Couch to 5k = goal complete

Posted by Missy in Uncategorized
Well, people: I DID IT!
I was inspired by this lovely lady, my friend Liz, pictured below with her sister Kristin. Liz inspired many people with her decision to use the “Couch to 5K” training plan.
Just look at her on race day. Big smile and excited. I’m honored to be her friend. We’ve known each other nearly 10 years, and I’m a better person because of her.
Take this 5k for example.
I had a lot of excuses.
But I told myself to shut the ^#%$ up.
I ran outside. And I bought a used treadmill for the times I couldn’t.
I bought some shoes. And an iPod. And hot workout clothes.
I always find spending hard-earned money on gear motivates me.
I was going to run my first race in June, but was slammed with horrific shin splints.
But you people wouldn’t let me just stop.
I couldn’t let me stop either.
So after the pain went away, I picked back up again and refocused.
Friends cheered me on during my training — and at the race. Friends, like Kay –
And of course, Liz. And our friend Beth. There are more I’ll introduce you to below.
But first, this is Matt.
If you’ve been around here awhile, you’ve heard me talk about Matt and his daughter Maddy. Their story is heartbreaking. And empowering. And, well, amazing. The Liz Logelin Foundation was developed in memory of Liz, Matt’s wife and Maddy’s Mom, to help grieving families in the same situation.
And so it was apropos that my first 5k be the walk*run*hope 5k by the Liz Logelin Foundation. And of course, lots of others thought it was a good idea, too.
Here’s the starting line. You can just barely see me way over on the right, in the hot pink shirt, facing the back, chatting with friends.
Don’t let me fool you, people. I was nervous. 3.1 miles is a BIG stretch for me.
Even though I’ve been running all summer, I haven’t been able to increase my distance that far. Or the times I have, it’s been a combination of walking and running. About a month ago I ran a practice 5k at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis — pushing myself– and came in at 40 minutes. It kicked my ass. I wondered if I could shave any time off of that.
The  race started and the fast runners breezed past. And then it was quiet. …really, really quiet on the course. I don’t do so well with quiet. When I’m running, I need music. I listened to my iPod and kept trying to push myself. When I passed the first mile marker, I checked my clock. It read 11 minutes. That’s amazing, I thought! (I typically average 14-16 minute miles in training)
Only another 1/2 mile until I’d get to the turn around point where I saw these lovely, smiling faces. The best volunteers ever, Laura and Cindy. They started cheering for me. There were high fives and hoots and hollers.
They took this picture. If you look closely, you’ll see I was smiling. Friends like these are awesome.
The second half of the race was tougher mentally than it was physically.
My goal was to finish and run as much of the course as I could. But I did walk parts of it. Just long enough to get my energy back and take off running again.
But the problem was I was thinking too much. There were a couple of times my eyes filled with tears.
I thought back to my life one year ago. I was 30 pounds heavier.
And so very unhappy.
If the one-year-ago-me could look ahead a year to the today-me, her head would spin around and she would say “YOU DID WHAT?”
And I would tell her:
I made the most difficult decision of my life. Knowing it was the right thing to do.
I started working out.
I accepted Liz’s crazy couch to 5k challenge.
I found a therapist to make sure I wasn’t crazy. (She says I’m not, really.)
I created a new sense of peace and stability for my household.
I found a new church. I stretched myself as a parent. …and slept a lot less.
I miraculously began eating fish and sushi (which I’m now obscenely obsessed with).
I resurrected friendships with people I adore.
I learned how to start a damn lawn mower (it was brutal).
and cook meat on a grill.
I continued to grow my career.
I continued to grow my blog.
And I planned a few events.
Oh yeah, and I’m running a 5k.
This is what I was thinking during the last mile. This conversation with myself was emotional enough.
As I rounded the corner near the finish line and saw the crowd – they suddenly erupted into cheers. For me. I heard my name. And I knew there were friends in there cheering for me. I wanted to look for faces, but knew I needed to focus straight ahead to make sure I didn’t trip. Strangely, it reminded me of my wedding day when I was walking down the aisle. (Not that people were cheering then… but I felt the need to look straight ahead while everyone stared at me)
I saw the clock up ahead and it was getting ready to flip over to 38 minutes, so I started running faster. The closer I got to the finish line, the faster I ran. My final time was 38:03. A very respectable time for my first 5k.
Here I am at the end of the chute, where a volunteer pulled the bar code off my number. But ya know what makes this photo so awesome? Look at the faces of my friends Kay and Kate. Seriously, that melts me. (and no, there was not a cute dog or baby behind me…. )
I wish I could end this here – with a nice wrap up of how victorious I felt and happy about my accomplishment. But the truth is that I crashed. I was having a hard time winding my body down – so I kept walking a bit. Some people tried to talk to me, but I couldn’t really talk. I was out of breath and frankly, pretty wrecked.

And I remember looking around for someone. You know, that someone — the most important person in your life who you want to be there to support you at key moments? To fall into their arms and cry and hear them whisper “You did it” in your ear.
Yeah, I didn’t have that. And I felt sad. And lonely. In the midst of accomplishing a big goal, I had no one to share it with. Or at least that’s how it felt. And then I remembered that I’m on my own again, by choice, and this is part of the deal. But there’s still a hole there. A sense of loss.
And truly, I was so far from being alone, because I had more friends at this event than I could count.

Like Kellyn and Darcie – two amazing women with hearts of gold.
And of course, Liz, who met her personal goal of finishing the 5k in under an hour. Look at her smile! Congratulations, Liz, I’m so impressed with your determination! …and so grateful for your friendship.

Many thanks to the Liz Logelin Foundation board and volunteers for their work on the event. And to all my friends who took photos and let me use them here – especially Nancy and Darcie.
And to all of you. Who continue to cheer me on. And read these words I put out into the world. Thank you.
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35 Responses to “Couch to 5k = goal complete”

  1. Kimberly Koehler says:

    What an inspiring story! Yes, you rocked it and that is amazing in it of itself. As you keep living a life that makes you happy and allows your spirit to shine and soar, that voice you longed to hear will find you. Keep rock'n it and be open to the possibilities!

  2. Suzi says:

    Oh, I had tears in my eyes reading this just now. I am so very proud of you for completing this huge goal. Your strength has inspired me more than you will EVER know and this is just one more example of it. Congratulations on your first 5k, one of many I predict! So very proud of you and proud to call you my friend. 🙂

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Way to go! You are very inspiring!

  4. Challenge:1yearnorestaurants says:

    Fantastic Job, Missy! You are an inspiration to me and many others.

  5. darcie says:

    You are amazing! I am so very very proud of you. What a year you've had…I am so thrilled that we have become friends…you have so very much to offer this world. You should be proud of yourself…

  6. Minnesota Mamaleh says:

    WOW! this is utterly…amazing! i literally have tears in my eyes and i'm nothing short of motivated, inspired and touched. truly touched. well done, mama. with all of it.

  7. simplicity says:

    Way to go Missy, you should be proud!!

  8. fritzfacts says:

    I can't begin to tell you how happy I am for you, and how proud of you I am! I am so glad I was there to cheer you on, to be a support for you!!

  9. iamcinnamom says:

    That gave me chills. WAY. TO. GO. You are an inspiration. 🙂

  10. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story and congratulations on finishing your first 5K!

  11. Miss K says:

    Congrats! It was great to meet you!

  12. MamaBear says:

    I'm SOOOOO proud of you Missy! I'd write more if I could only see through my tears!

  13. Kate says:

    Yeah I have tears too. I'm so proud of both of you, but especially of what you have accomplished in the last year, most of which I have watched silently from the sidelines, cheering you on through what I personally know to be some very tough days. You've really grabbed hold of your life with both hands and have seen how wonderful it can be. Keep striving for that 'runners high' with your life. There's so much ahead of you.

  14. Skye says:

    Saw this linked through FB. I don't even know you, but I was crying when I read your story. Thanks for sharing it!

  15. The Girl Next Door Grows Up says:

    I know we don't know each other, and I don't know your "story" but I want to tell you what an amzing post this was.

    I got divorced when my daughter was 2 (8 years ago) I know what you are feeling. I felt it too.

    Taking my life back was exhilerating and energizing and yes, I did wish there was someone there too, but for me, being alone was infinitely much better than having someone there disappointing me by not showing up, not being supportive, etc…

    This post could have been me 8 years ago. I dropped a ton of weight as well and really took control.

    Just really a great post. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Anti-Supermom says:

    I think it was emotional for a lot of people. I'm so happy that you have the words to put down exactly how you felt – and that you shared it with us.

  17. Tikki says:


  18. MollyinMinn says:

    I am thrilled for you. And proud of your for being so honest about it.

    Hold your head high. You did it. And not just the 5k.

  19. tracy says:

    You are amazing! I am thrilled for you!

  20. kate hopper says:

    I am SOOO proud of you, Missy! (And Liz and everyone else who was there running and walking!) I was thrilled that I could be there. I just wish I had been running alongside you!!

    What a year for you, my dear. There is so much to be proud of. I'm looking forward to a long friendship!

  21. Gules says:

    Congrats on your first 5K. I started with a running group earlier in the year and have completed two 5K races. The first time I was hovering around 38 minutes and the second one, was a bit faster, 36, although of course I wanted more. I remember the "home stretch" and having people cheer and for me that is one of my greatest moments. It's like everyone is backing you up, friends,strangers, and fellow runners. I plan to do my first 10k soon, so I'm back to training. Keep up the good work

  22. Debbie Ferm says:

    Wow! I'm so impressed with the race, and everything it represents. Change, and moving forward can be so hard, but you are doing it beautifully. Congratulations:)

  23. LutherLiz says:

    I've tried to comment a few times but keep getting teary and don't know quite what to so. I am so proud of you for going out and making your life happen in a way that you want it to be, the 5k included. Thanks for saying that I was an inspiration but really you inspire me to stand by what I say I will do. I may never have run that race on Sat without you and so many others teaming together to be there for each other. You don't know how much it means to me. Really.

    Thanks friend! I am so proud of you. I wish I could have seen you finish just to remind you at that vulnerable moment afterward. (I had one too).

  24. Beth Blair says:

    Congratulations! This post brought tears to my eyes. You are an inspiration. 🙂

  25. Kat says:

    Congratulations, lady! You are a rockstar!

    I had a moment like yours, where I thought about what the person I was last year would think of me now and the change is so very profound. To have someone else pat you on the back is nice, but to know that you OWN that accomplishment is HUGE.

    Keep up the hard work!

  26. trishatfox says:

    Wow! I think this is the best post you've ever written (in al the time I've been reading). Honest and vulnerable. And inspiring. It moved me to tears. Congratulations. I'm really proud of you. In many ways. And for many reasons.

  27. Amber says:

    Woohoo! Go Missy!

    You're totally rocking it. And I'm so glad to be able to see it.

  28. Monika says:

    So glad you didn't let this goal slip by – You are so wonderful inside & out. This one thing you did for this great cause: the Liz Logelin Foundation – yes, but what you did for yourself in the process simply rocks. So very proud of you!

  29. Angie Green says:

    I loved reading your 5K journey as I get ready for my first race in 2 weeks. Very inspiring~

  30. Jen says:

    You continue to amaze me Missy. I wish I could have been there.

  31. Gina says:

    I am so far behind on blogs. Just now read this, and am bawling. Congrats. I am SO doing a 5K this year…thanks for the inspiration.

  32. a girl says:

    Thanks for inspiring me… and making me cry through your entire post. Congratulations. You are victorious.

  33. Jessica says:

    So, so, so proud of you and all you have accomplished. Congratulations!

  34. Mrs. Muffins says:

    I got tears in my eyes reading this post! Inspiring! Congratulations!!!


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