You can do the hard things – 2018 MU Marathon

In January – we all decided to run the Marshall half marathon. I was training. I was NOT runner at any time in the past but I bought some shoes and got out there. 1 mile at a time. I worked my way up to an 8 mile run at less than 10 min pace by May.

My sister IS a runner. She ran last year’s Marshall half marathon in 2:10. HOW SWAY. She used running in the past to control her depression. She lost 80 lbs of weight with diet and running and lifting. She is an amazing inspiration.

Carl is a runner too – he has ran the MU half marathon twice in the past. He couldn’t run lsat year due to heart/BP issues so he was ready to get back out there.

My husband Brian is just a lunatic who signs up for races he hasn’t trained for and kills them, somehow. He ran this half in record time. He ran maybe 4x in the past 4 months to prepare for it.

Anywho, so come June. My runs slowed down. My attitude was crap. I felt exhausted. Nauseous. Over it. Then I found out… I was pregnant. At first I said “oh I’m fine. I’m still running. I can run it in like 2:30?” But the exhaustion got me. The lack of motivation go to me. My run times slipping from 10 minute miles to 13 minute miles got to me. And I just didn’t feel like running.

At the same time, my sister Stephanie slipped into depression. She’s battled depression her whole life. I knew she was slipping because she began neglecting her other medical issues (she has Narcolepsy/cataplexy and OCD. She stopped taking her medication on time so she was ALWAYS exhausted and anxious all day. It was unsafe for her to drive. And she quit running.

Running is what I watched single handedly lift my sister out of her depression for the first time in 2016/2017. I told her she needed to run, but she lacked the motivation. By September she wasn’t running or working out at all. She was also eating a crap diet.

I pulled out of the race a month before. I just didn’t feel like running that far, that long. I didn’t want to be last. And at the same time, she pulled out too.

And then, Carl commented on a picture Stephanie posted of her and her girlfriend, Beth and said something like “She done fell in love and stopped running”.

If there’s one thing stronger than depression in my family – it’s pride. She text me the next day like “what if I pull a Brian and just run this race.” I text back “I’ll run with you.”

So, she registered that day. Immediately regretted it but it’s nonrefundable. I didn’t register until the day before the race LOL. Our plan was to run 3 walk 1 until the end. The motto for me was BOE (baby over everything) so any pain in my belly and I was OUT. Also I wouldn’t run hard enough to make me pant or become breathless.

Before the race, I thought i was going to have to pull out. Like that morning. We were up late the night before and I had my outfit all laid out. Had my goo gels in my pocket ready to help me out. I was hydrated. I carb loaded. I was SET.

And then I woke up and threw up AND had diarrhea at 4:30 am.

I think it was just nerves and pregnancy because by 5 AM I was fine and able to drink water and eat again. So I decided to give it a try. But if I had thrown up 1 more time I was OUT. BOE.

I didn’t have any pain and was never out of breath the whole run.

I’ve been working out so my stamina is pretty solid. But my speed is still slowwww and my body was achy. Relaxin man – had my knees, ankles and pelvis pretty sore by the end of it. And Stephanie takes a sleep aid plus 2 doses of a ‘wake up medicine’ for her narcolepsy. Tell me why she was due for dose 2 in the last mile of the race and it had fallen out of her pocket!

So needless to say it was a difficult. Miles 1-5 were golden. We looked like gazelles. But from mile 9 on, it was a struggle. We had to walk a little more than planned (we probably walked a total of 5 of the 13.1 miles). I kept thinking about my hypnobirthing reading about how our minds sabotage our bodies and tried to stay excited about finishing the whole time. I KNOW my mind is the weak link. Our bodies could do this! We just had to push through.

And I had to drag her little ass accross the finish line because she wanted to quit (her knees hurt, she was exhausted, etc). But we finished. It took us about 3 hours and 15 mins, but we finished! Look at me dragging her ass accross the finish line, yal:

It looks cute because you can’t hear me saying “Oh no bitch, we are NOT quitting now. Come tf on!” LOL!

I am my sisters keeper. I only didn’t quit because I knew she needed this win in her life. She needed to finish. She needed to prove it to herself. But I also needed it for me.

If there’s one thing I learned through this run, it is that your body is ready to do things your mind can’t even IMAGINE you can do. I was just sure we would have to quit by mile 6 – but once I got out of my head and trusted my body quitting wasn’t even on my radar. As humans we find comfort in the idea that we can’t do something – because then we don’t have to try. But man, when you do try – you’ll surprise yourself every single time. I’m so much more confident about my birth plan (vbac with no pain medication) now that I see all that I can do!

I can’t believe we finished.

Do the hard things. It feels amazing.

Finish times (not official those aren’t posted yet):

Me – 3:15

Stephanie – 3:15

Carl – 2:35

Brian – 2:20 (HOW! he aint even train!)

And can we talk about how supportive and amazing Brian was? I cried like a baby as soon as I saw him at the finish line. And Stephanie and he made sure I got an extra medal – for the baby.

Here’s Stephanie’s post about the race, had to share:

Let’s get personal: last year I was in the best shape of my life. Crushing 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and planning to continue training to do a full marathon yesterday. I’ve gone through a lot of medical things from physical health, sleep disorders, mental health and health insurance issues this year which made me very depressed. I have OCD and Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. Rare disorders especially pared together. Paying all those bills for treatment for both are no joke and can cause a lot of debt. From pretty much the beginning of this year up until now. The depression just kept getting greater and greater and the things I loved doing the most didn’t matter. I stopped running and working out. I felt like I wasn’t the same as everyone else and wanted to hide. I didn’t think my body deserved the reward of the awesome feeling after a workout. The worst was this summer and I didn’t run at all. I consider that my running season but I just didn’t care. And the final blow was me moving within a week because I couldn’t afford my old home because of insurance debt and bills and that same week having to register as a disabled driver with limited activity because of my sleep disorder which made me feel like I was trapped. And because of that I punished my body. I skipped taking my medication, wouldn’t sleep and had a very VERY poor diet. I was a completely different person than the fit person I was before. And it made me ashamed. But I ran this years half marathon anyways (with the help and motivation of Tarra Hall Leggett Beth Frame Carl Mills and Brian Leggett) . Because old Steph was in love with running and I want to get to know old Steph again. Just because this depression is present doesn’t mean I can’t take control of my life again. My depression has come and gone through waves my entire life but this is my longest and worst period of depression I’ve ever been through, but this comeback will be the best this towns ever seen. S/o to Tarra for literally dragging me across the finish line and not leaving me and not letting me give up. Because my whole life I’ve never gone through depression alone and now I have the best support system I could dream of. Thank you all. I love you so much❤️

2 responses to “You can do the hard things – 2018 MU Marathon”

  1. […] I still ran the race but not how i wanted 😆. My focus was on keeping Viv safe and helping my sister finish, so I finished in over 3 hours. Not bad for a pregnant woman who was never very fast anyway 😂 but I was aiming for 2:30 or less before I got pregnant. […]


  2. […] I want to go over the race weekend, then how it differed from last year, then how I […]


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