Saturday, December 4, 2010


I stated running this time last year. I chose running because it was something that I could do that did not require a gym membership. I also chose it because it was something that I never felt that I was very good at. In third grade, we played soccer during PE class. I remember quite vividly running up and down the field and being more winded than the the other kids. I needed a challenge (apparently, starting a business and being a full time mom with a sub one-year-old wasn't challenging enough).

I signed up and paid my money to run the Austin, Texas Marathon which was held on February 14, 2010. At the time that I paid my money (October 2009), I couldn't run a full mile. I had spent the first part of 2009 on bed rest with my son. At 29 weeks, it wasn't clear if my body could continue the pregnancy. By shear determination, we made it 37 weeks, and I had a healthy baby boy. Three weeks after he was born, I fell (just call me "grace") and broke my foot. When he was three-months-old (June 2009), I had emergency surgery. By the time October 2009 rolled around, I still didn't feel like myself. All the stress my body has been put under during the previous year and a half had taken its toll on me mentally and physically. I had to do something to reclaim the old Carolanne.

An e-mail appeared in my inbox asking me to donate money to the Lance Armstrong Foundation LiveStrong. I thought, instead of donating money I'll do it. I'll run the half marathon. My husband decided to run it with me as a show of support for my very difficult year. I also recruited a friend, Melissa, to run it with me.

I found an awesome running program online that detailed out how a novice should train for a half marathon. I did everything that the program asked me to do. People have asked me if it was easy. The answer is sort of. It's amazing how your body responds to exercise. For a year and a half, I had been pregnant or immobile. Once I reintroduced my body to exercise, muscle memory kicked in. I got better and better with each run. Also, a very experienced runner told me that if you can physically run three miles, the rest is mental. I agree with this. It's hard! You have to push yourself to continue on even when your legs are screaming at you. Most importantly, you have to make it a priority. I had to say, "Yes! The baby just woke up from his nap, and he's crying. However, I have five minutes of cool down that I must do so that I don't injure myself." The running is very hard on your legs and feet. About two weeks before the half marathon, I lost feeling in both sets of toes. My doctor advised me to quit running. Are you kidding? I didn't do all of this training for nothing. That's when we had a frank discussion of "is this going to kill me or permanently injure me?" The answer was no so I kept training.

The weekend before the half marathon on a very cold, wet morning Chris, Melissa and I completed our final run before the big day - 10 MILES. I, Carolanne Norris, who couldn't run a full mile in October ran (not walked) 10 miles at the beginning of February.

Stay Tuned... Next Post I'll tell you about the half marathon. Let's just say, that it was much more of a challenge than I thought.


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