Reason to Hope
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Last week, we recorded an incredible, long-overdue episode recapping the experiences of three very different runners at Three Days at the Fair. This is Melissa's story, in her own words. For OUR version of her badassery, click the photo below to be redirected to Coach MK's post on her personal Facebook page. You don't have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things, you just have to be Tenacious AF.
At a time in my life when there is much doubt. When it feels like there is darkness lurking around each corner, I have a lifeline.
I knew this lifeline was there for me if I just grabbed it - even though grabbing it meant doing something that was incredibly uncomfortable and pushed me way outside of my comfort zone.
Last week I joined a tribe of beautiful, smart, incredibly strong and brave women to go to an event called Three Days at the Fair. I was inspired by one woman’s desire to celebrate her birthday in a big way - run 50 miles on her 50th birthday. I had no intention of running 50 miles or even 20. I wanted to go and finish 15 miles (almost 2 more than a half marathon, of which I’ve done 6 or 7) and then maybe be there if someone needed support later in the day.
I really wasn’t there for the running, and it was never the running that made me join in on the fun. It was the chance to be part of the community of runners that I’ve belonged to for almost three years, but had never met in person.
In the past six months, I’ve had professional challenges, I’ve had personal challenges, plus both health and mental health issues in my family. But I’ve also had running.
Five days a week, almost every week. Some weeks I even added a sixth day - a nice recovery run just get the blood moving in the morning.
Despite this consistency, I would have told you that I’m not doing enough, and am not a real runner. Certainly I could run 15 miles, but that would be pushing my boundaries.
Most mornings, I just can’t get to the 60 minute mark (my alarm is set for 4:45, and I have a mental block about pushing it even earlier). This spring, I never got past my 150 min run (also known as 2 ½ hours). I did most of the strength, until April when a death in the family blew all of our families routines out the window. Oh, and our diet went to shit, too. And then at the beginning of May a sinus infection had me completely off my feet. I only completed one 2-mile run between May 1 and May 18.
I went to 3DATF with a very modest, doable goal of 15 miles.
I went to bed at midnight on 5/18 and had run 33 miles. Then got up the next morning and got 7 more miles in before the race was over at 9 am. That’s 40 miles.
Done on consistency.
Done on the maintenance plan (at the level that I could commit to).
Done with the love and support of the wonderful women I joined in this endeavor, and coached and loved since 2016 by Coach MK.
Melissa and Susan tell their stories in their own words in this episode of Running Life, the official podcast of The Fitness Protection Program, now available on Apple Podcasts, Castbox, and your favorite podcast player.