is running the New York City Marathon in the morning.  Enjoy yourself and never take the experience for granted.  Jenn, RUN YOUR ASS OFF!!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016


Today I fly out and head to DC.  I am both excited and nervous, which is half of the fun of a marathon.  I also get to see my best friend!  I can’t wait.  Ok, now down to the reason for this post.  I mentioned in my last post that I would be creating a list of the 26 things I am most grateful for, one for each mile.  I have come up with my list and I am excited about it.  These are not in any order of importance. 

I am grateful for…

Mile 1 – Running and all of it’s challenges
Mile 2 – Kanon
Mile 3 – My high school friends and My college friends
Mile 4 – My Boos
Mile 5 – My family
Mile 6 – All of the hard times I have experienced (they made me)
Mile 7 – God
Mile 8 – My self-doubt
Mile 9 – My confidence
Mile 10 – Music and books
Mile 11 – The ability to see beauty
Mile 12 – The friends who have stuck by me and never judged me
Mile 13 – Amy
Mile 14 – The children I get to introduce Art to
Mile 15 – God making me a lesbian (and sexy)
Mile 16 – Laughter and Tears
Mile 17 – Sarra
Mile 18 – This moment
Mile 19 – Beating The Bridge!
Mile 20 – Fear (overcoming it and embracing it)
Mile 21 - Gina
Mile 22 – Understanding that I can do anything
Mile 23 – The runners beside me
Mile 24 – Sami, Fletch, and Andrew
Mile 25 – Overcoming depression and anxiety
Mile 26 – This being the Last MILE
.2 – for the people who fought for this country and gave me the freedom to run this race

There is my list.  When you run a race like this it is easy to only think about yourself and how you feel.  The race can become all about you, the miles behind, and the miles ahead.  I probably will not be able to not think about that, but I don’t want to take this experience or adventure for granted.  I am grateful for the life I have led so far and the life I am going to lead.  I don’t know if I will ever have another opportunity to do another marathon, so I want this one to mean something. 

I have set up an instagram account (kcannon6017) and you can follow me through out the weekend.  I will be posting pictures the whole weekend.  I also will post after the marathon to let everyone know how I did.  Thanks for all of the support.  See you on the other side of the BRIDGE. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

26 Things

7 more days!  This thought hit me like a punch in the chest this morning.  7 days from today I will be in DC running 26.2 miles.  This both excites me and scares me at the same time.   I have to be honest, it is an intense high.  I love it!  I am really excited because this will be my first major race.  The MCM is one that thousands of people are dying to do.  I was picked to attempt it out of thousands.  I can’t wait to feel that excitement, the energy in the air is going to be awesome!   Don’t get me wrong, I still have the same anxieties and fears about this race.  I think that is normal.  Earlier this week I almost let that steal this excitement that I feel, but a thought creeped in during one of these moment stealing events. I have been given a gift:  I CAN run, There is NOTHING preventing me from running.  
Running is a gift.  Think about that for a second…  there are so many things in life we take for granted.  There are people in this world, who would run 50 marathons, if only they could.   The thing that I take for granted is something they can’t do.  It is not about having the endurance or the mental strength, they physically can’t.  All of the runners out there, imagine that you woke up tomorrow and your legs couldn’t run anymore.  I often think about the people whose ability to run was stolen from them that day in Boston.  They were approaching the finish of a marathon and suddenly their lives changed.  
I have people in my life who can’t run and never will be able to.  I feel like an ass when I talk about how slow I am or if I can beat some bridge.  I take running for granted.  There is a little boy, who has my heart.  He is just starting his life and he will never be able to run like I do.  As much as I hate this fact, there is nothing I can do to change this.  All I can do is pray that HE finds his own passion and doesn’t ever take it for granted.  I promise this little guy that I will do everything in my power to never again take running for granted.  I wear his name on my shoe when I run and I will have his name under my running tattoo next Sunday.
There are a lot of things that we all take for granted: a roof over our head, food in our refrigerator, cars, jobs, education, family etc…  I can only speak for me, but I don’t want to lose something before I realize how important it is or was to me.  I especially don’t want my wonderful life to end and not to have thanked God for everything I have.  I want to live a life where I don’t spend anymore time taking things for granted.  I want to explore what life has to offer, the things I have never had the courage to try.  What do I have to lose by trying?  The real question is what do I lose if I don’t try?
I find myself worrying about things and becoming consumed with what ifs.  I really don’t want to waste anymore time on that.  I am a realist though.  This a habit that I have to break.  I want to be grateful for every breath that I take.  There is only one way to do that, PRACTICE.  I am going to take this marathon and use it to help change the way I think.  I am going to spend this week realizing 26 things that I am grateful for.  I will spend each corresponding mile focusing on how grateful I am for that blessing.  I want God and everyone to know what I am grateful for.  Before I leave for DC on Friday I will post those 26 things.  If you want to do the same I will run those 26 miles for you too, so you can be grateful and realize how blessed you are as well.  

Life (running) is amazing and we all need to break through fears and conquer fear before it is all gone.  I am realizing that the true way to happiness and fulfillment is to thank God everyday for all of your life.  Let’s not wait until it is all gone.  We need to embrace our lives!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Beat The Bridge

          Sorry I am a little late with this post, time got away from me.  Let me catch you up a little on my marathon training progress.  This past Sunday, I ran……17 Miles!!!  The most awesome part was that I could walk the next day.  I had a little soreness but the only real pain I had was in my shoulder (don’t ask because I don’t know).  I have proven to myself that I can run 26.2 Miles again.  there is still something that scares the shit out of me.  Something I think about all day long.  It is always in my brain.  Can I "beat the bridge"??  In the Marine Corp Marathon you have to “beat the bridge” to be able to continue and finish to get your medal.  To “beat the bridge” you must completely cross the 14th street Bridge by 1:15 PM.  So many things scare me about this. 
         Can I "beat the bridge"?  I honestly don’t know.  I do know that I need to turn my thinking around about this stupid bridge.  So far, all I can think about is not beating the bridge.  I have spent very little time thinking about actually beating the damn thing.  It is a known fact that I have spent most of my life being the glass is half empty kind of girl.  I have to change that, not only in my running, but also in my life.  I am going to use this wonderful writing outlet to put all of my doubts and fears on the table. 
         I guess I should start with my biggest fear.  I am terrified of not “beating the bridge” and having to go home with not having accomplished my goal.  In other words, I am afraid to fail.  I get a stomachache when I think about people asking me “did you finish?” and having to say “No”.  I understand in theory that my friends and family won’t hold it against me, but I would hold it against myself so why wouldn’t they.  This may sound silly and a little crazy, but it is a real fear in my head.  I have spent most of my life making sure I didn’t do anything that I could result in a flat failure.  It has only been recently that I have made a conscience effort to force myself out of that thought process.  Still it is a hard habit to break.  This leaves me with two choices:  Quit or Try.
         If I am completely honest with myself….. I am a little concerned about not pushing myself hard enough.  What I mean is that I constantly ask myself “am I working hard enough”?  There are more days than not that I say no to that question.  I know there is another level to my effort, my ability and me.  I am just at a loss as how to achieve it.  Trust me when I say this, I spend a lot of time reading articles and books about running.  I am constantly trying to find that insight that will change my whole running lifestyle.  That is almost my answer for everything, READING.  If I have a problem, that is always my first instinct, to read a book on the topic.  This is very hard for me to say…..reading about running has not worked to push me harder, run faster or cure all my mental fears.  The people who know me will understand that took a lot for me to admit.  Once again, I have to look inside and find these answers.  Sigh…..
         This is a thing I have talked about before, but I have to mention it briefly.  What if I am just not good enough at running to actually “beat the bridge”?  What if no matter how hard I train, try to think positive thoughts I can’t do it?  As I am writing this, I see that is crap and not true at all.  I am not even going to continue this paragraph because that just isn’t true. 
          Now that I have put my fears on the table, I need to face them and spit in fear’s face.  If I don’t “beat the bridge”, I won’t die.  I won’t be fired from my job.  My family will not avoid my calls.  I will not have friends’ unfriend me on facebook.  If I look at it like that what do I have to lose?  Nothing that really matters. Now if I quit and don’t try as hard as I can….. I will lose a lot more.  I will lose respect for myself; I would have a hard time living with quitting.  I vow to everyone reading this I will fail way before I EVER quit.  I injured myself in my first marathon, couldn’t run at all.  I didn’t quit I walked as hard as I could for 10 Miles because there was no way I was going to look at my Dad and tell him I quit.  That was not acceptable, quitting.  Don’t get me wrong quitting because of a major injury is the smart thing to do, but I am not always smart.  I am stubborn though. 
         I read a quote the other day (it was on my daily running calendar) and I have thought about that quote all week.  It said, “Running a marathon is not a physical challenge, it is a mental one.” This statement is so true.  I know from talking to many people who have run a marathon.  There comes a point with all of us where you have to be stronger mentally than you ever have to be physically.   I have two good friends, who say something to me all the time…”I wish you could see yourself through our eyes.”  I say that I am going to try.  Here is my declaration!!!!!!:
·           I will only be positive (about everything).  Time to try being a glass is half full girl for a while
·         I will work on concentrating on having success instead of failure.
·         I will make “I will BEAT THE BRIDGE!” my new mantra

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I Am Not A Runner, But My Best Friend Is.

       Last week after my post, I ran 11 miles!  Writing those words seems to have broken my runner’s block, so now I am wondering if this writing thing is a kind of magic.  What if writing is some magical way of breaking all kind of bad habits or ways of thinking?  I am thinking of putting this magical theory to the test.  Why not?  It can’t hurt...
      I have run in 1 marathon, 3 half marathons, 4 10ks, and 5 5ks.  I still don’t think of myself as a runner most of the time.  When I drive my daughter to swimming, I see all of these people running and I actually find myself getting jealous.  I find myself thinking “Damn, I wish I could do that.”  Then it hits me. I do that a lot!  I am so impressed by runners and have so much respect for them.  Why don’t I give myself that same respect?  
I have a bad habit of comparing myself, in many ways, to other people.  This is not a very productive way of living.  Using this way of measuring your life bases your good/bad mood, your happiness, and the way you look at yourself on how you compare to someone else.  This is a really good way to live if you want to ALWAYS feel inferior to someone else.  This isn’t fair to yourself and it isn't fair to the one you always compare yourself to.  When it comes to running, I always compare myself to my best friend, Amy.  
     Amy is a fantastic runner.  Her drive, endurance and heart is amazing.  I started seriously running because of a snowy afternoon on Amy’s couch.  We were both stuck in our lives and needed a change.  We decided to train and run a half marathon in Disney.  We started training and we DID run that half. In many ways that experience changed both of us.  God brought the two of us together to be each other’s Heroes.  We have used each other to go beyond what we ever thought what was possible.  That being said, I always think of her as a better runner, a faster runner, a “real” runner.  In other words, I make myself feel inferior to her when we run.  Why would I do that????
Let me start off by making this very clear. Amy has  NEVER made me feel this way.  She has been so supportive and is always my biggest cheerleader.  Now back to me, I am a slower runner than Amy.  There is nothing wrong with that. We are different people.  I had a realization the other day, I have never allowed myself to even consider the fact that I could run as fast as Amy.  I have a stamp in my brain, that I put there without even realizing it, that said “Kris can’t run fast.”  That stamp has become a fact in my brain.  There is no evidence to back this up, because I have already convinced myself that fast or even faster was even possible.  
     I need to clarify the word “fast.” I am a slow runner and would love to be an 11 minute mile person.  That would be my fast.  The only reason that seems so hard to me is because I have compared myself into creating limitations that are not really there.  I feel inferior to Amy and other runners because that gives me an excuse to use these limitations.  It is scary to face limitations.  Especially false ones!  This limitation I have placed on myself gives me an excuse.  I have said before that I have always been an underachiever.  This is one of the reasons why.  I place limitations and use the word “can’t” a lot.
     Ok, let’s see if this magical writing thing really works…..

     I am going to use this marathon, this next year and this “magical writing” to break these old habits and limitations.  The truth is, I don’t know how fast I can run a mile because every run is different and I don’t know my full potential.  I am betting that I can achieve my goal of a mile in 11 mins.  I don’t know if that is what I should be running.  I am not anyone but Kris.  I am right now throwing away my limitations and only concentrating on my success.

      I am a badass woman, who has crossed the finish line in a marathon, half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks .  I have logged over a thousand training miles.  I have no limitations!

    Amy, I release you from being my mirror.  I look nothing like you!