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You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

I had my second baby on New Year’s Eve 2008.  Two months after that, I waddled to the gym and stepped on the dreadmill. 
I won’t tell you how much I weighed, but suffice it to say, I gained eighty (yes, that’s right) pounds in the pregnancy.  I ate carrot cake every night during my second and third trimester.  The Expert would bring home wine for himself, and carrot cake for me, and we would lay like beached whales in the bed and watch Biggest Loser in bliss.   My daughter, Stella, only weighed eight pounds and some change. So her eight pounds, plus the other stuff that leaves with birth (ew, sorry, I know)….well, that still left about sixty pounds of straight-up me to deal with.   
I lost forty pounds immediately with my first child.  This time, however, the carrot cake weight liked me so much, it took up residence on my ass.
So I stepped on that treadmill back in February of 2009.   And I ran.  For one minute.  And I stopped, huffing and heaving, and heart-attacking.  I ran again.  One minute.  Walked four.  Ran one.  At ten minutes, I got off.  Cursed. I may have kicked the wall, can’t remember.  And stormed out of the gym.  
That little run gave me stone bruises from my weight and my terrible shoes.  I was pretty deflated.  And holy cow, was I fat.
Of course, I was never a runner. I have always been cardiovascularly challenged (e.g., I never tried to run).  Weightlifting didn’t lend itself to endurance training per se, and I was out of volleyball and basketball before the running became that much of a requirement.  
So there I was.  Baby weighted, bruised and sleep-deprived.  I ran off and on over the next couple of years, did some lazy 5ks, and lost about twenty-five or thirty pounds.  Ho-hum.  I had a nice little weight loss stint before my 30th birthday, which took me down to a weight less than I weighed before my wedding.   But my 30th birthday was so much fun, that I put on weight, and never quite got back down again. 
It wasn’t until I started committing to spinning class that I realized there was more to fitness, life and sports than just huffing for weight loss.   Then I started really working on this whole triathlon journey, which really started somewhere back in August of last year.  And here we are.
So my point of this little meandering through time?  Plain and simple, I have come a long way. Yes, I have long way to go, a lot more weight to lose. But I have come a long way. Period. (And no, smartasses, the above is not a picture of me). 

Three years ago, I couldn’t sustain a two minute run.  This morning I ran 9 miles.  Yes, it took me three whole years to accomplish it.  But 9 miles, nevertheless. 

I am my own worst enemy most of the time.  So with each little victory, my new goal is to remind myself, “hey, that was a job well-done” before I start finding a way to wiggle in some criticism.

I know lots of you out there are seasoned triathletes, who read my blog to get a good “remember when” laugh.  I am so in awe of you: the marathoners, the Ironmen, the Ultra-runners, the Getting2Tri athletes, and all of you out there tri-ing and succeeding, balancing life and family and work with this amazing sport.  I thank you for each email and post and voice of inspiration.  The triathlon community is so welcoming and inspiring.   I believe that anything is possible.

Now, for those of you out there who can only run for two minutes…I am proud to say that you can do it. YES, YOU CAN.  Yes, you can.  Repeat after me. 


  • caitwaas

    June 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I don't think anyone reads your blog for a laugh, or "remember when…" At least – I hope they don't. I read your blog because you are a constant source of inspiration – and a reminder that this sport is accessible to anyone who puts their mind to it! YOU are way more relatable to most people than the multiple-Ironmans (as amazing and inspirational as they are!)

  • Kathleen

    June 23, 2011 at 3:37 am

    I am amazed and inspired by you. That you share your story and your commitment and still have the time to inspire others. My journey has been similar at the start, though I haven't committed to a 1/2 ironman. Last year I did Danskin. This year I've committed to 3 Sprints. One with my trainer/friend/workout partner (it tends to blur) and then each of my 2 daughters are doing Sprints for the 1st time with me. I started the journey at 50 and really wish I started at 20, but hey, I'm here now. At times I am discouraged because I'm so slow, but then I turn that into… well, I guess I'm faster then everyone still on the couch! Keep going Mare and keep inspiring us.

    I love waking up and seeing your post that you've already swam or biked. West Coast time here!


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