Well… I did it. From 260lbs to half marathon!!!

I ran the half marathon and I don’t even know what to say about it.
It was awesome… every single bit of it.  But to be honest, there isn’t
much TO say about it.  Nothing incredibly dramatic happened, no big
life lessons were learned, there was no crazy sprint to the finish, and although it was a huge – HUGE – achievement for me, it lacks the feeling of a life-changing event.  I
think that’s because the life-changing things are already happening – they’re happening every day that I run, every day that I train, and every day that I fight the mental battle of “I don’t want to do this” and get out there and do it anyway.  Today I read a quote that I really loved.  It said:

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”

Amen to that.

There were funny things that happened, though, that I’d like to remember.
Such as the fact that pretty early in the race, we found an older
gentleman right on our heels, speed-walking.  Talk about a flashback!!!
When he passed us, I decided it would be in my best interest NOT to
give chase.  🙂

As usual, the first two miles or so were the toughest for me and right around mile 3, I wanted to quit.  I asked myself: “are your legs hurting?  Are your feet hurting?  Are you having trouble breathing?” and when I discovered that the answer to each of
these questions was “no,” I gave my legs a little pep talk: “Legs…
tell your brain that it might as well stop complaining, because you’re
not stopping!”  From there, things got easier.

It’s funny, how I argue with myself when I’m running.  At mile 6, Confident Me had a
conversation with Doubtful Me that went something like this:

CM: You’re halfway there!!!

DM: OHHHHHHHHH… that means I have to do what I just did ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!  GROANWINEMOANCOMPLAIN!!!

CM: Yea, but now you’re all warmed up for it!

I think one of my favorite times in the race came at mile 10…
(actually, all in honesty it came at mile 9 but I’d rather not admit
that!) when I realized (or rather, thought I realized) that I only had
three more miles to go and said to myself: “just a 5k left!”  I
understood then how far I’ve come because there was a time, and not very
long ago, when I couldn’t run a 5k.  And when I realized that I’d done the math wrong, well, what’s one more mile?  🙂

I think it really settled in that I was going to do this when I passed the second water station, at mile 4.  The water tables were stationed every 2 miles and so I decided to count the miles by the water stations.  At mile 4, there were only 4 more water stations to go, which mentally helped me to put things into perspective.  That, and the fact that after my disastrous 12 mile run two weeks ago, I called my friend Patrick to complain: “do you know how FAR 12 miles is?”  Without missing a beat, he responded: “do you know how SHORT 12 miles is?”  That really put things into perspective, too.  🙂

That’s not to say it was easy.  In fact, I’m pretty well convinced that I
would have been better served and ended up with a better time had I
walked some of the way instead of trying to run it all.  There were
several times – especially on the hills – when I know I could have
walked it faster than I was running it.  There were run/walkers who
came in far ahead of me, and many people who walked the entire way who
went faster than me (including the older gentleman who, after a mile or so, I couldn’t even spot in the distance.)  But this wasn’t about having a good time or being
fast.  This was about forcing my body to do something its never done
before.  Forcing myself to accomplish something I’ve worked so incredibly
hard to do.  I wouldn’t have been disappointed with myself if I’d had to
walk, but I wanted to do my very best.  And on Saturday, November 12th,
my very best enabled me to run – not walk – 13.1 miles.

Thanks to Manuela, I have several pictures of myself running the race, that
I’ll always treasure.  Incidentally, that’s a great illustration of the
difference between Manuela running and Rina running… Rina: lock eyes
on one tiny spot in the distance and concentrate on putting one foot in
front of the other and trying to breathe.  Manuela: take in the
scenery, snap a few photos, talk on the phone…  Poor Manuela, I make a
pretty lousy running partner.

Here we are, together before the race:

(Love the port-a-potties in the background.)

This is probably my favorite picture that Manuela took during the race, because it was during a stretch through the park that I really enjoyed.

This next one makes me laugh, because right before she took it, Manuela asked me “do you want me to take a picture of you from the front or the back?”  And I groaned: “I don’t care!” and thought it was crazy that she could even THINK about taking pictures right that moment!

Manuela talks a lot about bringing her good camera with her on these runs, and in theory I agree that it would make for some beautiful pictures, but I know in practice that I wouldn’t take a single one.  Something about my need for oxygen and the fact that if I stop I don’t think I’ll be able to start again makes it pretty unlikely that I’ll ever be able to advertise myself as The Running Photographer.  I’ll gladly let Manuela corner that market.

I don’t think I’ve shown off the back of this shirt before, here’s a closeup:

If you didn’t catch it in the other picture, the front of it says (or said, before we changed “10k” to “half marathon”) “couch to 10k.”  Manuela and I and two of our other friends, Michelle and Amy, got them to run our last race in, and the backs have each of our personal weight loss numbers and goals on them.

Here I am, in the last stretch, fiddling with my ipod.  Pretty sure I was trying to find “Faith Enough.”  🙂

If you’ll look closely, you’ll see that my left foot is off the ground while the right foot is making contact.  In the rules of speed walking, this would disqualify me as a RUNNER, thankyouverymuch.

Need a closer look?

Right foot: OFF the ground.  Left foot: ON the ground.  RUNNING.

That hill was a BEAST, by the way!  So cruel, to situate the course so that we had to run up a giant hill on the last stretch.  For most of the way up, I tucked my head down, watched my feet (so I didn’t have to see how much hill I had left!) and with every footfall repeated the words “I. LOVE. HILLS.  I. LOVE. HILLS.”  It’s true.  I love them.  I especially love the tops of them.  🙂

At the bottom of the hill, just before the last turn, was a man holding up a sign that read:

IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE.  RUN!

I could have kissed that man.

My friend Michelle took this one, as I came up on the finish line!!!

You can see my husband in the back, watching (he’s the guy with the beard and the sunglasses.)  He actually ran in with me, and then left me just before I got to the finish line so I could cross it on my own.  Running with him at the end was absolutely wonderful!

Official time: 2:56:08  (not sure why the clock here says 2:58:35, on the website it’s posted as 2:56:08… either way, I don’t care, I made it under 3 hours!!!)

Here’s Manuela running in (she came in before me):

Her official time was 2:55:23.  Again, not sure why the discrepancy.

Crying on Michelle’s shoulder:

Crying on Jon’s shoulder:

The bling:

We did it!!!

Afterward, I took both my shoes off and limped toward the car.  I hurt EVERYWHERE.  Later, I discovered that I had a giant blister on my big toe and another on one of my smaller toes.  No wonder my feet were hurting!  On the way back to the car, I got lightheaded and dizzy and had to sit for a bit while Jon made me eat a banana.  I felt better very soon afterward and it makes me wonder how things would have gone if the course had gone just one more mile.  It also makes me realize that I’ll need to do some things differently when we run our Marathon – like accept some of the snacks and gels they offered along the way, or take some with me.

Once we got home I had Jon and Bunchkin take some pictures of me with my medal:

30 minutes later, my daughter took one last picture:

As always, thank you for your support and for sharing this journey with me.

One last thing… I haven’t mentioned this much, because it’s difficult for me, but I’m still accepting donations for the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation in honor of my Aunt Lisa.  If you feel led, please click the link below to find out more:

Run, That Ye May Obtain

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PS. I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this and left comments on this post.  I’m sorry that I can’t reply to everyone individually, but I’ve written a “thank you” to all of you Here.  Your encouragement really means more than I can say.

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Categories: Weight Loss; Running; Run, Rina, Run

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Related Articles:

Next time a thousand people visit my blog, I’ll try to write something more interesting!

Couch to 10k

My First Running Injury

From 260lbs to 6.2 Miles

I Wear an Ipod When I Run, So People Know I’m Exercising

Couch to 10k – The Results!

Run For Lisa

This entry was posted in PERSONAL, Running, Weight Loss. Bookmark the permalink.

176 Responses to Well… I did it. From 260lbs to half marathon!!!

  1. I’d say the entire journey was a pretty significant, life-changing series of events — congrats to you!

    …and now add “Freshly Pressed” to the continuous series of accomplishments…

    🙂

  2. Amazing accomplishment! Truly, I’m impressed! And this post is brilliantly assembled, as well. Congratulations!
    Kathy

  3. You look so full of joy; great pics, and congrats!

  4. Awesome! congratulations. I know it was a lot of hard working getting to that point. I want to run a 5k and I just got off the couch today 🙂

  5. tracye1 says:

    Congratulations to you!!! What an accomplishment! Love, love, love it!! Many blessings and continued success in your journey AND your running!!

  6. Luciana says:

    Your page is so inviting…I am glad you ran the 1/2 marathon. I love when people live their lives on purpose and set goals they know they will obtain with a positive mental attitude. A few of my clients just did a 10k and I am trying to convince them to do a 1/2 marathon and marathon..with my help hopefully they will feel confident and do it….Keep up the good work!!!!

  7. 1poeticsoul says:

    Awesome! I’m just starting my journey to shedding some pounds. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. Huffygirl says:

    Wonderful. Good for you. Good luck on your next goal – a full marathon!

  9. Absolutely great! The run, the blog, the pics. Being a bit of a softy you’ve got me all teary eyed and at the end I was cheering you on. Am I allowed to say you look absolutely lovely? Well I am saying. A big congrats from an old woman whose knees are going 🙂

  10. drgiddy says:

    Way to go!
    I stumbled on this from the “Freshly Pressed” page.

    Keep it up – No doubt the word Half will be crossed out next.

  11. Jana says:

    *cheering wildly* Amazing! Way to go, Rina! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  12. valentinedee says:

    Bravo for you. You rock. Your story was great and filled with inspiration. Many congrats!

    http://valentinedefrancis.blogspot.com

  13. Rae says:

    Wow, congratulations! You deserve that nap!

  14. berdorules says:

    Congratulations! That’s so awesome!

  15. Congratulations! You are awesome! You know you have to do it again, right? 🙂 Keep up the hard work. I know it’s hard, but running can really be rewarding, especially when we are expecting it the least.

  16. I greatly enjoyed your posting-particularly you having discussions with yourself urging yourself to keep going. You should be proud!

  17. Good for you! That took a lot of will power!. Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

  18. whu says:

    Fantastic!
    Congrats.

  19. blueollie says:

    A couple of comments: 1. I think the race that you finished was a “chip” race; the clock shows “gun” time and your chip isn’t activated until YOU cross the start line. This time difference represents the amount of time it took you to get to the start line.

    The other is about walking: judged walking requires that the walker keep contact with ground with at least ONE foot at all times, not two. 🙂

    Anyway, congratulations on meeting this fitness goal, and I hope that you meet your next one as well! Well done.

    • Rina says:

      LOL, blueollie, does that mean I WAS walking, then? And thanks for explaining the difference between “chip” time and “gun” time! I’m pretty new at this, as you can tell! 🙂

      (PS my understanding of the walking rule came from racewalking, according to wikipedia: “the athlete’s back toe cannot leave the ground until the heel of the front foot has touched. Violation of this rule is known as loss of contact.”)

      Maybe there are different rules for different types of walking?

      • blueollie says:

        That is the double support phase. But what happens after that is the front leg moves forward and of course, the foot leaves the ground.

        Here is a still photo; notice that most of the walkers have one foot off of the ground:

        What isn’t allowed is BOTH feet off of the ground at the same time.

        Regards

        ollie

  20. Hi there, just wanted to tell you congrats on completing this! I think it’s very admirable and amazing. That takes a lot of strength and confidence to commit to something like this! Great job, you are an inspiration:) xoxo

  21. Congratulations on your half marathon! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!! AND Congratulations on losing weight and keeping it off! That is wonderful 🙂

  22. What a great blog! I felt very proud for you as I read it!

  23. Karly says:

    Congratulations! The learning and the life-changing moments definitely happen throughout the entire journey; the race itself is just the after-party. 🙂

  24. Absolutely awesome! Congratulations!

    So when are you signing up for your first marathon? Hmmm? Just know and accept it’s going to happen. That’s the first step 🙂

  25. 'LeX. says:

    Well done ! Really, that’s amazing – I might consider trying to do the same. You are truly a brave and strong person ! =)

  26. Shari says:

    Very inspiring I must say. Congrats on your race!

  27. zemeraime says:

    Wya to go!!! Wonderful job 🙂

  28. Incredible and very inspiring!!

  29. What an amazing accompllishment! Congratulations!

  30. Karl Drobnic says:

    Congrats to you. It takes a lot of self-discipline, but keep on keeping on. It is worth it.

  31. Rina says:

    Wow, if I’d had any idea so many people were going to read this, I would have tried to write something a little more interesting! 🙂

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU so much for all your encouragement! For those who mentioned weight loss goals of their own – congratulations! It’s an awesome, incredible, frustrating, wonderful journey and I wish you all well and I’m here if you ever need support, or just want to vent to someone who understands. 🙂

    For those who asked if we were planning another race (or encouraged us to do so) the answer is YES! We have our sights on completing a marathon next – the Flying Pig in May and then the New York Marathon next November. And, of course, I’ll be signing up for smaller races in-between, where the goal will be to run FASTER. LOL!

    Thank you all again – I wasn’t able to respond to every comment individually, but your well-wishes and encouragement mean more than I can say!

  32. Loved that you shared it with us all. It made me cry to see you cross the line and hear that your partner was there with you.
    Congratulations! Sarah Dorrance

  33. kimananda says:

    Having just finished my first half as well a short while ago, I know what a great accomplishment it is. And it looks like you got to run through some gorgeous various scenery as well. Well done!

  34. Faith Keith says:

    Awesome!!! Go you!!! I am training for MY first half right NOW! your post was very encouraging (and hilarious ^_^) keep at it girl!

    • Faith Keith says:

      Also….just read on your Run, Rina, Run page that you used Hal Higdon, which is what I am using! crazy…I love his schedules – and it obviously worked for you

      • Rina says:

        Faith, I am very, very happy with the Hal Higdon schedule… when you look at it and consider that he says you’ll be running a full marathon in such a short amount of time, your brain can hardly wrap around it! But then you get out there and do it, and each run builds on the one before it and suddenly you find that you ARE going the distance! I pray that your first half is amazing!!! I hope you’ll write and tell me how it went!

  35. greekreport says:

    Wow! I don’t even know you and I’m proud of you! I can’t even imagine how your loved ones are feeling!
    Well done, very well done! We need more people with your guts and your determination around! My hat’s off to you!

  36. Great job! Good luck with future races.

  37. Eva McCane says:

    congrats! you’re an inspiration to all. it’s an amazing story and a very uplifting message. thank you for sharing!

  38. jazamin says:

    Congratulations & well done to you – that is such an achievement!!!

    I ran for the first time ever this year at the end of April. I could barely run for 3 minutes – it was horrible!!! But it got easier. I can so relate to your story! After 3 months of training & after twisting my ankle towards the end (which incidentally hadn’t really healed very well) I managed to run 10km. I didn’t think I could do it. I never thought I could run that far – it took me about an hour. At times I think partly all that got me through was anger, brute force & ignorance! I even fell down a pot-hole part way through on my bad ankle, but like you, I was determined that I was not going to stop or that I was going to walk & that I was just going to run through the pain!

    Anyway, I did it in the end & I know some people who are thinking of doing the 1/2 marathon next April & I have been thinking of doing it and also been wondering if I can do it or not. They are all very thin, fit & healthy people. I am not (not yet anyway!), plus I haven’t ran since July as my ankle / legs were in pain & I think I needed to give them a break. I think I pushed the training a bit too hard at times as my other leg had a sharp shooting pain going up it. Since then I have gotten out of the habit of running 3 times a week like I was while I was training. I think it’s time to get my trainers out again & your story has definitely inspired me to give the 1/2 marathon a go next year.

    Good luck to you with the full marathon! 🙂 You can do it!

  39. michelle says:

    Congratulations! I’m in a weight loss competition at my local gym and have lost 22 lbs … and have 30 to go. I also just started the C25k program and am struggling through it, so you have a lot to be proud of!

  40. Congratulations on your half-marathon!! I watched my first one this weekend, as my husband was running his third. You runners are truly an inspiration to the rest of us. Again, congrats… and keep up the training for your next one!! 🙂

  41. rastelly says:

    Your very fortunate. Me and my flat feet wouldn’t make it.
    That’s why I’m a swimmer. Check out my sight for weird tales
    and other fun stuff.

  42. sweetsound says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I can’t even fathom that right now, can barely do a 5K. It’s my goal to do a half next summer!

  43. Congratulations!!! I ran my first half marathon in October, and I can completely relate to the emotional side of the accomplishment. After I finished, EVERYTHING brought tears to my eyes. (Probably had something to do with how completely exhausted I was!) You should be SO proud!

    ~Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One

  44. You are an absolute inspiration. Love your T-shirts. Give yourself a huge high-five!!

  45. Divya says:

    Congratulations on your half… Keep at it… My journey with running was a life changer, as you say not the event itself, but the work towards it! CheerS!!

  46. Very cool! Congrats! I’ve done a 5k mudrun but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to a half or even full marathon!

  47. Congratulations on running your marathon and well done on getting Freshly Pressed! I have started running too but I am not so self-disciplined as you are. However, I do feel really satisfied with myself and proud of my progress!

    Hope to see you on my blog soon!
    http://littleexplorer.wordpress.com/

  48. Congratulations on completing the half marathon and the weight loss!!

    Oh, and also on being Freshly Pressed… 😉

  49. The Hook says:

    Congratulations! You are an inspiration to aspiring runners of all ages and genders!

  50. Incredible! Congratulations – a great journey and accomplishment!

  51. Awesome!!! keep going! Your post definitely inspired me 🙂

  52. Athais says:

    Congratulations!!

    I am working on my last 85 pounds. I started at 294 pounds. Eventually, I would like to run a marathon or two or three…… Not yet, though. Too hard on the knees at this weight.

    You are an inspiration.

    Way to go on being Freshly Pressed.

  53. What an amazing achievement! Congratulations Rena and thanks for the inspiration to get my lazy self off the couch 🙂

  54. shortshoestring says:

    One of my TOPS friends and I are planning to walk a half marathon in July, 2012. Your story inspired me very much. I started this year at 253 pounds but I’ve seen 260 before. Well done and thank you so very much for sharing!

  55. Andrea says:

    That’s AWESOME!

  56. HealingMutti says:

    Good for you!! That is an awesome achievement, both the weight loss and finishing the half-marathon .

  57. Rebecca Jeffries says:

    Rock it, girl! I’m so proud of you! Love, LOve, LOVe, LOVE your blog! Your story is very inspirational. Keep writing!

  58. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on FP! I loved your piece and found inspiration since I signed up last week for my first half marathon! All the best as you reach toward the goal of the full marathon!

  59. Sesa says:

    Congratulations! 13.1 miles is no easy feat. I’ve run six halfs, each one a bit easier than the last. Believe me, it’s all downhill after the first :). You’ll be throwing down PRs like nobody’s business.

    I look forward to reading about your Flying Pig training!

    • Rina says:

      Or maybe this is my favorite… “throwing PR’s like nobody’s business.” I just know I’ll be repeating that to myself on future runs. 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement!

  60. nestorbalce says:

    You are an amazing athlete (yes, you!!) Way to go!!!! Congratulations – you have inspired me to push on. Kind greetings from Vancouver.

  61. Congratulations on the accomplishments – the marathon and for your weight loss success! Good for you. I really enjoyed the details of this post; fun to read and great pics, too. Thanks – inspirational. Good continued luck to you!

  62. Pingback: I Believe I Can! I Believe I Can! I Believe I Can! | My 5 Colour Parachute!

  63. foodvixennyc says:

    I admire your accomplishment and this was such an inspirational blog post, I am running in next yrs NYC marathon and I am hoping I can add this to my “bucket list.” Great job! 🙂

  64. You have achieved quite an accomplishment! Congratulations on the persistence and heart to finish the race.

    I love the conversations you had with your different selves as you were running.

    Ronnie

  65. Very inspiring and congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  66. run4joy59 says:

    You should be so proud of yourself…what an accomplishment!! I have an inkling of how you feel…I was so proud of myself when i completed my first 5K…but a half marathon? Holy moly…that’s awesome!!

  67. Congratulations – great achievement!

  68. Congrats! Great that you made it. I have the Tokyo Marathon ahead… 42km in February…

  69. This is awesome! Congratulations to you!
    I’ve never even considered running ANY kind of marathon, but now I’m definitely contemplating it. I’m so lazy when it comes to working out though, I don’t know how I could push myself to train!

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Rina says:

      That’s one of the things I love about running – the goals you can set for yourself to achieve, and the races that make it all worth it. I’m not a fan of “working out,” but getting out there and trying to achieve something new each day (a new PR for distance, or for speed, or just FINISHING the stupid mile when everything in me wants to quit!) is so worth it! I hope you do sign up for a marathon… and I hope you’ll keep me posted!

  70. anotherdaysucks says:

    You go far girl, cogradulations!

  71. You go girl! This is awesome! Such an inspiration.

  72. What an awesome story, thank you for sharing.

  73. amandaphifer says:

    Awesome. Just awesome!!

  74. asil7981 says:

    Love your story and your blog! Thanks for sharing!
    Lisa

  75. Bravo! I liked the fact that you are able to realize that your brain is going to give up long before your body will. I can’t wait to read about when you finish your first full marathon!

  76. This is truly an inspirational story. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  77. Bad News Banker says:

    Congrats on the accomplishment. I love running blogs and hearing about one’s journey to the finish line. You wrote a great blog. Think about running the Disney Marathon. My blog home page has a picture of when I crossed the finish line of my first full marathon. A great moment in my life and it is life changing. I love your quote about marathons!

  78. Pingback: Next time a thousand people visit my blog, I’ll try to write something more interesting | Rina Marie

  79. Bad News Banker says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to share with you a formula that a struggling runner shared with me. Finishing > DNF > DNS.

  80. Rina says:

    Again, thank you so much to everyone who has written a comment here! I apologize again that I can’t reply to everyone individually, but I’ve written a “thank you” to all of you Here. Your encouragement really means more than I can say.

  81. MissKitinn says:

    I am inspired! Thank you!

  82. joyskitchen says:

    Amazing accomplishment! You’ve inspired me to get off my butt and do! not just think but actually do! Way to go!

  83. ladypantsdance says:

    Congratulations! You are truly inspiring, and I am sure your running journey won’t end at a half marathon…

  84. Mrs. Parunak says:

    I have to add my congratulations, too, Rina. You are incredible!

  85. Cally says:

    WOW. I’m so glad you were “pressed” today, this is seriously quite the inspiration. Congratulations!!!

  86. sarah3030 says:

    What a well written recap of the half marathon! I just decided I want to run one in Feb of 2013. Yes, more than a year away. I can currently run 5 minutes. So, I know what I’ll be doing in 2012 – training! So glad to have read this. Thanks!

  87. Congratulations! Your first half-marathon is an exciting day – now you are ready to run several more 🙂 Keep up the awesome work!

  88. Awesome, congratulations thats one hell of an inspiration girl! Way to go…

  89. livedane says:

    Wow. Congratulations! This brought tears to my eyes. I have similar goals and love that I just happened upon this blog. All the best to you!

  90. You are amazing. Congratulations!

  91. Wish I could do something as inspiring as a marathon. Does a 30 Rock marathon count?

  92. Bravo to you. Your vision has led you on this amazing journey. You are an inspiration. I walked in the fist 60 mile Breast Cancer Walk in DC, a year after major spinal surgery. It was a life-altering accomplishment.

  93. Congratulations! Your story and pictures are so inspiring. I am working on losing 100 lbs and hope to one day run a 5K. I have quite a way to go but thank you for sharing your journey.

  94. ramonesguerra says:

    Congratulations 😀

  95. eongxien says:

    Congratulations on completing the half marathon and also being freshly pressed!

    I too have started running last year but due to a tight working schedule, found it really hard to keep a proper running routine for long term. Your story has definitely inspired me and I’ll use it to spur myself to work harder. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to run a half marathon. =)

  96. Cherie says:

    Congratulations! Such an achievement – you should be proud! I love your ‘inner dialogue’ bits 🙂

  97. Alec Riddle says:

    Congratulations! This is very inspiring and quite an awesome journey. I dropped almost 60 lbs since my 19 year old stepson passed away tragically (2004) and inspired me to reinvent myself. It’s been an incredible journey, with a snapped achilles tendon, a Deep Vein Thrombosis, 2 broken collar bones, BUT I persevered and managed to compete in two World Championship events for the Half Iron Man (1,2m swim, 56 m bike, 13m run) in recent years. Being from South Africa, running in the New York Marathon was also a highlight. Look forward to more of your inspiring posts.

    • Rina says:

      Alec, I am so sorry about your loss and so inspired by your accomplishment. The Iron Man (starting with a half!) is fast becoming a goal of mine, and right now I can only dream of running (and swimming and biking) in one. I’m hoping to buy a bike in the relatively near future and start working toward that goal. I look forward to following your blog, as well!

  98. mffanrodders says:

    Congratulations on an incredible achievement. (On top of the other achievement of losing 80lbs.) Great post, great photos and a great story. 🙂

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  99. Angie says:

    Well done! It’s a journey that I’ve been on and now I have to go on it again – except mine wasn’t as outstanding as yours because I only had to lose 56lbs. It’s a true inspirational story and journey that you’ve been on.

    • Rina says:

      Angie, don’t say yours wasn’t as outstanding because you “only” had 56lbs to lose. Every single pound has it’s own story, every one is a huge accomplishment, every one has it’s own tears and struggles behind it. The numbers don’t make it more or less amazing, the journey is what changes us.

  100. Congrats on finishing! My boyfriend and I recently completed he Marine Corps Half Marathon. It was our first half marathon and we spent 10 weeks training for it. Whew! It is a truly amazing feeling getting through hat finish line. Congrats again.

  101. Congrats on your 1/2! Great accomplishment…..on both the journey and race!

  102. Moonflowers says:

    I’ve never read your blog before but was inspired to read this post after I saw the title on the main WordPress page.

    What an amazing achievement! Many congratulations to you on your marathon success and your weight loss. Very inspiring 🙂

  103. Slamdunk says:

    Congrats Rina Marie. Your story is inspirational.

  104. Manuela says:

    I think I have to comment something too. I don’t think I would have made it through the run without you, Rina. You are not giving yourself enough credit as a running partner! If I would have took off the race the way I “felt” I would have been passed out at Mile marker 8 and done. You have helped me to keep a steady paste….and if you noticed: I did not take pictures or talked much the last 3 miles….it took all of me to run. Love you friend!

    • Rina says:

      Manuela, really and truly you’ve been an inspiration to me on this entire journey. I remember way back when, when I was trying to run those first few 5k’s, and you were talking about the time when you’d trained for a half marathon… I asked how long it was, and was blown away. Back then, I never could have DREAMED I’d run one some day. Running with you has truly been one of the highlights in my life and I’m so INCREDIBLY thankful to be sharing this journey with you. FLYING PIG IN MAY, MY FRIEND!!! 🙂

  105. Elizabeth says:

    How amazing for you!! This was an inspiring story and it shows how much we can push ourselves when we thought origninally that we couldn’t.

  106. candicepeak says:

    Congrats on your accomplishment! Enjoy that medal 🙂

  107. Nuno says:

    Many, many congrats!

    Usually, the difference between your official time and the time that you watch in the clock is the time you needed from your starting point to the start line. If there were many runners in a race you could need several minutes to reach the start line.

    Did you use a chip for your shoe? If so, the organizers read it when you go through the start and finish lines and they compute your official time. It depends on the race but sometimes there is not sensors in the start line and usually there also are sensors in several points in the path or circuit (for example, every 5km or so).

    But the time is not important, you finished!

    Congrats again.

  108. I found you through Freshly Pressed too. First congratulations on being that, but mostly a huge, huge congratulations on your achievement. I am about to embark on a similar voyage for my own reasons, and reading this has been such an inspiration. Also for someone who begins by saying you don’t know what to write you described it all pretty eloquently! You brought a tear to my eye on a couple of occasions, so congratulations on the writing too. Lastly, congratulations on having such a wonderful husband, that he should be so supportive as to run with you, but drop out to let you savor for yourself speaks volumes.

    I haven’t had chance yet to look back over your blog to see how you arrived at this day, but I will return and do that, and also to see how you train for that marathon! Lots of luck with that, and thanks for sharing your achievement.

  109. Sensei John says:

    Kudos! May your spirit always soar high!
    — Sensei John

  110. Nancy says:

    We are so proud of you…You look wonderful and this is such an accomplishment. I want you to know how proud I am of you and how much I love you!! God Bless our Baby Girl!!!!!

  111. catherine333 says:

    I just gave birth to my first child in my mid thirties. I am at the heaviest I have ever been. I felt like it was impossible for me to lose it back. But you know what, after reading this post, I feel lighter and more confident. Thank you for the inspiration. You rock! Congratulations on the weight loss, the half marathon and on being freshly pressed 🙂

    • Rina says:

      Catherine, I can remember feeling like it was impossible, too. In fact, just the other day I was telling my friend Manuela (who ran the race with me) that there was a part of me that never thought I’d do certain things again (like swim.) I certainly never envisioned myself running. But it’s just been one day at a time, one success at a time, one failure at a time. “Fail, but don’t Quit” has become my motto of sorts. I wish you well on your weight loss journey, and hope that you’ll keep me updated on how it’s going!

  112. Hi,
    I hope you realize what an amazing accomplishment this is. I am 40 years old and have been overweight since i was a toddler. i spent 6 summers at a weight watchers camp in PA but i always managed to not only put back on every pound i lost but there was always a little extra. Over the past 5 years I have managed to drop almost 100 lbs. i was just under 400 when i started. I work out twice a week by doing MMA. If i could get myself to start eating healthier i would probably have lost more and be in better shape now, even after 18 months of working out twice a week i still have no endurance, 2 laps around the gym and i am breathing hard and heavy. Any time i read a story like yours it helps give me a push to eat a little better and push myself in the gym that much harder and tonight is Gym Night.

    Thanks for helping light my fire

  113. mustachemiss says:

    Congrats!

  114. Pingback: Couch to 5K « mustachemiss

  115. Liz says:

    I just ran across your blog by accident — and it made me cry! You are so amazing and so inspiring. Three cheers for you!! Look at what you’ve accomplished and celebrate these victories. Each pound, each mile, each day is another victory! So proud of you!!! Keep up the great work. You can do it!!! (You can check out my natural health blog at http://columbiaspulse.blogspot.com )

  116. hangryhippo says:

    wow. absolutely fabulous. you should be so proud!
    and i love that quote about marathon running. it can be said about so many things in life that we survive and thrive at. thanks for sharing.

  117. Congratulations! That was a LOT of hard work for long enough that I’m certain you have made life-long changes. This is excellence.

  118. Yes, an incredible achievement (80 lbs)!!! I’ve lost 30 and have about 60 to go. You’re an inspiration to me!

  119. tiffanybessa says:

    Incredible and inspirational! Thanks for sharing. Congrats!!! 🙂

  120. growminds says:

    You know what… there’s something in common for both of us… IN MY LIFE TOO, things change drastically… and I hateeee it…..(don’t know if you’d love it….)

  121. scottfraser868 says:

    WooHoo! If you count the weight loss of you and all the people who you have inspired, you will probably be helping to lose……maybe a thousand pounds! Way to go!

  122. TisaLira says:

    Good for you! It’s wonderful that you have family and friends supporting you in your goal to lose weight and get healthy. Thank you for sharing your story.

  123. hermosausaadmin says:

    Wow! Congratulations on being freshly pressed & completing a half marathon! Your story is very inspirational – thanks so much for sharing it so it helps to inspire others. I could totally relate to arguing with yourself. The first time I walked to work (a measly 1.5 miles – LOL) I had a similar convo and literally had to get angry WITH myself to keep going and to stop complaining no matter how badly my calves were burning. ^_^ Keep up the great work! I love the t-shirts commemorating weight loss milestones, too! Great reminder of where you once were & motivation to reach the next goal. God Bless You & your family!

  124. mcbarlow5 says:

    Congratulations! That’s wonderful.

  125. Tresa says:

    I come on here to write a blog post and seen your latest update… and here I am .. tears weeping from me eyes for your JOY in losing lbs and gaining life. You look great in the pics btw.. Keep living life and enjoying your family. ~Tresa

  126. Well done, great achievement. I did my 1st half marathon in 2009, it was such an amazing feeling to finish. I’m know in training for my 2nd one in March 2012, I’m already excited about reaching the finish line. Keep going and the best of luck to you.

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  130. Your story is so inspiring. I especially loved how you kept yourself going with self-talk during the most challenging parts. It sounds like you are a person that can accomplish anything you set your sights on. To chime in with everyone else, Congratulations!

  131. trialsinfood says:

    Congrats! What an accomplishment! You can now cross out the “half” on your t-shirt.

  132. seancme says:

    Congratulations! That’s an awesome accomplishment! You’re just like the people I talk about in my blog! Way to go!

    http://stellarstories.wordpress.com/

  133. Trick Brown says:

    Wow! Good for you Rina!
    I am absolutely jealous of your accomplishment.
    It’s funny, instant life changing events are rare. These events are the real deal as they represent the slow progress that truly means something.
    Again, congratulations!

  134. rikristin says:

    Isn’t it funny how much inspiration we can get from a total stranger. But by the way you write, it felt like I was right there hearing your incredible story in person. I too have recently started a journey to better health and want to try running. I am going to look into that Hal Higdon and start tomorrow. Hope to be posting on my progress soon. You look amazing, keep up the running, the smiling, and the writing. Your sharing is a gift and many of us appreciate it! Thank you.

    Krisin
    http://www.sheddinginri.wordpress.com

    • Rina says:

      Kristin, thanks for your encouragement, and congrats on starting your journey! I’ve added your feed to my reader and I look forward to keeping up with your progress!

  135. marijomg says:

    Way to go! You are an inspiration! Thanks!

  136. Congratulations! That’s a huge accomplishment. You’re an inspiration. 🙂

  137. Congratulations! All the agony is so worth it. I bet you feel great, keep up the good work.

  138. Congratulations! You are amazing!

  139. Lisa Alfonso says:

    I am so proud of you! You are an amazing woman who is capable of accomplishing any goal that you set your mind to. Your determination and inspiration will follow me as I embark on my ovarian cancer journey. Yours will be the voice in my head cheering me along. I love you very much!

    • Rina says:

      I love you, too, Aunt Lisa… so much! I am cheering you on, just as I hear your voice in my head when I’m running, I’m glad you’ll hear mine in yours. I love you.

  140. You go girl! Job well done… ;D

  141. Anita Mac says:

    WELL DONE and congratulations. What a brilliant accomplishment (the distance and the weight loss!!!) So inspirational! Love your inner conversation too!

  142. Pingback: A Whole Different Level of Friendship | Rina Marie

  143. Muddy Socks says:

    Great race re-cap!! I ran my first half-marathon this past September after losing 100lbs. It was amazing going across that finish line!!

  144. NixieTale says:

    Congrats!!!!! What an acheivement!

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