January 29, 2012


In November, I started running again.  You may remember this post when I was feeling a little overwhelmed with life and this post that followed where I exercised for the first time in…. way too long.  Since then, I’ve been casually running.  You see, I’m not really a runner.  I was technically a member of the cross country team in high school, but only because it was one athletic team that wouldn’t cut anyone and it seemed like a good idea to have some kind of sport on my college applications.  I came in dead last every race (but I finished!).  During and after college I’ve had a chronic on again off again relationship with running.  I truly honestly do not like it. There, I said it.  But I love how I feel after a run.  I love knowing that it’s good for my body (and I am still toting around a lot of NICU weight from eating out three meals a day or enjoying homemade casseroles and desserts aplenty for three months).  I love competing against only myself and trying to whittle the minutes down from my last run.  I’ve run a few 5Ks here and there in the past ten years, but I still would never ever consider myself to be “a runner.” 

Regardless, in November, I started running again.  A few weeks into it, my CDH mom friend, Sarah, who bullied me into exercising again in the first place suggested that we run the Cooper River Bridge Run together in Charleston this spring.  I look up the date for the race and low and behold, it’s March 31.  March 31 will be the one year anniversary of Clara’s repair surgery.  It’s also, ironically enough, CDH Awareness Day.  Well, that did it.   No looking back now. 

So, despite two bum knees, a rather inflexible nap and feeding schedule, and a deep hatred of all things running, I’m doing it again.  Another CDH Mom friend (not Sarah, who I’m hoping to do this race with) found running again herself after her daughter survived CDH.  Her daughter, Finley has been her inspiration to run and she has become quite the real runner (she blogs about her running adventures here.)  She’s even organized a race in honor of her daughter and to help raise CDH Awareness and funds for any of you who may be on the West Coast.   She’s been a big inspiration, too! 

I’ve got two more months until the bridge run.  I’ve never run a 10K (it’s six point two miles!), and I may not be able to run all of this one either.  It’s okay if I have to stop and walk a little; my goal is honestly just to finish.  I want to run this race for me and I want to run this race for Clara.  It seems like an appropriate way to honor the year of her life that she’s fought so hard for everything.  I may not be a natural runner, but when I feel like I can’t catch my breath, I just think of Clara on ECMO or on a ventilator, learning how to breathe with only one good lung and know that if she did it, I can too.  When my legs hurt and my knees ache, I remember what it was like for her to be swollen to twice her size and how painful it must have been for her tiny little limbs.  When I feel tired and exhausted and sore all over, I think about the days she pushed through morphine withdrawal and how difficult that drug detox must have been for a little infant.  She never gave up, so I don’t feel like I can either. 

She’s my biggest inspiration, but I couldn’t do it without the accountability of my friend Sarah who won’t put up with my excuses on days I don’t feel like it and applauds my efforts even when it’s a “slow” day.  I couldn’t do it without my Bob Stroller that allows me the perfect view of Clara while I plod through the hills.  I couldn’t do it without my iPod and some good tunes blasting in my ears (if the iPod battery is dead, and I have to resort to the Beyonce channel of Pandora radio on my phone, I have to watch out for Survivor*.  It’s really hard to run and sob at the same time.)  I couldn’t do it without the awesome trail at Tanglewood Park that allows me to run on pavement, but not near cars.  I couldn’t do it without this marvelously mild January weather we’ve been having that feels like springtime.  And I couldn’t do it without the most supportive husband and puppy a girl could ask for.  Two months to go.  And once you announce something on the internet, it’s kind of like signing a contract, right?  Now you know.  March 31, I’ll be slowly, very very slowly, jogging over the Cooper River Bridge.  All for you, Clara. 

*Survivor Lyrics that made me sob while running:

“I'm a survivor
I'm not goin' give up
I'm not goin' stop
I'm goin' work harder

I'm a survivor
I'm goin' make it
I will survive
Keep on survivin'

Thought I couldn't breathe without you
I'm inhaling
You thought I couldn't see without you
Perfect vision

You thought I couldn't last without you
But I'm lastin'
You thought that I would die without you
But I'm livin'

Thought that I would fail without you
But I'm on top
Thought it would be over by now
But it won't stop

Thought that I would self destruct
But I'm still here
Even in my years to come
I'm still goin' be here”

About to set off on a jog....

You see that up ahead?  That's the most supportive husband and puppy in the world.  Robert hates running even more than I do, but on the weekends he joins me.  Rufus?  Well, he's pretty glad to be getting a chance to run a couple miles most days....

And Clara, a couple months back, all buckled in for one of our jogs.


  1. Great job mama!! I too, think about that when I get out of breathe, how hard our kiddos fought to breathe, so I think, I can do this, I've got to keep going... I will be supporting you from afar on March 31st and when I go for my long run that day - will be running for all the CHERUBS too!

    LOVE the BOB. We've got the single and the double. Best stroller ever.

  2. Good luck. How wonderful you are out there doing this for Clara and most importantly for yourself. I just love your blog and seeing beautiful Clara growing and thriving. Her smile is just captivating. I so want to meet her soon but for now am enjoying all of your blog entries. Hellos to Robert and Rufus.
    Mary Nell

  3. You Go, Girl! Somehow I think you and Miss Clara can do ANYTHING you set your minds to. Surviving .... no ... you are truly LIVING!!!!!!

  4. Run, Chrissy, Run! Great job! Have you looked into Stroller Strides? I participate in the Greensboro group, but I think there is one in Winston (or something similar). It has been a great inspiration for me and I am running better than ever these days. I thought it might be something you and Clara can enjoy together. :)

  5. Love this!!! I have done 3 Disney half marathons and can't wait to get back to it once Parker is born. I will definitely look back at this post for inspiration-- so beautifully written! You can do it!!

  6. Hi Carla Mae

    My name is Jenna and I came across your site. You are an amazing, precious gift and special earthly angel. You are full of courageous, strength, determination, and fight. You are a brave warrior, smilen champ and an inspiration. You are a princess hero, beautiful trooper, and a tough cookie. You are full of life, spunk, joy, smiles, and sunshine. You have taught everyone about life, and the gift of life. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/champ291 I love it when people sign my guestbook.

  7. My daughter lives in Charleston and has run this several times. I've walked it on race day a couple of times. It is great fun. Just be careful, I dropped my cell phone off the side of the bridge trying to take a picture! We'll be pulling for you.

  8. LOVE Stroller Strides!! I highly recommend it. I made the most amazing group of female friends doing that - and it is a AWESOME work out. It's nice too since you get both running/walking and some strength/resistance training with the bands. Plus after class the kiddos can play together (when cold/flu season is over)....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...