Three Cheers for Jessica’s First Marathon!

Jul 13
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in Conversations, Guest Blogger

Meet Jessica, who has been one of my virtual training partners this year. Jessica completed her first marathon in June. Below are her reflections. Join me in congratulating her for pushing past some tough moments in the race. Great job, Jessica!! And good luck in Portland in the fall.

As you know, I fell out of my training circuit for a bit while dealing with….life. Go figure. So given that 15.8 miles was the furthest I had run before my marathon, I knew I had my work cut out for me on race day at the Seattle Rock N Roll event.

I think my official finishing time was 6:02. Clearly not the sub 5 hour goal I was aiming for… but… I finished. I’m still trying to embrace that, even though I feel like my disappointment is really preventing me from relishing in the fact that I am, indeed, a marathoner.

I hydrated the week prior, introduced sodium back into my life and stretched and then stretched some more. I only drank when thirsty on the course, consumed 7 packets of GU total (my favorite is the Mango flavored Roctane!!) and mentally felt AWESOME!

My first 13 miles went great. My split was 2:25 so I was on track to hit my 5 hr goal. And then mile 17 hit, and I started to get a nag of a pain on the outside of my knee. I toughed through it, because in my mind I felt our bodies aren’t made for running such long distances and eventually mine would complain but I could finish…. I knew I could complete my first marathon!

I think the cause that I run for helps carry me a lot through my tough times. I always say to myself, “Well, it isn’t 100+F outside surrounded by sand, gunfire and hostility… and I’m alive. If those soldiers can carry on then so can I.”

I’m sure you have seen my posts on FB about it, but “wear blue: run to remember” is very dear to my heart, and every time I would pass another runner (to or fro) wearing blue, we would yell out “go blue” to each other, and I would feel myself fill with pride and get a little extra bounce in my step. It’s an amazing group. Everyone should look them up.

But then, mile 20 hit and my knee completely gave out on me. It felt like someone stabbed me in my knee. So I slowed down to a fast walk and the pain went away–only to return any time I would muster up my energy to jog/shuffle/whatever it may be called. So, with tears in my eyes, I finished the last 6.2 miles by walking. In the rain. And the wind. On the elevated part of hwy 99 for all to see. Sigh. I think between miles 23-26 I had a breakdown. How could I go so far to only be struck down the last 1/5 of the race?

After a few weeks of rest and light running, I went and saw my doctor and was told I have a small tear of my meniscus. The good news is, with rest, ice, and a supportive knee brace, I have been cleared to begin running again as my body permits (and have been urged to keep cross training and making sure not only my quads and hammys are balanced, but my adductors and abductors as well).

Now, a few weeks later my knee is feeling pretty good. I have only done a few small runs lately and plan to run/walk a half marathon on Sunday (See Jane Run). I have just under 90 days until Portland and have no doubt in my mind that I will beat my 6:02 Seattle time.

I feel like I will be able to focus more on training this time around barring no life catastrophes (knock on wood).

So, what’s a girl to do but accept what is IS? At least I have a bar set to beat when I run the Portland Marathon on Oct 7th. Yup, marathon #2 is on the calendar.

Motivated to Take Care of Herself

Jun 12
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in Conversations, Guest Blogger, Race Reports
Gloria is an online friend of mine who read my book and wrote me to say she felt encouraged by it. But Gloria, herself, is inspirational. Below is her first entry taken from an online journal she keeps with
This is my first entry…I am so excited. My name is Gloria and I have struggled with my weight all my life. That’s 46 years!!! I have decided to write down my experiences concerning my weight loss. After getting married, I slowly gained weight and topped out at 337. Yes, I am finally able to say it. I was miserable and didn’t even know it.
Two years ago, I started to make small changes that have resulted by this point in a 44 lb weight loss. [It started in] 2010, when I realized I had about 65 days ’til I turned 45. I decided I could continue on my current path of hanging out with younger friends from work and getting drunk, or I could make some changes for the positive. I decided that I would do something to positive for MYSELF, so I signed up for a 5k.
Now I am not a runner, and am best known as a couch potato, but I got off the couch, put on my tennis shoes and went for a walk. I was in no way ready to push myself, so I found a very flat area to walk. After a few days of walking, I felt better. I realized that when I set my mind to something, I could make it happen.
That first 5k was to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, 2010. As I prepared for the 5k, I would gowalking by myself. I found I enjoy the time alone. I started to notice the wildlife and take in nature. I put some songs on my phone that had a beat so as to distract me from the fact that it was a long way to the turn around point. I started to look forward to the 5k.
The morning of the walk, my 15 year old son said he wanted to go with me. I was initially upset because this was something I was planning to do for myself and by myself. But how could I say no? He and I went. He walked with his friend and I walked with one of his former teachers.
The day of the walk, the weather was cloudy and misting. I will say, I am a fair weather walker. I needed to sun to help me want to do this walk, but I did it anyway. My son and I did finish the race, I think we were at the end but that didn’t matter. We did it! And I have the shirt to prove it.

Gloria continues to walk 5ks and is currently training for a 10k, which she plans to complete sometime this summer. She also reports that she’s crossed the 50 pound weight loss mark! Great job, Gloria. Keep up the good work. And thanks for sharing your story.

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