Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Day I was Nearly Arrested on Assault Charges {subtitle: How I'm Finding Time to Train for a Marathon}

Earlier this week I found myself stuck at a “doctor-y” event. As I made small talk with a colleague, I mentioned that I was training for a marathon. Despite that fact that I am currently blogging about running and training consumes most of my thoughts, I promise I don’t talk about it incessantly to random people, but in this instance it did come up in conversation.
After I mentioned my training, her face contorted into what can only be described as a scoff. She then replied, quite condescendingly, “Must be nice to have THAT kind of time.”
My face turned beet red and my blood began to boil. Then without thinking I pulled my hand back and smacked her right across the face, leaving a bright red hand print on her left cheek. She was was stunned at first, but then her instincts took over and she kneed me in the gut. Before I knew it, we were in an all out fist fight in the middle of a cocktail party. My husband broke up the fight, but not before someone called the cops. I am currently writing this from jail. 
Ok. So, nothing in italics ACTUALLY happened (except in mind. repeatedly. for about a week). In reality I smiled and walk away, like a good girl, who didn’t want to have to explain a criminal record.
Obviously in a state of pure boredom, I decided since there was nothing else going on in my life, I would run a marathon. I’m busy and so are my running mates. The expenditure of my time is not something  I take lightly. We all have a lot on our plates, but like all things that are important to us, we are finding the time for this marathon.
How do I find the time for this?
5. Follow a Plan
We are following Hal Hidgon’s Novice 2 training program. The best way to avoid injury and reach my goal is to stick to the plan as close as possible. Each week I check off my boxes as I pound out each mile.
4. Run When I Can
The only time that works for me is mornings. Some mornings have been painfully early and cold, but nevertheless I’m out there. 
3. Accountability
When my alarm goes off at 5:30 and I check the temperature and it’s 13 degrees, knowing that my friends are out in the Arctic air waiting for me is what gets me out of my cozy bed. There are 6 of us training in my neighborhood. Though we can’t do every run together, we are each other’s cheerleaders.
2. Giving Myself some Grace
I have missed a few workouts. If I’ve been at the hospital all night delivering babies and I have to choose between running and sleep, then I choose sleep. I don’t make up my runs in the evening, because that’s my family time. Yes, my Type A personality would like to follow the plan to perfectly, but life happens and that’s OK.
1. Have an Awesome Husband
Obviously, somebody has to get the kiddos ready in the morning while I’m out torturing myself, and that somebody is my super husband. You need your spouse to be supportive (or a least tolerant) of your crazy hobby when you start logging this many hours.
Despite being a runner for the last 17 years, I have never ran a full marathon. In my early 20′s, I did races all the time, but never more than a 15 K (The Tulsa Run, which is still my favorite race). Over the years the responsibilities of life kept my running to 3-4 miles a couple of times a week, barely enough to stay fit. 
As my kids have gotten older, life has gotten a little smoother. I've decided this is my year to check "26.2" of my bucket list. Wish me luck, I'm a month away from my goal and I can't wait to cross that finish line. 
Haters gonna hate. But I'm gonna run.
originally posted at


  1. I commend you on not assaulting that person! And on making exercise a priority! I hate it when people make comments like that.

  2. I'm a doctor (pathology), a mom, and an ultramarathoner. Yes, my husband is amazing too. Yay supportive spouses! Anyway, I tell people (including my residents and med students) that you can have your career, your family, and One Other Thing that you devote yourself to. For me, right now, that One Other Thing is running.

    Good luck with your marathon training! Higdon is a great training plan. Don't let the haters get you down.

  3. I'm an ms3 mom of a toddler and run 40-50 miles most weeks. Just because I like it. Not training for anything.

  4. Wow! Super impressive. You know, I use lack of time as an excuse for not running/exercising, but the reality is that I haven't found anything I like enough to be disciplined and consistent about it. Obviously I find time for other pursuits like reading, my TV shows, so it really is just an excuse. My sister runs marathons too and has 2 young-ish kids (7 and 9) who stay home by themselves or are cared for my her ex while she trains. I'm envious of her (and your) determination and discipline. All the best for this last month!

  5. I am outraged on your behalf, and feel like slapping someone. I always get those kind of comments (though more subtle, like "wow, I wish I had the time for that") when I mention ANYTHING I'm doing outside of work/kids…training for a run, participating in a book club, any kind of social activity. If I can do it, anyone can do it…I'm not super-organized or efficient by any means. they just choose not to and then sit there and judge.

  6. Comments like that make me think of one word: jealous! The person who said that probably wishes she could do something like a marathon, or even just plain exercise, but she (like most of us) probably does not have the willpower. That being said, I'm jealous too...wish I could do something like that...just "don't feel like it."

  7. You can do it! Nice to have a goal to inspire your long standing (ha, get it) running hobby. I ran one marathon in my life, in NYC many (many) years ago. I finished in fine time, but I was running for distance, and for (in memory of) my father, and for myself. Here's a piece I wrote recently about running and reflecting (and then was asked to read) in Academic Medicine:


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