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Archive for March 2013

Me as Hobbit looking to graduate to Middle Earth (also known as graduating to high school)

Me as Hobbit looking to graduate to Middle Earth (also known as graduating to high school)

When a wonderful friend asked, “Hey – want to run a half marathon?”   I thought, there is a list of things that sound good in theory: smiley face icons, strapless bras, Brazilian sugar waxing, going from my couch to running 13.1 miles.  I love things that sound good in theory.  Who doesn’t?  So of course I said, “Sure.  Awesome.”   Since being part of the first DC Nike Women Half Marathon was contingent on a lottery selection, it was very much an “in theory” scenario.

The reality: training for a half marathon is far more difficult than I imagined…and so is Brazilian sugar waxing.  Once a year in high school we were required to run a mile. During my freshman year I was comfortable being the stereotypical overweight funny girl.  About half way thought the “run” my chest started to tighten and I began to have an asthmatic attack.  I was not asthmatic, just out of shape.  I spent the second half of that mile walking with my hands raised in the air alongside the gym teacher.  It took almost 30 minutes to finish that one-mile.

I’ve shed a few of those pounds and instead of my gym teacher I now have my cousin.  Ever since she became a mother it is increasingly difficult for us to spend some one on one girl time, so training together gave us a nice excuse to talk and then eat everything in sight.  Our training program consisted of working out separately through the week and then meeting on Sunday to clock in the big miles.  On a cold Sunday afternoon in Central Park we met for our first 8-mile run.  I’ve never ran more than 6 before I started training, so every week is a new challenge.  I didn’t know what I was expecting having her by my side until every other step I was met with – “So what are you listening to right now?”  “What are you thinking about?”  “Are you getting tired?”  “Relax.”  “Being first clarinet in band I had to make sure our line was straight and our chest was up.”  “Picture a string is holding you up by your head.”  “Snoop is not the best running music.”  I looked at her like she was crazy as I huffed and puffed up a hill, through the sweat, staring blankly at the runners ahead, all I could think about was the 8 miles – how fast I was going – how tired I was – how crazy it is to run this much.

I was pretty quiet (which I never am) until, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to run the entire time.  I’ll probably need to walk at least a little every mile.”  As the words left my lips, not breaking her stride my cousin put it simply, “You should try not to stop.”  After she could see the anguish in my face, she followed up with, “Slow down, relax, re-focus but you should try to just run it.  Fast or slow, just run.  Momentum is hard to build up if you lose it…and smile.  You can do it Marisa.”

Not exactly Eminem...or Detroit

Not exactly Eminem

We continued the run.  Even though she could run faster, she would double back to make sure she was never too far away.  She pointed to the first New York apartment we moved to 10 years ago, where we use to have football games for our birthday, where I took pictures with my ex-boyfriend,  she pointed out all the cute boys that ran past, where we saw the Dali Lama and Richard Gere, that great picnic spot on that perfect day with our make shift New York family, how we wished that our wonderful friend that got us into this whole half marathon thing didn’t move back to California, and the hospital where she brought the most amazing person into this world.

Running for long periods of time you learn a lot about yourself.  I doubted that I could run 8 miles almost every other step.  Every time I wanted to stop I looked to my cousin and just kept running.  “Marisa, you can do this.”  And I did.  I never walked.  I ran all 8 miles.  And last Sunday, I ran all 9.  Like in running, in life I always think I can’t before I think I can.  My cousin just knows she can.   It’s nice to have someone faster, stronger, smarter to be there every step of the way – reminding me of all the steps it takes to get there, reminding me  “you can do this”.

Join me in helping with this Nike Half Marathon race to beat Leukemia and Lymphoma by making a donation, so we can help kids beat blood cancers.  We can do this.

All Donations Appreciated

All Donations Appreciated

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  • Jessica: LMFAO.. How ever, Flavianas ass is REAL! shes from Brazil they are ALL genetically mutated that way... and Beto, he is from brazillian ac
  • mia: Hi, cracked up! flaviana does appear randomly and knows how to hog the camera....but i must say she did have her "15 minutes of fame" in Latin America