she do run-run-run, she do run-run.

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been training for. 13.1 miles have my name on them and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

I have a few cheerleaders in this whole half marathon thing, but probably none as big as my dear friend Amy Shertzer who has competed (and won!) countless races of her own. In 2005 she won the Disney Marathon. There were 24,000 runners in that event. Um, yeah. Those are fast shoes to fill.

A couple of weeks ago Sarah’s birthday gift from Amy arrived with a small little care package tucked inside for me. I love that girl.  

Amy and Samantha and I used to walk every morning when we lived in Colorado Springs. We’d meet at the corner between our houses at 6:30 and cover a hilly loop, babies in tow. Regularly Amy would have already put in her running miles before meeting up with us for what was just a cool down for her. I’ve always admired her stamina, her will, her make-it-happen attitude. I remember in awe remarking once to her that I just didn’t know how she did all the running she did. And she replied that she was sure if I just put the miles in I could run races too.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll believe her.

Tonight I’m feeling a tad nervous, mostly excited, and a lot proud. I’m also feeling a bit enlightened. Like many (most?) women I’ve always had this idea of what my “ideal” body would be like if I just worked it a little harder, treated it a little kinder. My ideal body would be slimmer, trimmer, and surely less jiggly. I would shed a few pounds and slide into my jeans every morning with ease. Cellulite would vanish. It would be a lovely, lovely thing. 

For the last couple of months I’ve averaged running 20 miles a week. This is without a doubt the most exercise I’ve routinely conquered in in my life which would mean I’m surely in the best shape I’ve ever been in. And guess what?

Cellulite is still (literally) hanging out with me. At the doctor’s office last month I actually weighed in at a few pounds heavier than last year. And my jeans, well, they’re fine. Not much has changed about me on the outside. But this running challenge has done something powerful for the inside of me.

I never again have to wonder what my body would look like if I worked it a little harder, treated it a little better. I’ve done it and now I know. This body I have is a gift. It’s not perfect and it’s certainly not jiggle-free but it’s healthy and powerful and able. I’m so thankful for that. And I’m so happy to know what the “ideal” me looks like…it looks, well, kind of the same. And now, I’m good with that.   

So tomorrow I’ll put all of Amy’s advice, encouragement, lessons, and sticky notes to good use. I actually think I’ll enjoy it too.

But don’t think I haven’t already eaten those “post race rewards.”

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JenniferNovember 12, 2010 - 6:48 pm

Love that!! Have fun!! :)

AnneNovember 12, 2010 - 7:04 pm

Aw, how sweet. Almost makes me want to run too. (Ha, not!)

KatieNovember 12, 2010 - 7:23 pm

Good luck! I am also not a runner, but completed the 2005 Chicago Marathon (pre-kids) and then ran a half-marathon last year. The outside never looked as good (after all that training) as I felt on the inside at the end of the race, but I wouldn’t trade that sense of accomplishment for anything. You can do it!

GuenevereNovember 12, 2010 - 7:24 pm

What a thoughtful friend! Wishing you luck, Erin and make sure to have fun! BTW What’s the lotion for?

SarahNovember 12, 2010 - 7:32 pm

Erin – I’ve got 4 weeks until my first half. 40 years old and twin girls and I’m happy that I’m doing this for me. Funny how many people said how trim I look and yet I’ve gained a few pounds and my jeans fit just about the same – but mentally I feel empowered.

Thanks for the wonderful blog post – it captured what I’ve been thinking so well.

Lacey RNovember 12, 2010 - 7:32 pm

Good luck, Erin!

Olivia CNovember 12, 2010 - 7:35 pm

Good luck!!! What an inspirational post. After having my three babies I am seriously struggling with my body. Lots of work to do, but also a lot of acceptance needed too. What a great perspective you have achieved! Congrats on all the hard work!

JenniferNovember 12, 2010 - 7:48 pm

Good luck DeeDee!! And don’t fool yourself – you look fab! You shouldn’t be surprised that you weigh more, you’re developing muscle you didn’t have before. :)

TammyNovember 12, 2010 - 8:28 pm

Good for you and good luck tomorrow!!

SandyNovember 12, 2010 - 8:44 pm

I look forward to reading all about your tomorrow experience! Your sharing of your training has been inspiring. Best of luck!

TinaNovember 12, 2010 - 8:56 pm

Good luck! I’m sure you’ll beat those 13.1 miles…who wouldn’t with the great support you have?! What a sweet friend :)

j.j.November 12, 2010 - 9:52 pm

GOOD LUCK, MY FRIEND! Amy is surely the one who got me running, too, and I am ever thankful for her encouragement. And still ever amazed at her commitment and natural ability. She’s amazing! And YOU WILL BE, TOO! TOMORROW! GO DO IT!

SusieNovember 12, 2010 - 9:57 pm

Have fun out there, Erin! Amy is a huge inspiration to me, too :) What an awesome gal the Lord shared with so many of us!

Lorena MoraNovember 12, 2010 - 10:10 pm

I bet you will do awesome! I can’t wait till you post about how it all went, hope you also have fun! What a sweet friend Amy is.

triciaNovember 13, 2010 - 4:30 am

You go girl! Have a great race and enjoy your moment:)

heather mayberryNovember 13, 2010 - 6:37 am

good luck! you’ll be awesome!

Kelly W.November 13, 2010 - 8:18 am

Good luck, Erin! You are going to rock the race! I’ll just warn you, I’ve walked two half-marathons in the past year. Once you do one it’s kind of addicting! :)

beccaNovember 13, 2010 - 1:56 pm

good luck! can’t to hear how you did! i just last week completed the c5k program and after having not done anything for so long i thought i would see these amazing RESULTS, needless to say only 2 measly pounds lost but i love how i feel after i’m done! i’m still struggling to get through the 30 minute run~but i do it :)

kathyNovember 13, 2010 - 2:59 pm

Justed wanted to say I admire you don’t know how you do it all but go for it tomorrow and most of all be proud of what you have accomplished you “GO GIRL”

[...] Th photographer and amazing mother, Erin Cobb, totally inspired me this week with after her post before and after a 13.1 mile run. Someday, when I’m not working rotating shifts, someday, when [...]

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